Retakes?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by AprilRamone, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,
    For those of you who do sports team photography, do you offer retakes? I just completed a 60+ member swim team and only one of the parents has contacted me to ask about retakes. I know that with the big companies, they do often offer a day for picture retakes, but I fear that if I offered that, then it would put the idea into people's heads that they should do it.
    I am leaning towards telling the parent that I only do retakes if there is an obvious error on my part (i.e. eyes closed) because this swim team is a good 50 minutes away from me and I won't make any profit off of her order if I have to get the whole thing reprinted! (I have minimum order standards with my printing company).
    I've inspected the photo, and there isn't anything technically wrong with it. The kid is smiling and it's in focus etc... so they must just not like the way he is smiling.
    I am thinking about calling her and letting her know that I have purposefully tried to keep my prices low to compete with the larger companies, but can't offer retakes like they do because I just can't afford it and would have to up the prices for all of the packages to cover it. And ask her specifically what about the picture she didn't like so that if she did decide to purchase a package again next year I could keep whatever her complaint was in mind.
    Do you think this is a good way to deal with this?

    BTW, I'm trying not to let it get to me because I've already been invited back and have gotten thank you calls from other parents so I believe overall they are happy with my services. But, it's hard realizing that someone isn't happy :(
     
  2. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    tell her that if she wants to come to your house and you can do it for her, then you'll do it. Print them at a walmart or something. Tell her that's the only way you can do it, because you already placed your order and you have a deal with your printing company.

    If that's not good enough (lowering your quality standards) then I would still try to make her happy...

    THe bad thing about photography is that word travels faster than anything imaginable.
     
  3. 6Speed

    6Speed TPF Noob!

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    I would first ask her what is wrong with the photo, and if it's not something she can convince you is your fault, then no retake. You can't drive 2 hours round trip to retake one kids photo out of 50, that's crazy.
     
  4. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    Hmm....so maybe I should just do it, lose the money off of her order and then make it clear that I do not do retakes the next go around? I'm just nervous that she may tell other parents that she got a retake, and then I'll get how many other parents wanting the same thing and then I'll lose the $ off of their orders and not even get the benefit of doing them all on the same day.

    I know that word of mouth is everything in this business, but I really fear that I am opening a can of worms if I go through with the retake. Especially because there is nothing technically wrong with the photo.

    I could also offer to just refund her $ if she wants to give back the photos. Something tells me she'd rather just keep the one she has then have to return them altogether. But at least if she complains to anyone and I hear about it I can let them know that I offered to return her $.
     
  5. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    I should say that her message sounded like she was just curious about what kind of retake opportunities there were, so it may not be that hard to just let her know that I don't do them.
    I just wanted to post here before I call her back just in case I get some really good advice;)
    Thanks for the responses I've received so far!
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    I had a reshoot for a commercial client once and it was a nightmare. I re shot the work numerous times. Ended up telling the client to get another photographer. In my line of work reshoots are generally not an option. A lot of times the client will just get another photographer. Which is a major bummer. Of course customer service is key. I would reshoot for free. Trust your work. I am sure it will be an isolated case.

    Love & Bass
     
  7. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Tell her no retakes as its not commercially viable, but she can book a separate portrait session at your studio, (if you have one).
    Personally I dont think she dislikes the shot, she just wants more to choose from. H
     
  8. sfgp

    sfgp TPF Noob!

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    Although I am a noob on this forum - I have been a photographer for over 40 years and a businessman for 35.
    The photograph is not the problem - it's something else.

    You might want to look at this from a BUSINESS angle.

    1. You are trying to compete with the big companies.
    1a. In order to do so - you need to offer the same services (retakes). You just found out one of the reasons they (the BIG boys) charge more - the cost of the re-take session is BUILT into the whole price.
    (Your prices are to low - You do not want to be the lowest cost provider - you can NEVER make it up in volume)

    That said.

    Look at it from a Customer Service angle.

    Consider this.

    Can this one mon can cause enough problems so that they might not ask you back.
    Her position in the group is unknown - you do not know how much weight she can swing or how loud she will squeek about the krappy picture of little JR.


    What I would do (have done in a very similar situation) would be to bite the bullet and notify all the people in the group of a reshoot on a date you would pick (w/RSVP). In all probability more than one will show up. I would estimate 6 to 8 will.

    WHY?

    Customer SATISFACTION. -
    This is the ONLY thing that will make you known as the best photographer around.

    It is the only thing that will put MONEY in your bank account.
    (Art may be Art - but Money puts a roof over your head)

    Then once you have done the reshoot you will know how much time etc is involved - raise your prices - pro-rate it across the price for the 60+ team members.

    sfgp
    (rant mode OFF)
    (let the flameing begin)
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    sfgp, welcome to the forum, great first post.

    AprilRamone,
    I think that is good advice. Doing a re-shoot may cause you to loose money/time on this one parent...but did you make a profit on the whole 60 kid shoot? In the long run, do you think that your good (make that great) customer service will earn you more business from this group? Could this even lead to people in this group hiring you for other photographic services?

    The lost money on one (or maybe a few) re-shoots is looking quite small in comparison to the potential of what great customer service may bring.

    I'm sure you know all of this...and your concern is that people will start to take advantage of your kind hearted good service. I guess that is a possibility...but that is something that you will have to weigh against the benefits. I'm sure there will be clients who do try to take advantage of you...just like they do with everybody else...there is just no pleasing some people. Successful business people learn to deal with these types of people without making too much of a stink...it's a skill that takes time and practice, like anything else.

    good luck.
     
  10. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so I did go against the grain of most people's advice here, and told her that this year there wouldn't be any retakes. But I told her that I am looking into making it possible for next year and that I would be more than willing to just refund her $ if she decided she just didn't want the package at all.

    But, now I'm thinking of ways to make a picture retake day work. I know most large companies just do it automatically and anyone can just come in and retake their photos. But, I'm thinking about offering a retake day where pictures where I was definitely at fault (eyes closed or something avoidable like that) would be free. And anyone who just didn't like their picture could pay a small fee ($5 or less) and could get their package reprinted.
    I'd have to definitely list out the sort of things that would make a picture free. And make it clear that simply not liking the way you are smiling or something that I couldn't prevent would have the small fee to get the new picture.
    Do you think this would fly?
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Is she asking for a re-take and re-print of an order that is already printed and delivered?

    Or, is she just not happy with the proof(s) and wants to re-shoot?

    Do you have a proofing system?

    If she has already ordered prints, and then wants a re-shoot....then I'd tell her no way (or at least she would have to pay for further prints).

    Also, beware of offering to give money back. Everyone I've heard from, says that you should never, ever offer to give the money back. Do what you have to, to make things right...re-shoot, re-print or whatever...but don't give the money back just because they aren't happy.
     
  12. sfgp

    sfgp TPF Noob!

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    Amen. Preach the word. :hail:
     

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