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Author Topic: I have a question about wedding photography  (Read 8361 times)

muranotop

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2012, 10:41:48 AM »
I agree. Never give out RAW files to your clients. Only give them medium to high resolution JPGs. For myself, I explain to them that I do a minor edit which is what they get (includes adjusting all photo levels, contrast, exposure, etc.). Then I personally choose a few photos to work on with major edits- the more creative editing process using filters, layers, etc.  From there, I post that on my secured site so if they want to purchase it, they can do so but they're paying a higher price because its the more edited version.

Always develop a process whenever you deal with a potential client. Then get them to sign the contract and give you a deposit at that time. Do not shoot the wedding until you get a deposit to commit to the date. Give them 30 days (or 15 days) to have them pay you the balance. I used this PDF as a go-by and edit to my liking.

http://wedding-photographers-directory.com/ContractPDFs/Contract%204.pdf

Anyway, I hope this helps.  Lessons learned. Good luck to you. ;D

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2012, 10:41:48 AM »

awinphoto

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2012, 11:02:10 AM »
Also IF they wish for all photos and are a stickler on this... simple... tell them to provide you wish a portable hard drive or a very beefy thumb drive and dump them on there... no need to waste countless DVD's if you dont need to, and this is because of their displeasure... that way if they're willing to sell out $20-30 for a hard drive, and you're willing to part with your images, which i'm against, then it's a win win and you come off looking like the good guy in the transaction. 
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CanonLITA

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2012, 11:10:17 AM »
I would never give the raw, that's not the product you are suppose to sell. A professional photographer delivers a service that start with understanding the needs/emotions of the client and ends with the ability to reproduce those needs/emotions on paper, screen or whatever else. Raw files are just a part of that process, a part that the photographer has the right to manage by herself. Handling out the raw or not distinguishes the photographer from the people hired to just press the shutter. Of course retaining the raws implies the assumption of a higher responsibility, it's like promising you'll be there should they need something more out of that shooting (say, they want to print a cake for the 10th anniversary and at that point a new technology will require an high resolution file to be sent to the pastry mixer...). If talk of GB now, but imagine when people dealt with the problem of storing medium format films..

wockawocka

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2012, 11:31:30 AM »
Guys, stop drifting away from the bigger picture.

Agreed, it's really bad to give out Raws, I'd never do it either. But, the OP's problem is the client wants the raws, a big red flag being waved around is that they mentioned overseeing the edits, this never happens. Couple that with the examples shown and you can guess what the problem is and why they're asking.

In that context...and lets keep it in context rather than give canned responses....

'Assuming' it's because of the standard of work would it not be easier to give the raws and wave them bye bye as opposed to editing another 700 images all over again, learn from it and move on. The OP certainly won't look worse than he does already by giving them over.

I would only hand over the Raw files that match the edits supplied. You don't want every bad exposure, mistake duplicate in there too. In short, you've edited them, perhaps it's not to their taste, communicate with the bride and groom. Re-editing will cost them extra but you sympathise and are happy on this occassion to supply the Raw files.

'Assuming'......
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jaayres20

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2012, 12:01:40 PM »
Do you have a contract?  It is not a good practice to give out RAW images or unedited images?  Some might say your pictures are over edited but is that your style and the style the clients saw when they booked you?  The pictures you posted looked consistant which is important no matter the style.  I have shot almost 50 weddings and I have had a few people ask for the RAW files before they booked me but after I explained to them that my images are my brand and that I go to a lot of truble to make every image that comes form me consistant they understand and don't mention it again.  It would be like going into a restaurant and asking to go back into the kitchen to make your own meal.  I think you need to ask them very specifically what they don't like about the pictures because there are some people who are just a little controlling and are used to controlling everything.  It may not have mattered if you were Jose Villa they still might might of made the same request.  They may just not know that is something like that isn't typically done.  If they keep insisting you might try to offer further edites on a limited number of images.  No more than 25-50 but say that it would be very time consuming to go back through and re-edit all of the images and that if you did that for everyone you would have been out of business a long time ago.  Good luck and BTW I like the pictures you posted and think you have a lot going for you so don't let something like this set you back.  Just be very specific in the future so the client knows your expectations and you know their expectations.         

unfocused

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2012, 12:59:44 PM »
Guys, stop drifting away from the bigger picture.

