Selling Images. Brides wanting DVD of Orginals. What Do You Do?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by mreul, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. Ok - I'm well aware this is an ongoing debate. Considering I havn't met a
    bride yet who doesn't ask for all the images on a DVD - I'm very confused as
    to what to offer and i don't want to lower the integrity of this business. So
    far I have just went w/ it and am giving the bride high res photo on DVD - and
    i also post them on line for family and other people to purchase but frankly
    the bride could just give her copy to everyone.....So i don't depend on pic
    sells at all as of current. I don't charge on the cheap either for my
    weddings. I would say middle end. On the other hand, almost every photographer
    i know gives the bride her images now and doesn't depend on sales for prints
    and gets the gross of thier money on charges for shooting the event. So, I
    guess my question is:

    Do you give the bride all your images (high res)on a DVD (w/ permission to
    print - because why else would they want them if they can't print from them)...


    If you don't can you explain your reasoning for why so I can weigh the
    possibilities and limiations....

    Thanks ahead of time - meg
  2. Remember; ALOT of nice images are taken to print shops that were shot by Uncle Bob. The general public learned long ago how to burn a new disc; remove or crop off watermarks. Normally to make a living a photogrpher needs to sell their images; not give them away. If your client gets ahold of the images they usually will go elsewhere if your print prices are "out of line"; for what they think they should be. It released like a bunch of bees into the wild; control of your images drops.
  3. The "selling abilty" of the images drops with time with most weddings. From a business standpoint you want to stay afloat; more than afloat and turn a profit. Strive to max your profit and think deeply about priceing way higher if you deliver no prints but just a disc.
  4. This is simple. Just charge for the files. They are a product like anything else... prints, albums, - and they are probably more valuable. If they are "included" in your packages, then make your packages reflect that added value. Or don't include them and charge extra for them. I would say $400 to $500 minimum.
  5. It also depends if the new bride has a background in image editing and Photoshop on her computer. Some brides may be able to create great images from your files, some won't.

    You have to decide what to do.
  6. Or you could do what I do and create a .pdf with no printing abilities and password protected. It can be viewed as a slide show on a computer (even with Adobe Reader) or you can look at pages individually, but you can turn printing priviledges off. I create it like a book in InDesign and print to .pdf, then with Acrobat Pro you can set permissions. Acrobat Pro has built in transitions as well.
  7. FACE IT MOST PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE UNDERPAID for our education, investment creative eye etc.

    Inlude an Album in your package - even a small coffe table style, add it in. In your package state Cd of all images given upon album completion. Offer upgrades to flush mount or over design the album by a few spreads and offer the choice to the client to add more pages or delete the extras (if your good it will be hard for them but it is their choice and you can upsell to make more money. The cd is irrelevant at this point as they are getting a finished album. The cd gives them the feeling of control and value like the other shooters they shopped. As the album will take weeks to design and print you can get the emotional on line sales orders also if you get them up fast.
  8. I like sara vee`s answer.

    You could also furnish a low rez free one. Then charge more for a "retouched" high rez file.

    You could also charge on a sliding scale depending on print orders.

    Also just build the whole thing into the price, consultation, wedding day shoot, retouched DVD, three albumns, bride and two parents.

    Or you can separately charge for all services in which case the dvd will be expensive.

    I know one bride who got a DVD with permission to print and she went to Ritz or Walmart because of a time constraint against my advice. Guess what. The print for her dying father was way to contrasty and not useable.

