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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 12 May 2017 (Friday) 01:16
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Client asking for proof files

 
archfotos
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May 13, 2017 06:37 |  #16

Putting aside the photo print, a tangible object, isn't the very nature of digital photography a market based on licensing not selling? The photographer keeps the copyright, unless you truly sign away your copyright, even with a simple headshot portrait for a $1 that is a licensing transaction. It's the nature of photography. If you give someone a digital picture you are not giving them a tangible object you are allowing them the unlimited licensing rights to the reproduction of that image.

If a client wants the licensing rights to archive your photos then they need to license the images for that agreement, granted that could be at a lower fee than the rights to publish on Facebook etc.. but it has nothing to do with whether you are going to do any additional post work to the images. And your contract should spell out that there is no social media publishing or other rights such as printing rights included.

I don't know your contract but I do believe all photographers should be charging some type of online delivery fee, drop box is not free nor is web hosting nor the amount of time to upload files or your own internet charges to do so.


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OhLook
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May 13, 2017 10:20 |  #17

Dan Marchant wrote in post #18353381 (external link)
Personally I would add an "unedited images" surcharge that makes it more expensive to have unedited proofs than edited images - simply on the basis that unedited images "don't reflect the true quality of my work and as such are damaging to my reputation".

I've always agreed (silently) with your statements on business matters such as rights/obligations and what amounts to a fair deal. This time, however, I wonder about the suggestion that damage to one's reputation should be for sale. Would a surcharge really cover it?


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Hogloff
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May 13, 2017 10:31 |  #18
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OhLook wrote in post #18353635 (external link)
I've always agreed (silently) with your statements on business matters such as rights/obligations and what amounts to a fair deal. This time, however, I wonder about the suggestion that damage to one's reputation should be for sale. Would a surcharge really cover it?

What damage? Like I said many photographers have switched their business model to one that provides a service rather than a product and they hand over the raw or jpegs files to their customers. I don't see these photographers suffering from doing this.

The old film based model of delivering a print package is slowly going out the window. So many clients these days just post their pics mages and for this, they do not require fully processed colour managed totally touched up images. A quick batch processed jpeg conversion is all that is required.

Sure, offer prints as an add on package, but get your revenue from the service you provide and consider prints to be a bonus.




  
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Wilt
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
May 13, 2017 17:47 |  #19

Hogloff wrote in post #18353643 (external link)
What damage? Like I said many photographers have switched their business model to one that provides a service rather than a product and they hand over the raw or jpegs files to their customers. I don't see these photographers suffering from doing this.

The old film based model of delivering a print package is slowly going out the window. So many clients these days just post their pics mages and for this, they do not require fully processed colour managed totally touched up images. A quick batch processed jpeg conversion is all that is required.

Sure, offer prints as an add on package, but get your revenue from the service you provide and consider prints to be a bonus.



  1. the 'old school' photographer would shoot and then derive additional income from retouching, from lab work, from sold prints and albums, and sometimes from frames, etc.
  2. The 'weekend warrior' -- especially those not established by reputation for quality of work -- might be hired trigger fingers working for lowly wages, turning over raw film at the end of the evening and saying 'goodbye' to the client...the ground scavengers!
  3. The 'new school' photographer you describe sounds like the ground scavengers (#2) of yesteryear!


Part of the logic of #1 was 'full control'...a hard print would not be created without the professional's endorsement of the quality of his work; he was not at the mercy of a lab sending final prints to the clients.
#2 relinquished any control over the quality (or lack thereof); his responsiblity for 'quality' ended when the spool of film has handed over; 'his work' might be processed at Walgreen's and all of its imperfect glory.
#3 sounds no better than #2...how is a digital photographer supposed to establish a reputation for himself in his craft/art (the combination of both)?...and slowly build the dollar value of jobs as the clients come to expect more and better product?
...they are destined to remain bottom feeders until retirement?!

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mpix345
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Jun 27, 2017 22:47 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #20

I'd like the opportunity to review the shots (after the initial cull of "bad" shots) with the photographer and choose the agreed upon number that are then edited and delivered as final product. I don't want them all.

