Advice regarding giving files to wedding clients

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by SPeters, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. SPeters
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    SPeters New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone have advice about giving/selling hi-res and/or low res files to wedding clients? I've heard selling a CD of low res files with watermarks is the thing to do, for FB use, etc. Seems like $500 is the going price--do you charge separately or include this in the overall price?

    Do any of you give or sell the hi-res files, too? If so, what are the terms for those?

    Kind of confusing to me since I'm an old-school photog....but I am trying to get with the program!

    Thank you!
  2. Flash Harry
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    Flash Harry New Member

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    I personally don't but everyone thinks this business is for free nowadays, so to combat this mentality you need to factor in what you would have made from reprints at the shooting stage then hand the lot over, I'm getting out so no longer care, much like the clients attitude of "thats a nice picture" regardless of quality/focus etc etc, photography as far as working professionally has died a death in the UK unless you work for upmarket clients, everyone in the middle bracket have their own SLR or P&S so regardless of what you do at weddings/portraits etc some goon over your shoulder has a free shot and won't want to pay you for yours. H
  3. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    One of the issues is that many people don't really understand copyright, or digital image resolution. If you give them small sized files, they might not realize the limitations of them...and they will try to print them etc.

    My philosophy is that if I'm going to hand over files, they will be full size & resolution..basically print ready. Of course, they will have to pay well to get them. For the most part, the cost is built into the wedding package but that depends on your pricing. $500 for a disc of files might be OK, but that wouldn't include the actual shooting of the wedding (in my case).
  4. squee
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    squee New Member

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    Here's how I sell my photo DVDs...

    If the customer wants images just big enough to post online on a website/facebook/myspace/etc etc. I charge a small price per image and they are about 800px on the longest side.

    If the customer wants print quality I charge roughly as much as my largest print per image. If you give your customers a hi-res image then they can go out and print them on their own and you lose so much. So you should make sure that you're at least taking away profit for one print from each image you give them.
  5. endoracing
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    endoracing New Member

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    I will offer my input as someone who is a photography hobbiest as well as someone who just purchased a wedding package...

    Personally, if you told me a cd of low resolution, watermarked pictures was $500 extra on top of what I was already paying for my package I would leave and go to the next photographer. To me, not getting a digital copy of the images as part of the package was a deal breaker (they are reduced resolution, but for an online album that is plenty). A leather coffee table book is wonderful, and I can't wait to see mine, but that is hardly the media of choice for sharing anymore.

    $500 for a full res cd of all images? maybe, but thats still pushing it to me. I am trying to find out how much extra it would cost me to get full res from my photographer for myself at the moment. It is hard to justify extra money since I want a full resolution cd because I appreciate image quality, not because I plan to make prints elsewhere. Another concern of mine is if the company I went through goes out of business I would have no way to recover my images.

    What I found in my shopping around is that pretty much everyone includes a cd of some sort. I guess if you take anything away from this, my recommendation is to include it in the package price. Consumers don't like extras, they like an out the door price.

    This is obviously just my opinion as a customer, not a professional. Take it for what it is.
  6. Mustlovedragons
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    Mustlovedragons New Member

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    When I was doing it, I included in each package price, a disc of whatever images were in the package in both high-res pre-sized and low-res online-share size as just part of the deal. However, I will never do another wedding again as long as I shall live, lol. Too much stress and too many wishy-washy people who really dont understand that a contract is a contract (meaning they either don't want to pay or want so many extras they didn't want when they picked their package and think that bc I am there, it should now be included). Good luck!
  7. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    That seems to be fairly common in the lower price segment. Those people shop by price and tend to put up a fight for every nickle. If, however, you are in a higher priced market segment, you are much more likely to get clients who come to you because of your skill/talent/style etc., and not just because of your price. These types of people are much better to work with/for.

    That's why the #1 advice for being a successful wedding photographer, is to raise your prices.
  8. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    That applies to all retail photography, IMO.
  9. Flash Harry
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    Flash Harry New Member

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    Pricing is relevant to your locality, if you live in a large city charge what you want, if you live in a small town/rural community you could find you just priced yourself out of business, especially in these unstable times. H
  10. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Yes, of course...but that's why it's important to understand the segments available to you.

    A good example that I know of is John Ratchford. He's a photographer in a small maritime town on the east coast of Canada. The unemployment rate there can be as high as 50% (compared to 7-8% where I live). When asked how he manages to be successful in that environment, he just says that he markets to the other 50%.
  11. Mustlovedragons
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    Mustlovedragons New Member

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    Oddly enough, I would have to say that in my experience, it's the more wealthy crowd who gave me the most fits over every nickle and dime. They were also the most rude and least likely to pay in a timely manner. My charges were upper mid range. Not the highest, not the lowest, in the middle closer to the higher end.
  12. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    It's certainly not a hard rule...there are great client in the lower bracket and plenty of jerks in the higher ones.
  13. njw1224
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