    Who knows, they may return for prints from you anyway.
  9. Rich one can print just about any file. I have seen where we can open locked/passworded pdf's with ancient programs that don't seem to care. The file in the pdf can sometimes be huge; full res and the "maker" just had the viewer show the screen sized version. Saying a disc is locked is like saying a bike, car or motorcycle is locked in a bad area of town; thus safe. Folks often bring in images to print shops when they cannot open or print them.
  10. Glad to see this posted as I have been wrestling with the same delimma. Currently I charge for the Hig Res CD's as a seperate item, priced to compensate for the anticpated lack of print sales. My concern has been that the bride and or family member - whomever, has the prints reproduced at the local wal mart...they end up with a poorly done print that they are then showing to half the world. One bride called livid because her prints all came back from a local 1 hour place with a green tint...I had to educate her that the problem was within the printer she chose versus the photographic quality....gave her a dozen 4 x6's free from my lab so she could see the difference....worked and was an inexpensive way to save the day.
  11. i will only shoot a wedding for my normal hourly rate, $150, plus files, all of them unedited,
    $6-9/file depending on size. i shoot about 75 shots/hr. so i'm making a min of $600/hr. if
    they want retouching, its done at $100/hr. low res files for email are $6 if a print of it is
  12. i should add that for all my packages i'm offering a dvd....and many times they don't opt for an album if they arn't spending a larger amount ( i'm a designer too and i specialize in creating artful handmade high end designed books) and if they don't get an album i include a box of 200 4x6's so i know they got prints that represent my work. i figure the price of my wedding w/ no album included does reflect a sale of these high res images...but i wonder if i should also be marking up my prints on line incase other family or friends want to buy off of there (so far i havn't) - but like i said i just figure some of them will get the images (files) from the bride...i guess i'm wondering do any of you actually make large sells from prints even after releasing the high res images? it seems if i only offered prints i would have to lower my price for the wedding or do what i'm currently doing because like i said i don't know a bride that doesn't want the dvd w/ high res.....the value of a print these days doesn't hold what it used to it seems when brides are sending pics over thier phones and such....remember all we had before the internet was a print to rely on for a memorey - now - there a zillion ways to share memories....eeehhh - it's confusing - but i think i'll stick w/ charging a higher price (dvd included - because that's what people are demanding) and not worry about making this up in print sells....ofcourse w/ also offering something that represents my end work so they can compare a "walmart" print w/ it if necessary...but on that note i might add - did you know how many "highly" reputable photogs i know printing at "cosco" i'm talking "commmercial" and "wedding" photogs.... and i've seen the prints and they look great.... go figure it's all about the printing device at times...btw thanks for all the responses! ;)
  13. "Brides wanting DVD of Orginals. What Do You Do?"

    Charge for it.
  14. Michael - that sounds cool and i'm not saying any way is right or wrong but w/ the girls i've booked - they wouldn't seem to go for that "stucture" you've built in you biz (which may work for you) which would put you in the low/high end in my in otherwords i think you would do a bit less work for the same amount of profit than other's averaging around 4,000 a wedding but w/ that stucture i would be worried i would turn many of the couple's i've interviewd they say they don't like it when photogs have all these "add-on" for editing, dvd, paying for individual images etc.. but it's something to think over that's for sure... ;)
  15. i understand to charge for it but maybe what i'm wondering more about is the sell or prints and the way people "structure" this to thier clients...?
  16. btw - yeah my spelling most the time i'm usually typing so sorry about that....
  17. sorry - meant to say "sell of prints "... ;)
  18. i almost refuse to sell files. i dont advertise it, i dont mention it in my handout literature at
    the studio. i only have a cheat sheet incase it comes up. after being in biz a little while, i
    decided i could part ways with files, but at high rates.

    my pkgs start at $1200 for 2hrs + window album and go upto $3500 for 8 hrs +
    magazine albumn. no files included in that. i'm in a small town, 50k, north idaho.

    i actually havent had a wedding yet, i shot a friends for free last year for the experience/
    portfolio images. its not my regular biz, i dont have to do it at all. if i do them, i want to
    get paid fair/well.
  19. NEVER give your negs/files away to the bride. Once they are out of your possession you loose any semblance of quality control, and your reputation will suffer when the bride comes back with green prints from Wal Mart.

    When potential brides ask why I don't, I tell them straight out, I want to maintain quality control all the way through the process. If I give you the negs/files and you take them to wherever and the prints look bad, it's my reputation that gets hurt, because nobody asks who printed the photos, they ask who took them.

    I actuall go one step further, in that I don't even provide proofs for the them to take home. All previewing is done by projection and all ordering is done in the studio.

    The customer only receives the very best final produt that I can produce. Not something that they then have to get somebody else to work with.
  20. We give a DVD of images to brides, but we have the cost built in to our packages.

    We also provide a print credit with every package. It is stated in our contracts that the print credit must be used up before the DVD is made available. We also put a disclaimer in our contracts, and reinforce it in conversations, that once they have the DVD and print images at the local one hour photo stop, they will certainly see a huge difference in quality between the prints from a pro lab and Wally World, etc.

    This works well for us, because even with a DVD, once a bride sees the photos we printed and the photos they printed at a local store, they see the difference first hand, and we still get print sales after the DVD is provided.
  21. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    >>> So far I have just went w/ it and am giving the bride high res photo on DVD <<<

    IMO, if this is literally correct: i.e, `giving`, then this is a very poor business decision.

    >>> almost every photographer i know gives the bride her images now and doesn't depend on sales for prints and gets the gross of thier money on charges for shooting the event. <<<

    IMO also a very poor decision, if literally the word `gives` is correct.

