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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> You or the Customer decides?
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01/29/2011 05:20:12 PM · #1
So, a little while ago I had my first paid photography assignment, when I took Senior Portraits for a friends sister.
I didn't really know how to go about it, so what I did was sort through the pictures and took out all of the obviously blurred or flawed pictures. Then I gave her all of the rest of the original images as jpegs on a CD, and also included 5 edited pictures, two chosen by her and three chosen by me. I basically gave those to her both to use but also as an example of how the other originals could be processed if she so choosed.
I then asked her to get back to me if she chose one picture in specific that she wanted to print and send to people, and I would do a closer job editing it.

I am now pretty frustrated, because the two photos she chose are ones that I would deem one of the worst of the bunch. The focus is soft, and in one of them the background is completely blown out.
Since I have already done work on the images, and since I have already gotten paid, I am just going to do it her way and edit those pictures for her, even though I don't think they represent my abilities in the fullest, and even though I feel like there are waaaaaay better pictures that she didn't choose.

Now my question, in order to learn for the future. How do you do the "giving edited pictures to the client"?
Do you let your client choose the photos?
Do you choose the photos?
Do you give both edited and the rest as originals, or does the client only receive a few edited pictures?
Do you edit them as you please, or give the client options?
Based on what you have read on how I did it this one time, do you have any suggestions of how I should do it differently?

Any advice would be appreciated.
I think the girl I took these pictures for is satisfied, but I personally am not satisfied with the work, and would therefore like to improve for next time, especially on the business running side of the photography
01/29/2011 05:25:26 PM · #2
You look at pictures with a "photographer's eye." (Look through a magazine -- do you think "that model is pretty" or do you start analyzing the techniques and trying to figure out the lighting? I suspect probably the latter, even if you don't realize it.)

Your customers look at it through "sentimental" eyes, for lack of a more sophisticated term.

Inevitably, the customer will pick something different than the photographer, it seems.
01/29/2011 06:00:45 PM · #3
I go thru and as you did, get rid of the obvious ones, blurry and flawed pictures.
Then I pick what I consider to the best ones, hopefully around 20 - 30 and I edit them the way I see fit.
Then I give the client the option to choose from those.

Don't put any out there that you wouldn't want any to use.

I made that mistake with some football pics for the yearbook. They asked if they could use what I made - I had shot the entire season and was so tired of football when they requested them that I dumped them all on a flashdrive and told them to use what they wanted. I have since regretted that as they are going to give me a small add in the yearbook with a "thanks" for letting them use my photos and I'm afraid they are going to pick ones that I would deem as trash.
So now they are asking for wrestling pictures....I won't make that mistake this time.
01/29/2011 06:28:09 PM · #4
This can also be an issue at the shoot: I learned not to step thru all the images on the LCD for folks, but just to show them a few good ones. I've had trade-for models who expect me to retouch EVERY shot they saw, and seem disappointed that I "only" gave them 10-15 retouched shots.

I will downselect, upload some small, unedited shots and let them pick a few, but I am very careful to make sure that I don't put any out for selection that I would not want my name on.

For paying clients, one has to be bit more flexible in letting them choose favorites--sometimes the moment is what matters to them, not the technicals. Usually, you can find a way in post to make it look like you meant to do it that way :-)
01/29/2011 06:29:19 PM · #5
Originally posted by Luci11e:

I go thru and as you did, get rid of the obvious ones, blurry and flawed pictures.
Then I pick what I consider to the best ones, hopefully around 20 - 30 and I edit them the way I see fit.
Then I give the client the option to choose from those.


ditto - and I let the client know my processes from the beginning so they don't expect to see 200 edited photos
01/29/2011 07:11:32 PM · #6
Never put anything in writing that you don't want to come back and haunt you.

Never let photos out into the world that you don't want to come back and haunt you.
01/29/2011 07:46:56 PM · #7
Originally posted by vawendy:

Never let photos out into the world that you don't want to come back and haunt you.


Now that sounds scandalous...got some shots out there you don't want others to ever see Wendy?? :P
02/03/2011 06:45:10 AM · #8
I have shot a couple military balls. I do a quick edit and crop on Lightroom and post the good ones (blurry, eyes closed, ect are not posted). It really does surprise me what the customers pick sometimes. I edit the ones they pick further before I send them out. 8x10 or larger prints get the faces touched up. I also offer downloads of the photo in three Mb sizes (1Mb, up to 4Mb, and full size if the shot is larger than 4Mb) The clients know that the digital downloads are not processed any further, they get what is posted.
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