What size files to give Bride & Groom

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by jdk_80, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Hello,
    I am finishing up editing photos from shooting my first wedding. I shot with a Nikon D810, everything in RAW. RAW files are between 40 and 50MBs each. I was curious on average what others give their clients as far as file size. I had planned on giving large jpgs for prints, and smaller ones to upload to social media. Any help would be much appreciated!

    Thank you.
  2. Certainly do not give them digital negative files (even if they ask for them).

    If you promised them both, give both. For the full size, I recommend 240dpi and the regular dimensions of the images saved from the digital negative files.

    Do a script in PhotoShop to re-create and save the full sized ones as a certain file size, with a new folder directory structure. This will save you much time. The web-friendly set should include the addition of your watermark as well. These can be saved at a quality level of 9 or 10 and a max dimension of 900 tall or 900 wide. That certainly qualifies as web and email friendly.
    jdk_80 and William Michael like this.
  3. I typically send two sets of JPEGs. One is full resolution (whatever that is - as it varies with any cropping you do), and the other is long side 1000 pixels (for convenient and fast emailing/FBing, etc.). Both should be exported at whatever the maximum quality setting your software supports is. IMO, the DPI setting is largely a moot point (so not something I worry my pretty little head with), as any decent printer (print shop) is going to resize as required for whatever the print size selected is and their printer's capability is. Since I no longer do that in-house, simply making sure they have the maximum quality/resolution to work with yields the best (and simplest) results IME.

    While the full sized JPEG images can easily be 10+ MB, the downsized ones are typically 2-400k each, although obviously there is a considerable amount of variance with any residual noise, style choice (B&W in particular), etc. Assuming that you deliver them on physical media, the storage requirement can be significant if you are sending them something that is of archival grade. However, I've never had all the images fail to fit (with ease) on an archival grade DVD-R.

    That said, you should do what works with your business's plan. Handing off all the JPEGs certainly simplifies your deliverables, but will negatively impact any potential profit you make from prints, which may affect your bottom line.

    As michaelchadwickphotography says though. Do NOT plan on handing off RAWs. IMO that is a huge error, one that can lead to unforeseen and almost universally bad consequences.
    jdk_80 and William Michael like this.
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Not commenting directly on your specific question, but two elements of your Wedding Photography that you might consider going forward:

    1. Did you have these particulars defined in your contract with the Bride and Groom?

    2. Irrespective of (1) above: are you sure of the Bride and Groom’s expectation of exactly what files and sizes that they expect to receive?

    These fundamental omissions made by first time Wedding Photographers have been noted in this forum for many years: if you did not have a contract or if your contact was not specific concerning the files that would be supplied and/or if you are not certain that the Bride and Groom’s expectations were crystal clear in their minds and reflected what was written in the contract for this Wedding Coverage, then I advise that you ensure these particulars are in very neat order next time.

  5. Your plan seems fine to me.

    It is pretty standard to provide raw files on many of the other work I shoot, Commercial and sports.
    I'm curious why so many wedding photographers consider it a bad thing, and say never give a client the raw file it leads to problems?
  6. With weddings, the practical value of rights is different than with commercial shoots where the hiring party is expecting to have commercial use of the images. If we were to charge wedding clients the same way commercial photographers charge for giving over rights, most couples would not be able to afford it. In addition, the sports world is more concerned with an instant result and unlimited use of the image than weddings, where it's treated more like an art work created for a couple. I have done both, and in my experience this seems to be true. I'm sure there are different scenarios out there, though.

    Word of mouth is also an enormous factor, and having photographs out there with our name on them is very helpful with securing future business.
  7. I guess the word "never" is what i don't like. A very small percentage of customers ask for raw files. I don't refuse, instead I ask how they plan on processing them, that eliminates about 7 out of 10 because they realize they have no idea what to do with a raw file. Almost all of the few that have a clue decide they don't really want them. It is also an opening to discuss expertise in handling the photos.
  8. Thank you everyone for your help!!
  9. I haven't needed wedding pictures, but many photographers now are selling JPEG files as part of a package, or separately.

    A few years ago, a studio photography chain did a family (outdoor) shoot for us. At the end, they have special "today only" deals, some of which include JPEGs.
    (I don't know if the actual shots are RAW or not, but the supplied JPEGs were high resolution.)

    Also, at our kids' college graduation, there was a photographer to shoot the diploma receiving and such, which also sold either prints or JPEGs.
    The JPEGs even came with a Shutterfly coupon to get prints made. In this case, they supplied files name xxx_large and xxx_extra_large, though they weren't as large as I might have expected. I am not sure now about the image size, but the files are 0.6MP and 2MB, respectively. The latter isn't quite extra large.

    In the film days, I have known about film photographers that supplied the bride with all the rolls of unprocessed film at the end of the shoot.

    Seems to me that photographers have to adjust their pricing depending on what is supplied, such that they make an appropriate profit.
  10. The VERY few weddings I've done(never again!) were shot on film, and even though they were mostly low budget turning over the unprocessed film would have never crossed my mind.

    In all cases, I had my regular lab(that I knew and trusted, although now gone) process and run 4x4s/4x6s. I then handled initial print orders through my regular lab(at cost) and once that had passed I turned over the negatives.

    10 years ago, when I last did one, 1-hour minilabs were still ubiquitous. For one thing, I wouldn't have trusted the client with unprocessed medium format film in any way, shape or form and I wouldn't have trusted Rite-Aid/CVS/Walgreens/Walmart even with 35mm Portra 160NC or 400NC. The lab I dealt with regularly knew what I wanted from the prints when I bought them "NC" films, and needless to say I wasn't their only customer who would leave 10+ rolls of NC in their night drop on a Saturday or Sunday.

    To me, handing over film would be analagous to just handing over memory cards at the end-something else I wouldn't dream of doing.

    At the same time, back in the film days I had a friend who made the mistake of letting their client SUPPLY the film. That, to me, would be even more out of the question. Kodak's NC films were never my favorites, but they had their uses and I knew them well enough to get the results I wanted out of them. I didn't want to deal with who the heck knows store brand film(fortunately mostly not a thing anymore) with unknown expiration dates.
  11. The very few weddings I've done, but I typically send two sets of JPEGs.

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