    >>> Do you give the bride all your images<<<

    No, never.

    >>> If you don't can you explain your reasoning for why so I can weigh the possibilities and limiations.... <<<

    See previous posts, where it is outlined in great detail.

    and as Ellis Vener pointed out: ``Brides wanting DVD of Orginals. What Do You Do?``

    `Charge for it.`

    IMO, the the sentence reads better: `Charge adequately for it`.

  22. Sell or give them the DVD with all the images and make sure each has your copyright notice on it. Each and every image with the copyright notice as part of it so that if printed it has to be worked on to remove it. Register the copyright formally with the US Copyright office and you put yourself squarely in the protected land of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act which makes it prima facie evidence of intent to commit a crime by removing the copyright notice and make prints. Then you can have the FBI give them notice while you are entitled to $10,000 per image (think that is the amount, will have to re-check as it has been awhile since I read it) in Statutory damagers when they copy or print from the images you have copyrighted. A LOT cheaper to have you print them. But, if they go ahead and remove your copyright notice and print them you can have the feds go after them all, including their lab for printing them.

    You will make a lot more money this way than in doing normal weddings and selling prints.
  23. "giving" is the wrong word that i used so i apoloigize for the misconception that i'm exchanging any of my time or talent for free/no cost....let me give an average wedding has been 2,850 w/ no (album) as my usual starting price and i'm brand spankin new......i also include a box w/ 4x6 prints so they have something indicating my "quality" so i feel the cost of a DVD is covered in the amount i'm charging. i asked this question poorly because i what i think i was more curious about is HOW PEOPLE STRUCTURE their charges for orginals and if they even hand these over (for a fee ofcourse - but i'm also aware some would never do it and wondered how they get around that because every bride i encounter would be turned off not to get a DVD in some fashion) and if anyone depends on making PROFITS ON PRINTS because currrently i don't. and that is probably a mistake there. i also was wondering about the demand other people get from brides concerning the "desire to have orginal images" - because in my market i havn't met w/ one yet. i appreciate all the sharing and imput very much. thank you. meg
  24. This is a tricky one. I never used to give out my files because I wanted to ensure the highest quality at every stage of my process. Who wants their art printed with a crazy color cast!?! We want our Brides, Grooms and their families to look gorgeous not green!! :D

    Anyhow, I recently starting sellin the files. The reason I did, was on principle. I wanted the Bride the option to make prints from her Wedding later on. At a time when she might not be able to contact me anymore as I had moved or when I nolonger had her files (My contract says that I only keep them for an year). For instance, what if her print from me is destroyed by an angry child, and she wants a reprint.

    My solution to the quality of prints thing, is that I educate them about the differences between labs when I have my first meeting with them. I have a handout that I go through with them and give to them in their informational packet. I find that giving them the files can affect my prints sales, but people tend to buy prints from me if they care about the final quality of the prints. I am currently putting together a sample book with prints made from my lab and prints from the local 1 hour lab, that I'll have available to show them.

    I hope this helps you Meg!
  25. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    >>> "giving" is the wrong word [. . . } etc <<<

    Thanks for the clarification, I anticipated such, no apology nis necessary, just the clarification to ensure quality answers.

    The two links I provided clearly state my position and opinions on these and related matters.

    I think the links provide details of:

    >>> but I'm also aware some would never do it and wondered how they get around that because every bride I encounter would be turned off not to get a DVD in some fashion) <<<

    In a nutshell it all happens at the sales meeting prior to signing the contract.

    That sales meeting begins the moment one is face to face with the decision maker.

    And the sales meeting is not entered into over the phone or in any other fashion.

    Hope this helps.

  26. thanks - all of these responses have my evaluating and thinking over structures, and breaking down what i do etc... i appreciate every one of them. ;)
  27. What about all the space required on my hard disk drive, which is taken up, and the responsibility of the originals? Yesterday the mother of a child I photographed at a baptism, asked for the originals, both images and cassette from the video, I replayed positively at an instant.(saying I could charge 10 euros only for the tape) finding this discussion proves my hesitation that followed. The normal fee for a baptism in Greece starts from 250-300 ? where 100 goes to the cameraman. The prices can reach an amount of say 800 ?.
    When the mother asked for the tape my first response was that the originals are pneumatic rights of the photographer, her response was that an other photographer in the area had freely given them the tape from their wedding. (Could be a lie) You have convinced me to charge extra, but still there is the chance of a unsatisfied customer that will be talking bad of me in a small area.

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