Couple wants outtakes

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by idobelieve, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. I had a very demanding bride earlier in the year. She emailed on a weekly basis
    throughout the planning of the wedding and day of she was extremely opinionated
    about the photography. This was a little bit stressful but nothing I couldn't
    handle. We ended up having a very good time and created a lot of amazing
    pictures. Since delivering the finished photos she has been extremely
    complimentary, loves everything, raves about how good they are and how happy she
    is. Now, the only problem is she has come back with a list of photos that she
    wants more of...she wants the outtakes from my carefully selected final images.
    My edits are already fairly lenient for the proofs so what is left are images
    that I really don't feel should be included, plus I would have to go back and
    spend time pulling the images she wants. She is willing to pay but I am
    reluctant to give out what I consider a poor representation of my work.

    (FYI, the proofs that the couple received equaled about 80 images per hour of

    1) Should I give her the pictures and if so how much would you charge?
    2) If not, how can I say no in a nice and professional manner?
    3) Is there any way I can cover my bases in my contract and pre-wedding meetings
    to keep this situation from happening again in the future?
  2. Tell her you deleted all the non-keepers.
  3. Say no. Tell her that you immediately delete the pictures that you feel aren't up to your standard and leave it at that. In my contract it states that the client will only receive the edited pictures that I feel meet my standards. Or something like that. :) I don't have it in front of me. I'm sure others will have better wording, but when going through the contract with my clients I not only read it to them, I explain what it means so that there isn't any confusion.

    Do not ever show pictures that you feel are not up to snuff.
  4. stop being so fickle as the others above had suggested. if your work is good enough then even the bad pictures should be acceptable. if she is paying giver the pictures. also, the truly bad pictures would highlight how good you are at post processing, which is what makes the difference in how good you are anyway. so anything that indicates that would surely generate more business for you.
  5. There is some humour in this post for me (sorry, a bit O.T.) but people always think 'professional' photographers don't take bad pictures... but in reality, we just don't show the bad ones to people.

    I personally think it's not a bad fascade to maintain. Now-a-days, I usually come back with 50% great, 25% good, 25% garbage. I learnt early on (after giving out ALL the images I took, including the bad ones) that one bad photo affects a person's opinion of your work just as much, if not more, than one really great shot. Better to keep the garbage shots where they belong (figure out why it stinks, then right-click-delete)
  6. This is a hard one. On one hand, I agree with the above comments. You don't want your unsatisfactorily images floating around for other people to see. You run the risk of people thinking you are not a good photographer. Your bride won't tell them that those photos are the out takes and not up to your high standards. You could be honest with her and explain why you don't want to do this, but most likely, she won't care and demand that you turn them over. If you decide to let her have them, I would charge a premium to make it worth while. At least $500 dollars. Maybe even close to $1000.00 on the other hand, we photographers sometimes can get to anal about this whole thing and are too stiff with these kind of issues. I understand why she would like to have them, however, if she saw them, she probably would decide their not worth having. She probably thinks she is missing out on some special moment caught by you or something like that and it is bothering her. You could bring her in and show her the photos on your monitor and explain that she didn't miss out on anything. It could save the relationship with her. If this is mishandled, she might not give you any good word of mouth advertising. I also, like the idea of telling her you have deleted them. It ends there. She could still get mad at you and bad mouth your business. I say go with your gut on this one. In the future, decide how you want to handle this, put it in your contract and go over it with new clients. Good luck.
  7. @ Starvy....

    I've yet to meet someone 'good enough' that they don't take bad shots every once in a while. Everyone blinks at some point.
  8. I've had two people request this in the past. I think for some it's the curiosity of what they can't see. What I did was create a seperate online gallery with a different password and I had a watermark across them indicating that they were "DELETE" files. I also said that I wasn't putting up shots that were absolutely ususable, but the ones that in my judgement weren't up to par or weren't flattering. One of the brides commented that she could see why I didn't use some of them, pointing out that they weren't flattering to the subject. She picked a handful to include in the regular gallery and the rest were deleted.

  9. I agree with Sam's comment about the curiosity effect. I think in the future, when you show the client the photos you want them to see, tell them these are all the photos you took. Then, this problem won't come up again, and everyone is happy. Now go have a cookie! Steve.
  10. Here's what my contract says about it:

    Matt Needham welcomes the Client to express their preferences with regard to the wedding photography. However, the Client agrees to let Matt Needham choose the best photographic methods and abide by his decision.

    It is understood that Matt Needham will not deliver every exposure he makes. The Client agrees to abide by his editing decisions.
  11. I agree with Colleen especially if the images do not reflect your level of talent.
  12. "She is willing to pay but I am reluctant to give out what I consider a poor representation of my work."

