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09/12/2018 11:23:25 AM · #1
Those of you doing seniors and maybe weddings for clients (I'm doing seniors) what do you use to deliver "proof" images to clients? I'm hoping for something online versus CD or USB drive. Also how much editing goes into this first round of images? How do you size them? Thanks.
09/12/2018 09:41:51 PM · #2
When I was doing Senior portraits, I just included x amount of images in their package according to how much time they used for the session.

Then, since I wasn't into selling the prints, I edited my choice of x many images and gave them to them on USB.

But, if you're wanting to sell prints (that's, of course, where the money is), then you won't want to do that.
09/13/2018 12:23:09 AM · #3
I've used dropbox or google photos. Have also used my own website when it had that functionality.

Size at 900 or 1200 pixels on the long side. Minimal editing -- all in LR, except maybe pull out 2 or 3 of my favorites and give them a little extra editing.
09/13/2018 08:27:23 AM · #4
Originally posted by mpeters:

I've used dropbox or google photos. Have also used my own website when it had that functionality.

Size at 900 or 1200 pixels on the long side. Minimal editing -- all in LR, except maybe pull out 2 or 3 of my favorites and give them a little extra editing.

Cool. This is exactly what I was doing (and planning to do). Wanted to make sure I wasn't out of line.

Do you watermark at that size?
09/13/2018 11:26:15 PM · #5
I do t watermark, and Ive had a few clients make 4x6s but generally people have respected my copyright. If it were my main business Id likely take a more cautious stance.
09/14/2018 08:26:29 AM · #6
It really all depends on what you're selling and what you're charging...and you really need to be clear about it before you start.

You can sell an all-inclusive package that includes the session and x number of high-res, printable/shareable files plus y number of prints.

Another option is a session with a per image price for either high-res files or prints.

Note: your session fee needs to cover ALL of your time: travel, any setup/breakdown, shooting, post-processing, and delivery (including, gallery building, printing, etc.)

Again, it depends on how and what you are marketing as to how far you want to go with your initial post-production. Some higher-end operations only show images that need no further touching (i.e., blemish/acne/braces handled). Others opt for basic exposure correction and cropping and then wait for the client to pick which ones to take further.

Regardless, you will want at least a simple watermark on your images, as well as full IPTC information embedded. You can handle both of these in Lightroom.

As for sizing images for online proofing, I recommend 640 pixels on the longest side, 72dpi, with the file size not to exceed 150kb. While that is more than enough file for someone to make a decision about the composition and expression, it is not enough of a file to make a decent print (well, maybe a wallet-sized print). This is a lot smaller than what Mark suggested, but I have found it to suffice, especially when most people are viewing the images on a device and not a huge-honking monitor ;-)

The rule of thumb is that you only post what you're willing to give away because if they can see it online, they already own it...that's why I don't post things any larger than necessary. Along these lines, I make it clear to my customers and clients that if they want to make prints, I won't be responsible for the print quality unless the purchase an appropriately-sized file.

Regardless of how you share with your clients,the most important thing is to make sure you can easily identify and locate the file(s) they want you to produce. To keep things straight, I recommend naming your files (again, using Lightroom) yymmdd-client-name-xxxx (for example: 080914-waters-maxine-portraits-0023). And I'd keep each session in a folder with the same name as its contents; using the previous example: 080914-waters-maxine-portraits.

As noted, there are many, many ways to share your images with clients. It really depends on just how deep you want to go with this. Starting out, I'd suggest spending as little as possible and seeing how it goes. After a while, you'll start to recognize your pinch points and will be able to realistically assess what tools you need to invest in to make yourself more efficient.

Lastly, again, let me stress the importance of getting paid for your time. Unless you are doing charity work (or you are a college student trying to score a few bucks), you have to be cognizant of just how much time it takes to get the whole job done and you need to charge an effective, acceptable hourly rate. Even if you roll that rate up to a flat-fee session price, you still need to take your time into consideration. Here again, time and experience will help guide you. Most people get killed on their first few tries, significantly underestimating not only what a client would pay, but also how much time is involved. Imagine charging $50 for a session that winds up taking 20 hours of work...yikes!

Hope this helps, good luck, and have fun!
Skip

09/14/2018 10:53:17 AM · #7
Hey Skip. Thanks immensely for taking the time to write that up. This is my first senior shoot, and it's actually for a good friend whom I trust fully. But I want to use the opportunity to establish some best practices. I delivered 30 watermarked images at 1200x800 (max 200KB on any file) using Dropbox.

I'm comfortable with establishing a session fee. I'm a little unclear what to charge for prints. I want to offer a la carte pricing. I'm thinking $X for the release of any one image. This would cover processing and I would offer a digital image suitable for social media sharing. Then I would charge $Y for each 8x10 print of that image. I have a lab that will do my printing, so I need to cover their cost to me (which is reasonable and their quality is good). Obvious, I would offer other sizes.

Here's an example of a proof I delivered.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1226226.jpg
09/14/2018 11:50:17 AM · #8
Originally posted by bvy:

Hey Skip. Thanks immensely for taking the time to write that up. This is my first senior shoot, and it's actually for a good friend whom I trust fully. But I want to use the opportunity to establish some best practices. I delivered 30 watermarked images at 1200x800 (max 200KB on any file) using Dropbox.