I say this because I have been part of several photo shoots as a customer where high quality photos (from a technical perspective) are delivered, but they don't necessarily accurately reflect the subject being photographed. I'm mostly talking about odd smiles or faces that look very unnatural, or weird poses.

Having said that, I understand why a photographer would not want to deal with that hassle. I'd pay extra for it though. Maybe that would make the hassle easier to deal with.


  
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tdlavigne
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Jun 28, 2017 18:17 |  #21

Chet wrote in post #18352995 (external link)
Slap a large watermark on them lower the resolution to 72ppi and provide 600 pixels on the longest edge. Makes it pretty useless other then to see what was there.

This ^

Yes, you are right to not feel obligated to deliver proofs if that wasn't part of the original agreement. Also, yes you'd be right to assume that they are more likely than not planning to print/use the proofs without paying additional money for them.

Unfortunately, my experience is that word of mouth can be a royal PITA if someone really wants. So the best solution (to me) would be to put "PROOF" in a large repeating patten, at around 75% opacity over the entire image. I would also resize the images to ~300-400px on the longest side, 72dpi of course. Yes, they'll probably complain that they're "too small to see", or that "there's writing all over them", but at least you technically went above and beyond and delivered proofs.




  
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Deardorff
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Jul 01, 2017 22:02 |  #22

Scott Spellman wrote in post #18352539 (external link)
"The final edited photos are carefully composed, selected, and edited as part of my artistic skills to show you at your very best. The unedited proofs not selected obviously do not represent our best images together and I do not release them to the public. I don't want others to ever confuse proofs for with the high quality of my finished art. There is no true artist that provides the client with the unused paint, wood, or stone left over from the creation of a masterpiece."

Might add that all images not of the quality I consider for finished work have been deleted and are not available?


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Box ­ Brownie
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Jul 02, 2017 16:51 |  #23

I have read of similar situations with digital delivery.

The advised wisdom AFAIK was as follows:-

1) you cull
2) you process
3) you renumber the files for delivery as a sequential set I.e. to remove the fact that there were intervening files
4) you deliver the agreed number of files
5) in your agreement terms you set expectations with your service statement, as mentioned above that only the images files that passed your artistic & professional criteria will be retained and all others will be deleted.

All business arrangements are about managing expectations.


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Jul 03, 2017 11:10 |  #24

I think the best advice is just to have Lightroom rename the files and tell the customer, "this is everything."

Now if you are shooting 100-1000 clicks and they hear that and you give them 10 then you just need to say, "the others didn't turn out and have already been removed."

You have to control that situation. I have dealt with people's family members that want to run the show and they have no sense of reason in anything they do. A lie doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you the better person for keeping a potential psychopath from making a scene.


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texkam
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Jul 03, 2017 11:34 |  #25

Once again folks, re-read the post. The client made a decision to purchase only15 out of a possible 75. 75 proofs were presented to the client. The client chose to only buy 15 of them, but wants the remaining 60 digital files for free. OP is not willing to give the remaing 60 digital images away for free. Client is not asking for every capture from the session.




  
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Jul 03, 2017 19:04 |  #26

texkam wrote in post #18393237 (external link)
Once again folks, re-read the post. The client made a decision to purchase only15 out of a possible 75. 75 proofs were presented to the client. The client chose to only buy 15 of them, but wants the remaining 60 digital files for free. OP is not willing to give the remaing 60 digital images away for free. Client is not asking for every capture from the session.

So just a variation on my note #5 above.......proofs are the incomplete product and are never part of any package I.e. if you (the client) want more pictures the rate is negotiable.


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texkam
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Jul 04, 2017 00:55 |  #27

Absolutely. This is all about pricing for files the photographer is happy with, not about the client seeking captures the photographer is not happy with.

The fact that the client desires these non-purchased files for "memories sake" shows that they have value. Provided the pricing structure was clearly spelled out, the client's beef seems to be that they feel the photographer is too expensive by charging $450.00 for time, plus the additional for the 15 photo package.




  
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Client asking for proof files
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