boxes of wedding negatives,

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by gregory_c, May 24, 2010.

  1. Over the years I have collected boxes of wedding negatives. (OK, negatives, I am giving my age away !) Some date back to 1994. What to do with them ? I will have to check the fine print on my contracts to see if anything was stated on me keeping the negatives. Best of my knowledge there is not. But I did tell brides that I would keep them for years. 90% of these brides I never heard from them again after my end of the contract was fufilled. Then it was just a referral, or non-photo related communication, or photo a child. After all these years & weddings I have only reprinted 1 album due to fire/water damage. When do you start disposing of negatives ? Do you try to locate the bride after 10-15 years ? I thought I would dispose from 2000 down. Give the ones I still communicate with theirs. Also keep the past 10 years of negs & CD's. I sent a few letters trying to sell the negs & CD's but had very little response. What do you guys do ?
  2. Maybe you could at least scan and digitize them before throwing them out?
    Fortunately, I don't have this problem shooting all digital.
  3. I personally would send a postcard to the last known address, or parent's address, with an offer of releasing the negatives if they simple come pick them up, or pay for shipping. If it were me, I'd even consider paying for low cost shipping. You need to put a time limit for their responses. If you don't get any response by that time, you can dispose of the negatives with a clear conscience. By this time, I would give up on trying to see any more profit from the negatives or CDs.
  4. Hate to sound like a cynic, maybe I'm a realist, how many do you suppose are still married?
    I believe your plan is fine.
    I've been digital for almost 10 yrs. still keeping the files, don't know why. Negatives I gave back to those who still stay in touch with me.
    Hope this helps you!
  5. RT said:: ""Fortunately, I don't have this problem shooting all digital.""
    Well, I shoot all digital also, I guess I have shot longer than you have to have wedding negatives. CD/digital storage or negative, all takes up space somewhere.
    Bill, not sure, probably 60-70% still married, Nadine, not much luck in contacting or getting letters forwarded.
  6. Well 1994 was not that long ago my car is older than those negatives. If you have the space and don't need it for anything else just hang on to them. There was a reason you held on to the negatives in the first place and that was so that customers could return on have high quality reprints made and you could keep control of the quality of the reprints rather than customers taking them to a lesser quality lab. You never know some couples may want to reorder a few prints for their 25th wedding aniversary.
  7. Gregory--this is why you put a deadline for responses on the postcard. Past that deadline without a response means you can dispose of the negatives with a clear conscience.
  8. Gee, I have negatives going back to the late 1960's!
  9. Hey, I did not say that 1994 was a long time ago, just stating a timeline of wedding negs for reference. I have negatives much older than 1994.
  10. I went through this last year; cleaning out the negs from 1989 or so. I called the clients, most of them didn't respond half of them were divorced, and there were some that couldn't be found. After all of that work only 3 people wanted the negs, out of about 500 plus weddings.
  11. Bob, I will probably have the same results
  12. I have a frightening amount of negatives here. I organized most of them by date and put them in heavy duty plastic file boxes and have them stored in an attic closet space. I wouldn't even consider scanning any of them. If a need arises I can pretty much locate a specific wedding or social job. I did print some negs two years ago for a bride who had her stuff water damaged. This wedding was over 15 years old and I had no problems reprinting anything, I wonder if digi would have proved out as well? I no longer have a "business", so she located me through a friend. All I can say is, just do whatever he simplist thing is to keep access to them for a while.
  13. With divorces being as they are now adays. I started contacting my former Brides within 5 years of their Wedding dates and offering to sell there Negs to them for a small fee. Probably 50% of them bought their negs. With less and less labs around, I am not so sure this would go over as well now.

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