Client wants to cull her own shoot

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by idobelieve, May 24, 2019.

  1. I run a studio with a couple of associate photographers, priced by experience level. So this girl booked a last minute shoot this week with my least experienced (cheapest) photographer (btw - I am very upfront and transparent with clients about who is shooting, galleries are shown, prices are explained, I try to be extremely clear about everything).

    The shoot went well but the day after she emails to tell me how she wants to see all the images taken and choose which will be edited. Then later responds to my auto email that she can't wait to edit the photos. From her first message: "Photographers tend to choose different photos than I would choose due to an eye for lighting and camera angles. While I, as a professional model, I know a lot about, and care most about, correct body positioning over lighting, angles, and background. To me, our/my positioning would make-or-break the images for me."

    I state on my FAQ page that photos will be chosen for the final gallery by me, I just checked and I did not have that down in my contract (now I do!) I have already started drafting an email nicely stating no, and why. But I'm pretty sure this girl is going to be a problem if she doesn't get what she wants. She has also already mentioned how she can't wait to review our services. Had she brought this up prior to booking I would have said no and happily allowed her to find another photographer. That window has closed and now I'm just trying not to start a fire. I'm considering allowing her to view the images on dropbox, maybe with a big of watermark stating "raw photo" all over it, possibly for an additional fee. What would you do?
  2. Do it, but charge more $ for custom work.

    I have to do the same with film scans and input on color grading.
  3. I've had this problem, though money wasn't involved. The parallel I use is if you were writing something, and the client wanted to see every word written during the process. Not happening. I tend to take a lot of bracketed images and want to try things I don't necessarily want to show if they don't work out. IMO, you should do the initial cull of things you really don't want seen, explain that your reputation requires that technically flawed images be removed, then let her have a go after that.
  4. I (as an amateur) agree with @conrad_hoffman. Cull any images that are not salvageable (out-of focus, blown out, etc.) and do some rough corrections to the ones that are. Pick the best from multiple takes of the same photo. Your client's reasoning sounds quite legitimate to me. Send her (perhaps smaller JPEGs) of the presentable 'drafts' that she can select from for you to PP and finalize. You might want to set a limit of x photos post-processed free of charge with additional photos for a fee of $y per photo.

    I'm all for clients selecting photos (rather than the photographer).

    As a volunteer, I take photos for a local newspaper and - when I have the opportunity - I send a selection of 5-10 to the 'subjects' asking which photos they like/dislike. Only one photo will be published. I make it clear that 'the editors' make the final decision but I think it's important to have their input on their preferences.

  5. If she, as a model, only wants to show off skills that other models and agents would understand, that’s reasonable. She should have said so first, and should not be so tacky as to make threats about online reviews, but give her what she wants - with a couple of caveats. You’ll do the same amount of work / provide the same number of shots as you usually would, proofs are low res and watermarked, and if she picks any you don’t like she doesn’t use your name.
    mag_miksch likes this.
  6. The question, in my mind . . . What reasons do you have that you should be the one to pick the images? Are those more valid than her reasons for picking the images herself?

    I would, as suggested above, go through and remove everything that is useless, do color and density (close, not worrying about being perfect), tell her that she needs to come to your studio and pick however many images as you usually provide. Explain that you can't have unfinished images released to the public because that makes you look like a lower quality studio. In fact, you can create a folder of images that you would edit and allow her to replace some with those pulled. For each that she adds, she has to pick one to drop. This will speed up the process while she is in the office.

    Far too often we, as photographers. present ourselves as delicate little geniuses who should have the final say on everything. However, we remain a service industry. We don't throw our pictures down to the mortals from high atop Mount Olympus. We produce a product that people want to buy. Or not.
  7. I've said this elsewhere on but just MHO: do NOT NOT NOT NOT let a client 'see everything.' It is EVIL. No good can come of it. Danger lurks this way. You can show her more finished edited photos than you agreed to supply and discuss which ones she wants, but do NOT let her see everything. It is like wrestling a rabid cobra while dancing on a bed of fire. There is no possible good that can possibly come from it under any conceivable circumstances in this planetary system. Just MHO. But I'm right on this one.
    DrBen, dimasfrolov and Gary Naka like this.
  8. Invite her to your studio to have the photos chosen in personal presence. First remove the worst photos. :)
    mag_miksch and dimasfrolov like this.
  10. Your customer's request sounds reasonable to me as well. And like any other service professional, you are mostly in the "customer service" business. But as Ruslan suggested, take out the technically bad ones first!
  11. I like what ed_farmer said.
    I also don't give to clients pictures for selection without any edition.
    Normally your contract must have this point. But if didn't, I advise you take out the technically bad ones and do fast color correction of rest.
    That will show middle level of quality and client will select everything by herself.
    The best way is invite her to studio and let her do everything with you on your computer.

    That happened with me some time ago.
    I offer to client 2 options:
    1. I will remove all technically bad ones and some duplicates. After I will do full retouch of all of them. (my statistic is 30-60 photos per hour)
    2. Client selects pictures by herself, but minimal number (what I already showed in contract, 25+ per hour).

    When she compared:
    - see all photos, but get only 50
    - don't see all photos, but get almost all with will retouch
    The choice was clear =)
    ed_farmer likes this.
  12. Yes, concur. No use wasting time for trash. Just charge extra for the in-person service.
    ruslan likes this.
  13. Happened to me just recently what I felt like telling the client was that she should have use he iPhone and Walmart photo services and save me the aggravation. ;)
  14. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Going back quite a few decades, a very attractive young woman friend posed for some clothed, not risque pictures, for a corporate event slide show. Got quite a few good shots - exactly what I needed. Gave her the entire deck of slides - should have culled the less good ones. Doubt she would have modeled for me again.
  15. I suggest putting this on your photo business Facebook page. :rolleyes:

    I do wonder what it is that makes some business owners so contemptuous of the clients they depend on.

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