advice - proof marking pictures

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by emogirl, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. emogirl

    emogirl TPF Noob!

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    How many of you use an impression stamp or have your name across the front of wedding proofs? Or is the "norm" now to include full res files with wedding proofs or give no proofs at all?
    I have been giving a "proof" album for 13 years of weddings...last year i started using an impression stamp on the images (used to be just a mark on the back of photo) to prevent (or at least cut back) on scanning etc. Although most people arent thrilled about it, no one has ever complained, understood etc. & i give them the option of buy the negs/files in which case there is no impression on their prints.

    Today i got an irate call from a customer who's wife picked up their PROOF book last night....he was just livid that their wedding album was "useless". This is someone who I have done all the children in the family (6 kids) and he was the last one....they got an exceptional deal on their images....(which he loves, btw)....he feels like I swindled them...that he never would have booked me if he had known they were proofs. (i do advertise it as a PROOF album)

    What to do....this is a family that I have done tonnes of work for and got lots of business from - in fact his sister just booked family pix a few minutes ago and already ordered some of the wedding pix.

    I feel so much like i let them down, on the other hand, they got an INCREDIBLY good deal.
    I am just re-evaluating pricing/structure for the fall season ....do i just give them the album with no markings and HOPE I will still get orders. It used to be that I would get $600- 800 in sales after a wedding....now, with computers and scanners in every corner stoare, i'm luck to get $200. So, i upped my base price...thank good nesss...but maybe I should still re-evalute what i give them.


    thoughts?
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    oooo... though one, Kim.

    If you've done other weddings for this same family, they were likely expecting to receive the same product. If you feel REALLY compelled to do something, you might consider remaking the book so it's exactly like what they're used to seeing. I'm thinking what it might be like for them.... as a customer. I do wish they would have taken a more civil approach with you.

    Let us know what you decide.

    Good luck.
    Pete
     
  3. heip

    heip TPF Noob!

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    I would explain your new procedure of marking proofs and apologize for their book slipping through and being marked, as you don't mark loyal customers proofs.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Evaluate it from a business sense. I doubt they are likely to book another wedding anytime soon, but what about other business. You could be right in that you give them a final book and they scan and send around the images.

    You may be able to return some goodwill with a discount to the book. If you had a contract or something now would be the time to kindly and respectfully point it out, which gives you some bargaining power and would again make you seem even nicer if you offer them something of a deal. One thing to consider is if you do go the route to print them a new book, recover the one with the proofs. This could smell a bit like the customer trying to secure a second free book and give the one with the proofs to the relatives.

    Ultimately though this is a business decision and not knowing how much business you get from this family or will get in the future (chances are your goodwill is already gone, or they may just be trying to get something for nothing), or you current relationship to them, I definitely can not tell you what you should do.
     
  5. emogirl

    emogirl TPF Noob!

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    Thanks all
    ..i will definitely not be giving them another album - from a business standpoint..they got exactly what was stated in the contract plus twice as many photos as usual because the family has been good customers. (which i pointed out to them!)

    while at the wedding, some of the inlaws commented how much they like they album of pix their children gave them from LAST year's wedding...they did not order that from me...so, definitley they are scanning. In fact, the groom (current wedding) even was so bold as to say, IF they order some enlargements from me what is stopping me from scanning them....pretty bold, eh?

    So, having thought on it over night and talked to other professionals and other recent brides on the matter.....ive come to conclude they are just pouting because now they will have to order from me and they wont be able to cheap out and scan them.....oh...did i also mention the big bucks involved with this wedding ( the bride's family was very well off).


    OH>>>Garbz...they cant book another wedding...that was the last of 6 kids...and i did their cousins' weddings too! ha

    I think for my own peice of mind...i am a softy and too often let people walk all over me and i give them too much/undercharge. This has been my best year ever cuz i think i finally got some BALLS and stood up for myself, so i dont want to back down. I would never go to the extreme and cut them off/stop dealing with etc...or not 'give a bit' to satisfy, but the time has come for me to say enough is enough. There was a contract....you cant say squat!!!!

    So...i guess i am rather answering my own question, arent I? well, time does help.... but still would like to know, what is the 'norm' ....are most of you proofmarking your prints? or just charging more and giving them full res Cd's?
     
  6. stellar_gal

    stellar_gal TPF Noob!

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    Sorry to hear of your troubles with the family. You'll do the right thing and happy to hear you got more ballz!!

    I think many pro's here do online proofing thru a private web gallery, but I have read also that many do the Proofs to show the client in a nice book and it really ups the sales. The photographer shows them prints at the ordering session- like nice mounted photos of their best- or show off a new Gallery Wrap print and have a nice blurb about it, but the client just orders from that and they dont keep the book- so they can't scan in the proofs. In my area, most uppity ones have a minimum order anyway- like $200-300, but it's just personal preference. No one here gives full res cd's unless they pay a ton for it. In this day and age with so many thiefs that steal our images, it helps to have this kind of insurance, if you will. I still have friends that scan photos from their weddings or kids photos and do it and don't bat an eye, I just give them my disapproval. Sad I know. Good luck.
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think this is a typical situation in the digital age. In the past you could charge a nominal fee for the actual shooting and expect lots of sales after the fact. Some people say wedding photography is so much more expensive now but I disagree. I think it did not take too long for photographers to figure out that people are scanning images so now all you have to do is build everything into the main package including high-res images or at least enough pricing to make money on the wedding. I have been burned enough times by people who scan that I just expect it now and build it into my price. I know from working at Ritz that people have no clue about copyright laws or just play dumb I can't count the number of people who come to me with professional images and say "I own these why cant I copy them" not understanding that they own the paper and nothing else. I have gotten into so many fights with people who try and do this I usually end up sending them away empty handed but the problem is they just go down the street to Wal-Mart where they can scan them themselves and noone will say a word.
     
  8. emogirl

    emogirl TPF Noob!

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    JIP....do you use an impression stamp or have your name printed across the proofs you give to your client....or just upped your price and no proofmark?
     

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