    As Marc Williams would say: "You've answered your own question".

    Keep it simple ... you can graciously let her know you're an artist at heart and your policy is similar to a lot of artists and businesses in that they only allow the very best level to go out the door to a valued customer.

    She'll get over it very soon.
  13. I don't think it's a good idea to lie to the customer. Explain (and put it in the contract in the future) that you don't provide shots that don't meet your technical and/or artistic standards.

    You might ask if there is a particular individual or activity that they are concerned about and perhaps you could check for that. But a blanket delivery of all of the shots wasn't what you and she had contracted for.
  14. bdp


    Simple answer..there are no out takes, all of them were keepers.
  15. Tell her you edit those out "in camera". You check them at the event and delete the bad ones on the spot. I make it a habit to do that anyway, because it reduces my work later on, and saves space.

    Then, if she still insists, you can go back thru your recycle bin and retrieve the tossers, you could offer to give her those on a separate disc, but with the understanding that they do not represent your quality of work and she will have to pay a nominal fee for your time to create them on disc for her, deliver it, etc.
  16. I think there's a big difference between a photographer that delivers 25-50% of the images that they take and a someone who delivers 80-90%. If the B/G realize that a photographer edits heavily before they sign the contract then I guess it's OK. However, pick any point in the day, take 10 shots and then tell the bride that you won't deliver any more than 3-5 and see what sort of a reaction you get.

    It could be that the bride is really just looking for a few shots that include a few key people or is worried about what images hit the cutting room floor. An informed bride is often the happy bride. Suggest that you invite her to screen the edits with you and allow her some decision-making in her final product.
  17. Howdy!

    If you show files on a website that are named something like "IMG_0700" and "IMG_0705", most people would instinctively want to know where the pictures in between went.

    I never have this problem, because I rename all the files to a date and time format. Therefore the customer never knows that anything is missing.


  18. You are a professional. You should only show professional work.
  19. Does the videographer give ALL the raw footage? Doubtful. They edit the video and present the bride with a final product.
  20. Only put your best work forward - no amount of money the couple will give you is worth lowering your reputation as they show the pics to family and friends. Remember that some of those friends may be getting married too and if they like the pics may ask you to attend theirs. Assure the bride that your selection is the best of the bunch and that the rest were mainly duplicates to give some choice re-blinking etc. This is almost certainly the case anyway!
  21. Take what Dave said about the videographer, turn it to the caterer, and ask if the bride wanted to taste 'all the food' even the stuff that got dropped on the floor or was in an unevenly kept part of the oven so is either burned or raw? At this point she'll realise what it is we do. Seeing the potato peelings and stock vegetables isn't going to help her appreciation of the meal. We produce great images of the day; that's not the same thing as producing great images with every click of the shutter.

    Customers only have a right to see everything we took when they're unhappy with what we produced. But hopefully that won't happen to you or I!
  22. Instead of proofs, offer the bride a package of 100 or 50 5 x 7's or 100 or 50 8 x 10's(two books for that). They will have so many photos they will not need out takes.

    Of course, to do that almost every one of your shots have to be usable, and you have to have a set of about 125 obligatory shots you always take and know exactly how to scene.

    Once i started offering that, no bride ever asked for out-takes again.
  23. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    1. How many writers have their drafts published for sale?


    2a. What was your total shot count vs. total shots shown to customer as `proofs`?, and,

    2b Of the shots taken, has at least one image of all the subjects and subject combinations taken, been included in the `proofs` ?

    The answers to my second question IMO have great bearing on the rationale for the request of a Bride who: `was extremely opinionated about the photography`.

    The simple statistic of: `[equalled] about 80 images per hour of shooting` may indeed be totally irrelevant to an aware and astute customer.

    It is the two answers to my second question you need to address with respect to your customer`s request: it appears to me, you (and others) might have missed these two important points, altogether.

  24. As others, I rename all my pictures by date & time, so no one knows how many missing shot there are, but any reasonable bride would know I didn't show her all of them. Lying about it would not only be bad business, but silly as well. I also don't consider myself to be primarily an artist at heart, so I can't honestly use that excuse either. I like to shoot weddings and have learned a skill that is profitable, so I keep doing them for fun and money.

    Personally, if she's willing to pay extra, I would be willing to deliver. I understand what the potential problems are, but I don't think the risks are substantial. It's just a business decision to me.
  25. William W., Again, looks as if we are on the same page and in the "minority" on this issue.
  26. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    David, I think, from what I have gleaned over my time reading many Photonet posts, we both might have similar backgrounds and shared similar professional experiences, within and without of photography: likely we see more easily the three distinct sides, of every two party scenario.


  27. Indeed, typically there are three sides to the story :)

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