I'm comfortable with establishing a session fee. I'm a little unclear what to charge for prints. I want to offer a la carte pricing. I'm thinking $X for the release of any one image. This would cover processing and I would offer a digital image suitable for social media sharing. Then I would charge $Y for each 8x10 print of that image. I have a lab that will do my printing, so I need to cover their cost to me (which is reasonable and their quality is good). Obvious, I would offer other sizes.

Here's an example of a proof I delivered.
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1226226.jpg


Beautiful. Although remember that the watermark is so that they can't print it. This placement allows them to crop it out.
09/14/2018 12:33:14 PM · #9
Originally posted by tanguera:

Beautiful. Although remember that the watermark is so that they can't print it. This placement allows them to crop it out.


LOVE getting feedback from you! Thanks! And yes, good point. Not worried about it in this particular case since these are friends, but will keep in mind for future work.
09/14/2018 08:07:31 PM · #10
Looking good, Brian! And you're most welcome!

I have two watermarks, one for images that don't matter as much, and one for images that do. Click the thumb to see them both, side-by-side.
itzee-web-ready-3.jpg

The larger one is modeled of the Associated Press watermark. Works for them, why not ;-)

For your first time out, this is great! Perfect opportunity to learn. I would suggest you go back and document your total time investment as best you can so that you'll have a benchmark for what you can expect, what to watch out for, and where you can improve.

As for pricing, there is a ridiculous post floating that's been floating around for years about pricing an 8x10. Conceptually, it goes in the right direction, but practically it's a load of crap. Anne can't-remember-her-lastname wrote it. The basic premise, though, is sound in that you need to account for the amount of time it takes to produce a file to print and then producing the print itself. The biggest thing is to not compare your print price to Costco's charge for a print. The point is that you are going to have some overhead in the print-making process that needs to be accounted for and charged for. For this type of work, at this stage, it's not unreasonable to ask for $25-30 for an 8x10. Do it for awhile and get a handle on things and start thinking more like $75-100 for an 8x10.

Keep it up!
Skip
09/14/2018 08:58:48 PM · #11
So how do you figure out rates for event pricing? I've been asked to shoot an boy scout eagle charge -- but I'm at a loss for how to even start figuring out pricing. Are people even buying photos anymore? How do you figure out a price for just offering the electronic files? If they were going to buy a lot of photos, you'll screw yourself pricing that cheaply. But if you charge too much, then you won't sell it.

Do you price the whole electronic package? Or are you pricing individual electronic files?
09/14/2018 09:42:05 PM · #12
Originally posted by vawendy:

So how do you figure out rates for event pricing? I've been asked to shoot an boy scout eagle charge -- but I'm at a loss for how to even start figuring out pricing. Are people even buying photos anymore? How do you figure out a price for just offering the electronic files? If they were going to buy a lot of photos, you'll screw yourself pricing that cheaply. But if you charge too much, then you won't sell it.

Do you price the whole electronic package? Or are you pricing individual electronic files?


Two separate issues here, Wendy: event photography and community service. You can't really mix the two.

Now, if you are being hired by an individual to shoot something, it really doesn't matter what it is: you charge them. (And don't confuse getting asked with getting hired. see edits below)

If it's an organization with no budget for stuff like photography, it's simply community service: you don't charge them. Especially if it's an organization that you belong to or have a direct interest in.

People do buy photos, all the time. It just depends on whether you have something that they didn't already get on their cellphone, or if it's something they can't get anywhere else, or if it's something that is so far beyond what they got on their cellphone that they have to get yours. Sometimes people buy prints, sometimes they buy digital files. As to pricing, it depends on the nature of the event and whether your post-production cost is being covered by your client or by the photo sales. If you are paid to shoot and process, and subsequent sales are simply gravy, you don't have to charge that much. On the other hand, if you shot for free, or were only paid to shoot and not process, then you have to charge enough for the prints (or files) to cover the time you put into post-production.

As for pricing digital files, I offer web-ready files for a pittance, knowing they won't make good prints (and I let my customers know that); I also offer print-ready files for the same price as an 8x10 - and I really don't care if they print it once or a 1000 times.

When it comes to rates for events, the answer is no different than before: you have to know how much time it takes you to do things and you have to have an idea as to how much your time is worth. You might do events for $25/hr or you might do events for $250/hr: it all depends on you, what your are capable of, what your time is worth, what your market will bear, and how much of a salesperson you are. It might take more than a few outings to figure out where your rates should be. If you overcharge and under-deliver, your market will let you know. If you undercharge and over-deliver, well, you'll figure out that you need to charge more and do less (and that doesn't mean lessen the quality! It means not spending 20 hours editing 2000 photos from a 2 hour event...)

In some ways, doing community events pro bono is a good way to learn just what's involved in terms of time and workflow, as well as to gauge interest. Sure, everyone likes free photos, but once you develop a reputation for delivering things people can't get elsewhere, you can charge.

HTH,
Skip

ETA If someone asks you, "What would you charge to shoot our boy scout eagle charge?", then you have to answer. If you don't have a ready answer (meaning you haven't worked out your rates, yet), you should decline (maybe citing a schedule conflict) or accept, saying the it would be a privilege and you'll do it for free. On the other hand, if you have your rates worked out, you simply gather the information necessary to give them a quote. At that point, if they can afford you and think your quote is reasonable they will probably engage you; if not, you're better off.

Message edited by author 2018-09-15 06:32:58.
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