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Sell paper back copies or provide digital copies

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Schizophonic, 15 May 2010.

  1. Schizophonic

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Dec 2006

    Posts: 2,579

    Location: Northampton

    I think I just shot myself in the foot with this but how do you guys get that extra £££ with your photos?

    I'm doing a wedding for a friend in the next couple weeks and we agreed that I would provide 30 processed shots for her to keep (digital) and if they wish to have more than photos they will need to pay an extra price.

    Should my business model just be that they can choose which ones they like and I'll print hard copies for them only? That way it will stop them from printing and giving them to their friends and family?
     
  2. Raymond Lin

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 67,371

    Location: Wish i was in .Lethal's house

    There are 2 school of thoughts in wedding photography.

    1 - No digital copies whatsoever, this stems from the old film era where people keep the negatives, as giving away the negatives kills your print sales. So these photographers will provide the bride with a set of photos from the day, and extra set cost money.
    2 - Provide Digital copy as standard, charge enough so that you don't mind the lost of sales in prints. The advantage is that it saves hassle, it saves admin, it guarantee a set and predictable income. The downside is obviously you lose what could be a rich client that could have may be ordered 50 sets and you would have made a killing.

    There are others in between

    1 - Sell the Digital copy as an extra, i.e. £250 on top of the original contract fee for the job
    2 - include the digital copy as a package, but only large enough resolution for 7x5 prints, and high res copies are sold separately at say £20 PER image.

    At all times states that the client are only buying a LICENCE to print, and copyright remains with you.

    This is mainly for weddings photography, as normally after the wedding is over, you are never going to sell the shots to anyone else but the Bride and groom anyway. so after 6 months the print sales will dry up and therefore it makes no practical reason to keep the digital files for keep sake, its not like you can sell it to someone else, or to the public. I don't even hang up my best work in a frame. That would be weird hanging another bride i my house, even if it is a great photograph. Hence i do the digital copies route, but charge enough so you get what you want. And also, these days, anyone under the age of 30 will expect it on CD anyway. Some see it as a must have criteria.
     
  3. Schizophonic

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Dec 2006

    Posts: 2,579

    Location: Northampton

    Thanks for the informative advice Raymond, I know it sounds like common knowledge but I never really thought about how I was going to give the final copies to the bride and groom.

    The bride is a very good old school friend of mine and I'm charging her a low price and also to help build up my portfolio.

    As we verbally agreed what was to be arranged, the only way I can possibly recuperate any thing from this situation is (to like you said) keep the print size large enough for 7x5 prints.

    If they wish to have something larger then I will have to give them an option of either buying the digital copy for reprinting purposes or go and have them printed before handing over the copies.

    Also with your digital copies you provide do you put your company logo on it?
     
  4. Stupot_

    Mobster

    Joined: 20 Sep 2009

    Posts: 2,923

    Location: Portsmouth

    If you've already agreed on what you're going to provide I don't think it's fair to change what you're going to give. I'm sure she would be pretty annoyed if she receives a bunch of low res photos with a watermark on, and is expected to shell out again for decent prints.
     
  5. Schizophonic

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Dec 2006

    Posts: 2,579

    Location: Northampton

    I think you have the wrong concept of it all, I said I will provide her the digital copies but nothing else was mentioned about how big they were or if she could have them printed.

    But as you mentioned, she is a good friend of mine and I do want to get my career off to a good start so I'll let her print as many of she wants and hope from the back of it they will contact me in the future for more work.

    :)
     
  6. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: 25 Jul 2005

    Posts: 28,867

    Location: Canada

    If she's a good friend perhaps ask her not to hand out copies to others, instead refer them to you so you at least get print sales from the odd attendent?
     
  7. Stupot_

    Mobster

    Joined: 20 Sep 2009

    Posts: 2,923

    Location: Portsmouth

    I don't;)

    Look at it from her point of view, she just wants a digital file, that she can take down to jessops and get printed. I'm going to generalise and assume she knows nothing about resolution, or what a watermark is.

    If you supply her with 7x5 quality files, and she wants a 12x8, she'll just go and get one printed. The quality will be off, and it will reflect badly on you. Even more so if it has a watermark plastered over it. She won't be expecting that. She certainly won't be expecting a £200 bill if she's to receive any quality prints.

    I'd just supply her with quality, processed files. She'll be dead happy with them and tell all her friends, which is good for you. Maybe chuck in a nice print of your favourite photo as a freebie.

    Chalk any lost earnings down to experience, adjust your pricing for the next weddings based on what Raymond said above, and bask in all the good karma you receive from helping out a friend and getting your photographic career off to a good start;) I take it she's paying you fairly for your time on the day, extra for processing and any travel expenses? I wouldn't expect anything more for a first wedding (this I'm assuming).

    This is all opinion by the way! I'm no pro:D
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2010