Exactly, this is about your business not about you. You need to make decisions and take actions that will protect your reputation for future clients. They may be unreasonable, they may not be, but the fact is you have to do what you can to minimize the damage they can do to your career. Behave like a professional and take all emotion out of the transaction.

If you can turn them into satisfied customers, great. It may be the only thing you can do is appease them. But that is still better for your business than having angry, dissatisfied customers.
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emag

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2012, 01:04:42 PM »
If you can turn them into satisfied customers, great. It may be the only thing you can do is appease them. But that is still better for your business than having angry, dissatisfied customers.

Exactly.  You may never get any referrals from them, but that's still better than the alternative.   My hat's off to those of you in the wedding photography business.  It would remove much of the pleasure I find in photography.  {okay, groom, put your arm around the bride and lean over.  Bride - lean backwards and dangle your arm with the bouquet.  Gaze at each other lovingly.  Lather, rinse, repeat.}  I couldn't do it, hence it is with respect and admiration that I remove my hat to those of you who enjoy it, do it for a living and are good enough at it to stand out.  Virtual beers for all.  No snarkiness is intended.  I enjoy working on on my cars and motorcycles and I'm very good at it - I would come to despise it if done for a living.

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2012, 01:04:42 PM »

prestonpalmer

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2012, 03:01:02 PM »
As everyone has already said. Never give out your RAW files, and I would not edit photos with a client present.  Simply explain to them that this is not how things are done in this business.

Iggy

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2012, 04:12:21 PM »
I tend to agree with the previous posters in thinking that the reason they want the RAW's or to sit with you while you edit is because they are OK with the shots, but don't like the edits you provided.  To be honest, if I was the bride and I was facing the prospect of those kinds of edited shots being the only thing I got, I'd be crying.
As a client with a reasonable knowledge of PP, I would always want the RAW files, mostly because setting the WB is a lot easier on a RAW than a JPG, and "correct" WB is a somewhat personal preference, but as a photographer I wouldn't ever want a client to see a completely unprocessed file. I don't even give my husband pictures of the kids until I've done the basic exposure/WB/highlights&shadows adjustments.
A compromise would be to give them copies of full-rez, minimally processed JPG's, which is a pretty standard procedure.  That's what I got from our wedding photographers, and it was enough to satisfy my need to have control of the output beyond what I could reasonably expect from the photographers themselves, who obviously don't have time to obsess over each little blemish in hundreds of pictures.

Lloyd

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2012, 04:13:14 PM »
I am not a professional photographer.  I am a partner in a three man law firm.  However, as a small business owner we share some things in common.  Our reputation is very important and it is for the most part defined by our customers.  Therefore, it is always important to recognize when your customer is dissatisfied.   I know that it is trite to say that the customer is always right, but there is an element of truth to this old motto. Years ago, those living in large communities were able to sooth their own ego and dismiss customer complaints without as many repercussions. However, we now live in a day and age when any person with a computer is able to post comments, criticisms and praise about our business and, thanks to Google, all these comments are at the finger tips of your customer base.

As a person who has run a small business for over 25 years, I would suggest that you reach out to your clients and set up a time when they can meet with you to discuss any concerns that they may have.  Tell them your goal is to have a satisfied customer and that you sense that they are not completely satisfied.  You need them to feel free to express their concerns to you rather than have them not want to hurt your feelings and then later plaster negative complaints about your work all over the internet.  If you enter into this conversation with an open mind and they are not totally unreasonable, you will likely reach an agreeable compromise. At a minimum, you may learn the real basis for their request and in the best case you will be able to satisfy their needs without a great degree of extra effort. 

As a member of a profession known to have inflated egos, I have seen it get the better of many of my brethren.  I consider professional photographers to be artists and some artists suffer the same ego issues as my lawyer friends  in that they pretend to seek out the opinions of others on their work while in reality they are really searching more for affirmation. Don’t let your ego get in the way of serving the needs of your customer. Always remember who you are working for.

It is interesting the degree to which many of the professional photographers posting in this thread want to keep their RAW files from their clients.  As a non-professional photographer, I had never thought of this as an issue. I must admit that when I create a final document I would prefer not to show my client all the drafts that led up to the final document.  However, to me what differentiates photographers is not just their eye in taking the underlying photograph, the RAW file, but their abilities in post to take this raw material and turn it into a wonderful finished product.  I think a great photographer should be proud of both steps in this process and have no issue in producing the RAW files. Nevertheless, I must imagine that professionals, who have gone down this road before, have good reasons to withhold the RAW files.

