What ideas do you have to stop illegal scanning of your photos?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by abbeyrd, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. abbeyrd

    abbeyrd TPF Noob!

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    I'm getting totally hosed from this one bride and groom. The mother of the bride (M.O.B.) emailed me to say how great the photos were, and can I please post them on my site so the mother of the groom (M.O.G.) can order; she wants a lot of pictures. I thought, great.

    I post them up, the MOG calls me, says she wants 120 photos. I thought, great. How much are they? I tell her $8 per 4x6. She faints. I say for that many photos, I'll make you a package deal, $350. She says no way, too much. I said I can do 100 photos for $295. She says she'll have to get back with me on that.

    At the wedding, the bride was talking about Photoshopping the photos to get this and that out of the background, so I knew scanning my photos was going to be in the future.

    Now, the MOB and MOG have ordered a total of ZERO. Nada. Zip. 0. Nothing.

    The bride and groom's package came with 20) 5x7's. They ordered 20)5x7 and ONE 8x10. That's IT. I got ONE reprint, out of all the families.

    I called Kodak, Fuji, and some labs to see what's new and exciting to prevent people from scanning. Kodak used to have something that was shiny on special papers, would leave shiny spots on a scan, but it didn't work out that great. Was hard even to look at with your eyes, let alone scanning.

    Some labs have a textured paper, makes it hard to get a good scan, but some of those, same problem, they're just hard to look at AND they give a pretty good scan! Not great, but very acceptable.

    I'm looking into sprays that would mess things up. A texture coating perhaps.

    I think my only way out, is to give a "free album", an Art Leather i-mount album. They won't lay flat, and the pictures are peel and stick. That would be hard to scan.

    Any other ideas?

    Jeff
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Can't really do much. They probably also tried to print them off your website.

    Did you go over prices before shooting? What about a charge ala' security deposit before shooting, so if they do flake out, at least you got something for your troubles?
     
  3. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to the digital world. Show off your results from other weddings and charge what you think is fair for the photography itself and keep the prints real inexpensive. Face reality. Persons are used to paying fifteen or twenty cents for a 4X6. Did you expect customers to gleefully pay $8.00 (or even $2.95)?
     
  4. TCimages

    TCimages TPF Noob!

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    Can you sell them in multi packs only. In other words, if you want an 8x10, you have to buy 5 or more. Never sell just one image. Is this doable? This may help you recover some iof your loss f you package and price them right.
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would say at this point murder should not be taken off of the table as an option. Actually i had the same thing done to me and the only thing you can do is write this one off and build this into your future packages. I think the age of cheap initial packages and hopefully cashing in on later orders is over because depending on your clientelle alot of people are not worried about the quality a scan is going to give them.
     
  6. abbeyrd

    abbeyrd TPF Noob!

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    Here are some answers to questions that some of you asked....

    1) Yes, I had the picture prices in on the contract that they could buy.

    2) Five 8x10's or more? I don't know if that's a great idea, then it's $100 minimum order for 8x10's. Typically people order some 5x7's, some 4x6's, some 8x10's, etc. I don't want them to be locked into getting a size they don't want.

    3) Yes, I did make a batch offer for the 4x6's that I thought was pretty fair. $295 for 100 of them.

    4) Yes, I did expect people to pay $8 for at least SOME photos. Getting an order of $300 is not that unreasonable. I just did some family portraits in January, they ordered over $700 worth of prints. But now getting an order of basically ZERO? On a WEDDING??? I'm sorry, but I think a peel and stick album (they'll ruin the photos if they try to peel them off) that won't lay flat so they can't scan it, is in order.
     
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As far as scanning goes, I can't think of much to prevent people from doing it at home, Rest assured that chances are likely that doing it from ones home office computer scanner will yield lack luster results, However one can go to a drug store and have them scanned on a superior scanner. This is easy to prevent for the most part. All you need to do is print on the back a copyright and a "no reproduction with out autherization" statement. this should work somewhat well with few exceptions.

    as far as printing from online samples, mearly Watermarking "sample" over the image and low rez imagery should suffice.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum...and as someone already said, welcome to the digital era.

    Nobody had yet mentioned an option that is becoming more and more popular with photographers these days. Just sell the digital files and be done with it. Obviously, you would need to charge more up front, to make up for the lack of print sales...but, as I said, this is becoming quite popular.

    On the down side, you do loose control over the final product...the print. They could print the photos on typing paper with a $40 printer...then blame you when it looks like crap.
    When I sell the digital files for a wedding, I also give them an album of 4x6 prints, so that they know what good quality prints look like. I also give them the speech about using a good quality lab rather than Wal-mart etc.

    On one hand, you don't have to be constantly dealing with the clients and their families for years after the wedding...hoping for print orders. You deliver the product and say good-bye. On the other hand, sometimes having repeated contact with them, can lead to further work.

    Another suggestion, which may or may not work out (but is often a good idea anyway) is to raise your prices and target a higher level of clientele...ones that won't have a problem paying your prices or be looking to squeeze every nickle out of you.
     
  9. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Sell the negs, or price them into your package. That way, you get paid upfront, and everyone is happy campers.

    I sell a lot of reprints though, but never of the bride and groom. Do table shots. It ups the body count of the wedding, which brides love. You are always sure to get that favorite uncle shot, which the family will love. And you can sell a crapload of photos after the fact. :)
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    I forgot to add that while you may loose the reprint sales when you sell the files (although you still might get some print sales)....you can concentrate on selling more upscale/custom items. Custom albums are becoming more and more popular...and on the high end, these are selling for several thousand dollars each. The scale goes from there...down to coffee table books and even pocket albums.
    Some of these are things that can not be directly ordered by the public, so they would have to come to you...but with custom layout albums, there is a fair bit of design work involved...so they might be more inclined to buy from you, rather than try it themselves.
     
  11. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Mike touched on the whole key to this. Give them something they CAN'T do for themselves.
     
  12. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm soaking all this in. Great advice everyone. Great ideas.
     

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