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Thread: Question for the professionals

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular JimD's Avatar
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    Question for the professionals

    Do you give your customers the option of digital images on a disk only or do you insist on printing photos?
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    f o t o w o r x

    People taking the time out to give me CC is always very much appreciated

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    I think you'll find there's a mix. Most pro photographers I know and work with sit around the (3) & (4) and want to control the quality of printing.

    1) everything on disc (raw files), no processing

    2) selected/processed images (jpg) on disc at full res

    3) selected/processed images (jpg) on disc but not at full resolution (ie. clients can only print up to certain sizes). Photographer takes care of high quality large prints/canvasses etc

    4) selected/processed images (jpg) on disc at extra cost and usually a lot...ie. cheaper for client to get a handful of quality prints from photographer

    5) prints only

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    I offer the disk (Campo's option 2) as part of my wedding package - it helps differentiate me I think and i really cant be bothered with printing, albums etc (although there's margin to be had there)
    Darren
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    I'm with Kiwi, Just give them the Disc with the edited images and they can deal with printing
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    FYI, I'm on option (3) above

    The first thing most clients ask is "do we get a disc with everything?" so I think it's hard to not give them electronic images in some form or another.

    I especially love when clients ask for RAW files. My response is usually "what software do you have to handle RAW files from my particular camera" and more often then not I get a "huh? what do you mean?". That's when I explain that they should leave the photography, processing and image conversion up to me!

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    I used to offer prints only, but EVERYONE wants the digital files, so I've had to start offering them.
    I offer them available only with a package. So that way they have to order my minimum package with prints before they get the disk. People seem happy with that, as long as they can get the disk. LOL

    I hope that in doing that they can see the quality of the professional printing lab compared to a k-mart print and hopefully order from me in the future if they want more printing done.

    My wedding photographer didn't offer the disk when we had our wedding (well he did but a huge extra cost, or free after 2 years) but he has since changed for the same reason... if people cant get the disk they just go 'Oh ok' and go elsewhere. They dont seem to care about anything else these days. He's just upped his package prices (which still includes album/prints) and included the disk in with the packages.
    **Canon EOS 40D *** **Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM**Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L***Canon 580EX Speedlight**

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    Do you give your customers the option of digital images on a disk only or do you insist on printing photos?
    Successful People Make Adjustments - Evander Holyfield

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    No Zollo, I'm interested in the replies.....so you can put your rod away.

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    I used to offer prints only, but EVERYONE wants the digital files, so I've had to start offering them.
    I offer them available only with a package. So that way they have to order my minimum package with prints before they get the disk. People seem happy with that, as long as they can get the disk. LOL

    I hope that in doing that they can see the quality of the professional printing lab compared to a k-mart print and hopefully order from me in the future if they want more printing done.

    My wedding photographer didn't offer the disk when we had our wedding (well he did but a huge extra cost, or free after 2 years) but he has since changed for the same reason... if people cant get the disk they just go 'Oh ok' and go elsewhere. They dont seem to care about anything else these days. He's just upped his package prices (which still includes album/prints) and included the disk in with the packages.
    Exactly, the cheap and easily accessible print options available to the masses now see most people wanting full res disc included at no extra cost because they are sick of being gouged historically $20-40+ for an 8x10 print that retail chains will print for $3.00, and 6x4 that they print for 20c or less.
    Many people I feel see photographers who don't offer the hi-res disc or who try to charge huge $ for it as profiteers and dodgy, and why would people pay 10x what it costs to print yourself?
    I think only those without the understanding of how to take their disc to the print retailer will settle for paying the photographer for prints.
    I think most consumers would be challenged to see the difference between a lab print and a Hardly normal print, and if they can see it, they won't see a $25+ difference.

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    i will supply images on a disk........at a price. With a lot of clients, prints are useless, but for weddings, if you want a DVD then you have to buy at least one set of prints. This assures me that the client has at least one set of good wet prints, and not inkjet prints done at home or the Kodak One Hour. My opinion is that any photog not offering digital images to clients will have to change their ways, or look for another job. Offering prints only is a throwback to the 90's and prior. There are always exceptions though.

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    Member SRR33's Avatar
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    I give all highres files to the clients on disc.

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    From the outset, its really important for all viewers to understand the huge difference between the three areas - commercial photography & wedding & portrait photography

    And no I dont think this is baiting, I think this would make a great deal of sense if more people would read the information offered.


    My clients are 99.9% commercial - so they have almost no need for prints.

    So yes, the price I quote includes all finished selected processed hi res digital images. But its worth stating that the price I've agreed with the client before delivering images on disc, is agreed prior to the job. I also tend to suggest a min number (as many clients want to know that information), based on the actual detailed brief I've quoted on.

    The big trouble Jim is that many portrait photographers price themselves on an (IMHO) antiquated business model that relies on print prices for them to make a living - ie the price to actually shoot the portrait session is so ridiculously low in some cases, that to actually make a living, at some point the business photographer will need to charge a great deal more than the actual cost of obtaining a print. To charge next to nothing for a portrait session may seem like financial suicide. And it is unless you find someplace to put your costs on. Placing them on the prints, is no longer winning favour in my view. The smart portrait photographers should look more and more at the alternative options for charging in my opinion.


    The commercial business models differ hugely and most will have to quote before a job, and the price will have to be "sold", to, and agreed with the client, well before the photographer actually has anything to show the client - hence the need to be able to show previous work etc.