I wish the originator of this thread all the best in resolving this issue.
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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2012, 04:19:03 PM »
I love the quality of this thread.

And I would like to add just an additional point of view.

After having shown my results of the first weddings I receive immediate feed back that I should never show more then 200 pictures of it: some people fell asleep after about this number of pictures.

This goes along with earlier experiences with diapositive slide shows several years ago.

And I also found that the more pictures I showed with different kinds of post processing, the bigger the appetite grew to have that on all pictures.

My recommendation for the next wedding is:
Keep it to 150 - 200 pictures in medium size and give them 5 pictures really done well in big size. And tell them you could do more, but that this takes a lot of time and costs extra money.

My recommendation for your current situation is:
You seem to have unhappy clients. They want different pictures and they are spoilt because you gave them 700 edited pictures already. I would either tell them to edit the best 10 together with them (and take a long time so that they understand what they do to you) or you give them the best 10 in raw (stating that you would never do that again - just in case they might post it in twitter afterwards) and the rest in unedited jpeg. Giving them all raw pictures might just increase their hunger for the other 1000.

I wish you lots of success with your further weddings - the pictures were taken really well.

KurtStevens

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2012, 05:22:22 PM »
I believe this has been covered but as a 24 y/o wedding photographer I've learned quite a bit shooting over the last 3 years and 15+ weddings so far.

1) Contract.  This is going to save your ass.  Yes it is terrible you're having to negotiate wedding terms even after the wedding.  Make sure to get everything covered in a contract up front.  You'll have to figure out how to deal with this wedding client but this should spur you onto getting the most solid contract ever for the next client.

2) Never give out Raws. This is a death sentence.  If you're a wedding photographer, the photos are going to be how you make your money.  Why would this ever be an option for anyone to give out their hard earned work to someone who doesn't know how to edit, organize, present the photos? 

3) Same as number two but with copyright.  Keep your copyright!  Print reproduction rights and copyrights are two different things.  Make sure you know what they are so you can explain them to a client if you give them material to print.

4) Only show your best work.  Show your clients the work you feel like represents your talent and creativity.  If you're showing them bad work you're doing discredit to yourself and hurting yourself in the long run.

5) Make sure it's clear to your clients in the future that you may shoot 5 kahjillion images, doesn't mean they are going to get 5 kahjillion images.  I have this spelled out very clearly in my wedding contract.  I over shoot and make sure I deliver top quality images but I also mention that I'd rather spend more time per photo editing and perfecting a smaller amount VS more images with less time per image.

6) To please this client now without having this contract is going to be tough.  You'll have to bite the bullet though and have to bend a little bit but be firm in your defense and tell them you're running a business (if you are) and that you need to make a compromise and unfortunately cannot give out all the raws and bend to every little whim they may have.  These shots could be better (Personal opinion along with not liking the soft look) but these are by far much much much better than other photographers I've seen that people have taken to court. 

How much were you paid for this wedding?  Are they getting a fair deal when it comes down to the bottom line?  I feel like you've given out way too much for what you may have been paid for.  Remember that photography is not cheap and there is a quality of work that goes along with every photographer (hopefully) and that by giving out lots of images for really cheap, its hurting the overall market for other photographers.  It's hard to see this in the long run but this doesn't help the trend of, he is only $500 and I get 2500 images I can print at WallyWorld. Does this make sense?  I hope I've been a help without being too aggressive.  If you want more help I'd be happy to answer some questions for you.
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nikkito

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2012, 07:25:59 PM »
I think your pictures are very good, just the editing is not convincing for my taste. But don't get frustrated, you have talent and like I said, the photos were well composed.
I hope you can solve this ASAP. And remember the customers AREN'T always right :)
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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2012, 07:25:59 PM »

Cptn Rigo

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2012, 08:46:22 PM »
I really like this one, but the edit mhh... its TOO soft



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RLPhoto

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2012, 10:06:13 PM »
The compositions are fine, but remember that capturing the moment is only half the battle. Now you must make it extraordinary by processing your RAW files to complete your vision.

These are alittle over-processed but you can have them explain what's wrong with the edits and adapt accordingly. The customer is always right until they ask for RAW files.

Good effort! Just work on your workflow a bit more.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 10:11:43 PM by RLPhoto »

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Re: I have a question about wedding photography
« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2012, 10:06:13 PM »