To proof or not to proof?

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Alison, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    So, I shoot digital and have on-line ordering. We started out having our packages include proofs for the couple to keep, 4X5 size. But, this is significant costs to us to have printed (250-300 images per wedding). I was thinking of re-doing our packages and having proofs as an add on. What do you think? Does anyone here do no proofs and just digital web proofing?
     
  2. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    When I start putting together my packages, when I build my website, I plan on offering proofs as an extra. I will make a cd that they can play in their dvd player, computer or whatever... all with the # displayed on the proof. I'll probably even include a pdf order form for them to make an order.

    Some people think you should put a big watermark on your image to protect it from being printed but that is bogus. I do the images at 600x400 which would print horribly. Especially with a low compression. I'm not worried about them making an average quality 2x3" :roll:
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous TPF Noob!

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    I think the cd software plays the images like a movie so there would be no chance to print them out. I will test it out this weekend. Maybe we can try a few an experiments and see what people like. You can add songs as a soundtrack. Just will need to get a program and download the mp3.

    I think it will all depned on the people. I dont know how many ar as computer savy as people on this board. They just might want to hold a solid picture in thier hands.
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    New forum! New forum! :D

    We took a lot of shots, too (all film), back in the day, but we sure didn't let them all end up in the proof book. Out of 80-100 shots, I'd say the standard proof book we gave them held between 40-50, depending on the success of the shoot. We culled a lot of plonk. But they always loved getting a proof book, sometimes wanted duplicates for the in-laws. We retained the negatives, they ordered their 8x10's or whatever they wanted that was in their package, and that was usually the end of it.

    Putting the proof book together was the best part of the job for us. :D We enjoyed reviewing our work. I did 35mm high speed B&W for candids, we used the Rollei on the tripod during "the event" - I would man the Rollei from the side or up in the balcony if there was one, while he set up in the middle aisle for the happy trip back down - and with 3 cameras going, we always had tons of shots to choose from. :)

    CD's are a great option, of course, but for those who want to have prints handed to them, I think proof books are a perceived "value-added" service, as well as a professional touch. And they serve just as well for ordering. :wink:
     
  5. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My boss doesnt do proofs. His team goes through the pictures and decides whats the best of each set and how the album should fit together and they go ahead and get the wedding album ready. The customer usually has it in thier hands within a month after the wedding this way. If theres extra pictures that the clients didnt order that my boss took and thought it would look good in the album, he'll go ahead and put it in and offer them a special deal for it, if they dont want it, out it comes.

    I like the way this seems to work, you dont have to give them the book and wiat months for htem to make up thier minds what they want. Less time witht eh client = less hours spent on the wedding = more money per hour invested. :0).

    But as someone said previously, the proof books could be money makers if people order some, but then theres the bridal albums, etc that would replace that?
     
  6. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    So, you never gave them the negatives?
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I shoot all film, so it's cheaper and easier for me to deliver proof prints.
     
  8. green

    green TPF Noob!

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    I give them a proof book of 300-400 prints. all done digitally, as 4x6s it works out to around $100 for everything, which is basically my only cost (other than minor travel costs... which realistically you would have with any job, and camera depreciation) and i still come home with more in one day than i make all week at work. (sad... but true... especially since i'm among the cheapest photographers in the city... by more than half)

    I think people really appreciate "getting" something. it makes them feel like the money that they paid was worthwhile. plus, a proofbook is a WHOLE lot easier to bring to grandmas to show the relatives. (unless of course grandma has a computer or a dvd player)

    I also don't bother with watermarks... i sell the "negatives" too and since just about EVERYONE buy them i don't see the need to "brand" my stuff. Its a lot less work for me down the road, since i don't have to go get a 5x7 printed every time a new family member wants one (case in point, i got married 3 years ago and my parents have yet to make any copies for themselves). this way, its one and a half days worth of work for all the cash.
     
  9. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Never. We still have them all, stored and labeled. They purchased their package, got their proofbook and enlargements, plus any extra enlargements they wanted, and generally that was the end of the job. :D
     
  10. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ive heard if youd ont sell the negatives, and do your marketing right, youll make more in reprints than you would selling the negatives. And if you charge a fair but nice amount of money per 5X7 or 8X10 or something, its worth your while to go through the effort of printing it and giving it to the client. :0)

    I was thinking of selling the negatives but now im thinking I wont after I heard you can make more with reprints.

    Then after 10 years, maybe well them.
     
  11. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks terri :).
     
  12. green

    green TPF Noob!

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    you may make more... but you also have to work more, and in small chunks... and even that... making more isn't a guarantee. I price my negatives high enough that its worthwhile to just sell em. granted, I also shoot digitally, so all it costs me as a few bucks for cds, and i still have the original files. (that way if someone loses theirs, I can charge for another set) :wink:
     

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