Your Checklist For Setting Up In-House Production

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So, you are considering moving towards in-house production and away from using traditional labs for your volume photography production.

It is a big move, but the rewards can be plenty with photographers reporting savings of $2 per order. However, that being said, it is a move to consider carefully, so that’s why we have put together this handy checklist before you make the jump.



Before making any purchases of equipment, printers, or looking into workflow options, you need to ask yourself: ‘Do I really need to move my production in-house?’

There are a few key things you should be really questioning:

  • Can I financially make the investment and is it sustainable?
  • Will there be more profit?
  • Will I lose my photography focus?
  • Will I be crawling into bed at 4 am?



Moving your production in-house quite simply means the need to take on more staff. Doing it solo is not advisable.

Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your labor needs to run your own production:

  • Image prep – retouching, color correction
  • Graphic Designers
  • Color management processes
  • Workflow/printer operators
  • Packaging
  • Shipping
  • Quality control
  • Maintenance/repair technicians
  • Developers/programmers

Each of these topics requires people power and so it’s important to nail down a working process where each of these is checked off and running smoothly. Make sure to work with people you trust in each.

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Naturally, when considering those questions above it is also worth combining this with research into your set-up costs, and chief amongst these is equipment.

Here are a few things you will need to get started:

  • Printers
  • Sublimation equipment
  • Computer workstations
  • Production software

Lastly, you must factor in potential repairs, new parts, and any mitigating downtime into your analysis.

Note: We recommend reaching out to photographer colleagues or volume photography Facebook groups for recommendations on specific equipment and service contracts to get an idea of costs.

Here are a few groups you could join:


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Consumables, Workflow & Shipping


With equipment comes the need for consumables and raw materials, so don’t forget these important items in your cost forecasting:

  • Purchasing/inventory controls
  • Volume purchase discounts
  • Paper, output media, dye-sub blanks
  • Chemistry/Inks
  • Packaging and shipping materials

Finding reliable and established suppliers in close proximity is very important.


How are orders being transferred to your own lab? What software are you using? Who is managing it on your side?

These are key questions to ask. GotPhoto supports in-house production. For more details and to discuss your use case, please book a call with us below.

Shipping & Final Delivery

Once you’ve reached this stage there are just a few other considerations before getting the product sent to the customer.

  • Final packaging/branding (boxes/mailers)
  • Shipping software
  • Weigh/apply postage if needed/apply shipping labels
  • Shipper coordination: Drop-off at USPS/FEDEX/UPS etc. or are they picked up?

Book A Call

Interested in self-production with GotPhoto? Book a time to check in with our team and discuss your studio’s needs. This talk with our experts will allow us to answer your most pressing questions and see if in-house production is for you.

Using GotPhoto this Spring?

Then we recommend reading up on our Ultimate School Photography guide, which is packed with tips for using GotPhoto and making the most of your studio.

We also recommend our series of Deep Dive webinars that explain key aspects of using GotPhoto such as:

Time for change


Less admin work


Happier parents and schools


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