    HTH
    Last edited by Longshots; 21-09-2010 at 5:00pm.
    William

    www.longshots.com.au

    I am the PhotoWatchDog

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    William, you are correct, I see many portrait photographers still trying to sell prints at extortionate rates, and some even have the audacity to try and charge plenty for the shoot itself.

    They might wonder why people are not engaging portrait photographers like they once did, especially with print access so available, and all for peanuts really.

    The following is quote from a local portrait part timer here in town;

    The cost - $150 session fee with minimum photo purchase $400 (full amount to be paid on booking)

    a) 25 processed images provided as 5x7 prints and as web images
    OR
    b) Photos sizes of your choice from the a la carte pricing to the minimum value of $400 and as web images
    OR
    c) 12processed images provided as 8x12 hi resolution digital files and as web images
    OR
    d) $400 towards an album/photo-book (prices vary depending on cover choice and number of pages) and as web images

    XXXXXX does not supply a full CD of all digital images from a shoot. Digital images may be purchased on an individual image basis for $60 per 8x12 image, with a minimum purchase of 4 images, or as part of a package deal. If you wish to purchase a full edited set, a quote can be given which will include a discount.

    This photographer also offers an "a'la carte" printing menu, which is only given to you upon making an enquiry, when it was once published on the site. I am guessing the pricing in that menu was considered off putting (It was certainly very expensive when I viewed it), so now they at least get contact from you before they scare you.

    So a trip to this photographer = $550 minimum, which is I dare say way too much for many people wanting portrait work done.

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    $550 is IMHO not a lot if you broke down the time involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longshots View Post
    $550 is IMHO not a lot if you broke down the time involved.
    I agree, so after all overheads Wayne what do you think the hourly rate would work out to be ? $100 or so ?

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    I agree, so after all overheads Wayne what do you think the hourly rate would work out to be ? $100 or so ?
    Given what is on offer at the prices quoted, it depends upon what choice of prints you select.

    If you take 25x 5x7 and the web images(which is a simple export from LR etc) then processing 25 images takes somewhat more time than the 12x 8x12's in offer (C).

    It also depends upon how proficient you are with the PP. The session fee includes up to 1.5hrs, so @$100/hr you have 3.5hrs+ processing time before your rate falls below $100/hr and that is after the cost of prints have been considered.

    So is it reasonable to think a competent person can PP 12 - 8x12's or 25 - 5x7's in 3.5hrs?

    Oh, and if you want this hi-res digital pics, add $60 per image minimum of 4x on top of the $400 you have to spend on prints. I would think that at these prices, the margin is $100/hr without too much trouble.

    I guess to me the package offered here is very poor value, especially with the lack of inclusion and cost of Hi-res files, and essentially my point being some still choose to exclude the Hi-res files unless you pay a kings ransom for them in addition to charging handsomely for prints.

    I have had several people ask me to shoot for them, because they simply refuse to pay these prices, and they want the Hi-res digital files so they can print themselves both now and in future.

    I know Kiwi you like to get $100/shooting hr, but how often do you get it, honestly?

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    Excluding shooting sport on spec, which can range from zero per hour to the best I've achieved of 300 pet hour

    I seriously will not take on any work at less than $100 per shooting hour, I budget to spend an hour in pp fir each hour shooting, sometimes it works out a bit more or a bit less

    But a qualification in this as I really don't do a lot of paid photo work outside sport, a few weddings, a few family portraits, a few events like award nights etc

    So, I can't say I speak on any great authority about what's the norm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    I have had several people ask me to shoot for them, because they simply refuse to pay these prices, and they want the Hi-res digital files so they can print themselves both now and in future.

    I know Kiwi you like to get $100/shooting hr, but how often do you get it, honestly?
    Well thats the whole point Wayne.

    Getting people to pay you for what YOU want is the challenge Thats the business. Anyone can find someone cheaper - which isnt the point.

    What you need to do is to be able to charge a price which isnt dependant on the print price to make money.

    And Kiwi I'm quite sure is in a position to decide what he wants to charge when it comes to photography.

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    In addition to these comments you cannot dismiss the point that it is still a business and as such there is a cost of doing business (and cost of living if photography is your profession) do the math and I'm sure what may seem like $100/hr is nothing like that in PAYG terms. We don't offer digital files at this stage but it is something we are considering, and it would be limited to 8x12 max size.
    Don't forget that if you give digital files the client has them for the life of the file - honestly ask yourself how much that might be worth in print sales. Business is business, let's not forget that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pvoices1971 View Post
    In addition to these comments you cannot dismiss the point that it is still a business and as such there is a cost of doing business (and cost of living if photography is your profession) do the math and I'm sure what may seem like $100/hr is nothing like that in PAYG terms. We don't offer digital files at this stage but it is something we are considering, and it would be limited to 8x12 max size.
    Don't forget that if you give digital files the client has them for the life of the file - honestly ask yourself how much that might be worth in print sales. Business is business, let's not forget that.
    I'm assuming you're a portrait/wedding shooter ?

    While I completely agree with your comments about the comparison with PAYG. I'd have to respond to you on the other points.

    What many of my peers forget is that more and more people simply dont have the need for prints.

    My clients have rarely wanted prints - even prior to digital.

    And in my view there isnt a 8 x 12 digital image available that cant be printed to a fairly acceptable level into a wall sized canvas. So there's little point in thinking that you are limiting what you provide.

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