Pictures on a CD for client

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by eric-holmes, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. eric-holmes
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    eric-holmes New Member

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    I have recently began charging for my sessions and making profit on the pictures I take. One of the first questions I ran into was from a mother asking, "Can you put the pictures on a CD and just sell me the CD?". I know this has to be a growing question because everyone wants the pictures to put on the internet. Facebook is the new family photo album.

    I have a few concerns with this;

    1. If they do choose to print the pictures, They will more than likely print at some cheap photo lab like Walmart. They if anyone asks who took her pictures and she tells them my name, I may look cheap because of the cheap printing.
    2. It is basically throwing money away.
    3. There is no regulation in what she does with the pictures.

    Anyone with experience with this is welcome to chime in.
  2. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    This is very common these days. It's easy for the photographer and it seems to be what many clients want...but you're right, there are some issues.

    That is one of the biggest issues, IMO. My solution is to educate the client. I tell them not to use Wal-mart, and give them some good labs to use. Many use Costco, which often does a decent job considering it's dirt cheap. To further drive home the point, you could get some sample prints done at different labs. Show them the actual difference between a really good lab and a bad one.

    Well that's up to you. My usual advice is to sell the CD for as much as you would expect to make in print sales. Or maybe front load the deal. $300 sitting fee and the CD is only $50....(or whatever your numbers are). There are lots of creative options to set up your pricing. Another thing to consider is that you can still offer upscale products that she may not be able to buy order herself, once she has the files.

    That is another good concern. Technically, they would only have the rights that you give/sell to them. For example, if you sell the CD, but don't give them permisson to copy...they legally can't print or makes copies. That may not stop them, but it can still be a means of protection. When I sell a CD of images, I include a letter saying that they do have the right to print/copy the images, but I still hold the actual rights to the use of the image.
  3. eric-holmes
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    eric-holmes New Member

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    Thanks Big Mike. You always come through with informative posts. You gave me plenty to think about.
  4. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    I include an image right on the DVD that is the text of the use license the client purchased.

    The idea is the print lab also see's the use license.

    I limit the size the client can have the images printed at, with text in the use license, and by controlling the image file size and resolution on the disk.

    Oh, one last thought. My images cost the same regardless the media the client wants them on. DVD is easier for me than prints and file downloads are even easier.
  5. eric-holmes
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    eric-holmes New Member

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    Can you put images on a CD in a way that they cannot be printed?
  6. m.stevenson
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    m.stevenson New Member

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    You could probably encode it so they can see the images but not be able to copy them off the DVD (like music CD's) or if your just worried about them doing there own prints use a lower quality so they look fine on a computer but when they try to print them they will look horrible.
  7. eric-holmes
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    eric-holmes New Member

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    I could do that. I also thought of burning a CD of only the photos they order from me. Like what Walmart does.
  8. FrankLamont
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    FrankLamont New Member

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    I have high fees in the first place; apart from that, clients always come back for prints.
  9. m.stevenson
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    m.stevenson New Member

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    Of coarse I don't think you should give them pictures they didn't order, and if I where you I would definitely sell at the same if not more as if they where buying prints. I would lean toward the more since if you sell them prints there less likely to post it one every ones and there mothers Facebook networking site.
  10. eric-holmes
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    eric-holmes New Member

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    Let's say I agree to put the prints she buys on a disc. Let's say she purchases a 4x6 or 5x7, how could I put them on the disc with a resolution low enough that she couldn't blow them up to bigger sizes?
  11. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    400x600 pixels and 500x700 pixels

    At 100 ppi the 400 x 600 would print at a size of 4 inches x 6 inches.

    At 200 ppi the 400 x 600 would be 2 inches x 3 inches.

    At 300 ppi the 400 x 600 would be 1.3 inches x 2 inches.
  12. eric-holmes
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    eric-holmes New Member

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    Awesome. So at 100 ppi an 8x10 would be 800 by 1,000 pixels? I'm thinking of doing this so they will look crappy if she tries to blow them up into bigger sizes.
  13. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    The problem with that, is that most people don't have a good understanding of resolution and print limits. They will go ahead and try to make prints from the small files you give them....they will look crappy and that reflects poorly on you.

    My philosophy is that if I'm going to hand over files, they will be top quality, full resolution files....but they will have to pay for them.
  14. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Many photographers require a minmum purchase (usually hundreds of $$$'s) before a client even qualifies to buy a CD/DVD (hundreds of $$$'s more).
  15. JLEphoto
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    JLEphoto New Member

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    KmH... That is what I do... Or say, the CD of images costs 500.00 and includes 20% retouched. etc.. They would have to be serious at that point.

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