Welcome to the forum!

As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

Delivering retouched files to your clients….

MatrixphotoMatrixphoto Member
edited July 2014 in business & marketing
Hey Everyone
Im working on by business plan for 2015 and I'm trying to work out what I deliver to my clients…
In the past I've offered my clients proof files on a disc and only retouched when Print or retouching was purchased.
The problem with this model is that most people never order the prints or retouching and I always felt like I was giving my clients an incomplete job.

Im moving into higher paid work , so going forward I would like to start giving my clients finished retouched files…
I have a couple of choices about how to go about this , Im just looking for some feedback.

Scenario A. Keep as is , client purchases retouching
Scenario B Create packages that Include a certain # of retouched images

Q. How many retouched images is a resonable to give a wedding or portrait clients

Q Also how do I intergrate offering retouched images with selling products books/print etc
does offering retouched images kill off product orders,


Thanks in advance….

Lou Recine

Comments

  • Great questions!

    Combine A and B. Don't retouch anything unless a photo is ordered and stop giving away disks. Have an online proof gallery and state clearly that all photos that are ordered will receive retouching. This way you have less work upfront and give incentive to purchase photos. And by retouching, I am talking facial touch ups. Your basic edits should look great in your galleries. They need to wow your clients :)
    Matrixphoto said: Q. How many retouched images is a reasonable to give a wedding or portrait clients
    Tell them that you will edit all PHOTOGRAPHER selects (photos you like and want to share in a blog, etc) and then all that are ordered. I offer free social media edits. They are small so most only need minor blemish removal, etc. Again, the basic edits need to look damn good already with consistent WB, exposure, etc.
    Matrixphoto said: Q Also how do I intergrate offering retouched images with selling products books/print etc
    does offering retouched images kill off product orders,
    can't wait to see what others say...
  • I would retouch every file you sell or give out. Your work needs to look its best. If you sell an as-is file and they print as is that reflects on you. It all comes back to you. No one will say 'Well, he was a great photographer and even though this photo sucks it's because it's not edited.' You want your pix to impress whether print or digital.

    Yes, selling digital files will hurt print sales but if that is what they want you need to provide it or they will go to someone who does. And everyone does now. So price the digital files accordingly. High. Some photographers offer the digitals after a certain level of print sales. Ok, complicated but if you're willing it's probably worth it. As long as you're going to edit the digitals, you could reduce their price if they buy X level of prints.

    Make it work so the client gets what she wants and you get paid properly. You need to do both. If you satisfy client but you're not making enough you'll fail. If you satisfy you but client isn't happy you will fail.

    I include basic retouching in my prices. Exposure adjustments, facial retouching, simple edits. Anything else, by request, I charge for. This includes fixing hair and clothing, fixing and changing backgrounds, head swaps, etc... It's an 'editing fee' and we discuss it up front. To me, the threshold is how much time will it take. If I can remove a stain on a shirt in two seconds of course I don't change for it.
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Skip,

    I concur. Basically what I do. I have basic pricing, which does not include originals, then price accordingly if they want all files.

    I edit all files to best possible outcome, including simple face retouching, etc.

  • edited July 2014
    just wasted 30 minutes typing a reply.....when I hit Post Comment, it disappeared. damn...

    in the end, I do not agree with giving away the disk/files. Bad practice and all you are doing is price battling. And everybody loses
    Trev said: I have basic pricing, which does not include originals, then price accordingly if they want all files.
    yup...but they need to pay :)

  • Skipperlange said: Yes, selling digital files will hurt print sales but if that is what they want you need to provide it or they will go to someone who does.
    This argument seems sound but if you follow this through then someone will always beat you on price/options and you will loose money in the end because of adding more and more into a package/option. You will always loose a few customer based on price and offering more than needed will just keep pushing your profit down.

    You have to create a perceived value when explaining why you don't include the files WITHOUT a significant up-charge.

    I offer two option and the more expensive one "gives" all files away after ordering $350 in prints (single order). There is a perceived value here and it works. I made more money and the customer has the files that will sit on the hard drive. 9 out of 10 times, telling a potential customer that "getting" a disk included in the price is more expensive in the end will work. They have to pay for the disk/download up front and then they still need prints, resulting in more money spent. Explaining it almost always works.

    Option 2 (with files) is the most popular btw.


    For non wedding work, I am trying to avoid this argument by stating this on my pricing page:

    ___________________________________
    Here is what is included:

    ~A private gallery that will allow you to view, order and share the photos

    ~photos that are ordered will be retouched (if needed) and blemishes such as pimples, etc are removed.

    ~100% print guarantee through my Smugmug account.

    ~Social media edits that you can share with friends. You get to pick the style: Default edits, Kodak Portra, or Kodak Portra +. These files include blemish removal, if needed.

    ______________________________________

    Creating the three different galleries is easy and requires only about 15-30 minutes more while creating the illusion of receiving more. Since social media edits are included, the customer thinks they are getting the files anyway. They are but they can't print them since they are small and watermarked.


    The concept/perception of giving away a disk needs to go away because it ruins the end product-the photos. Hiring a pro and then printing at your local grocery store does nothing for anyone.



  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Rudy,

    I found your post that 'disappeared', and released it as for some reason it went to a folder awaiting approval.

    Things happen unexpectedly so the full context of your post is now there.
  • StephenStephen Member
    edited July 2014
    I think you need a package that offers just retouched digital image (not the RAWs of course). Some clients just don't want prints, because their interactions with other people are nearly entirely online or via digital devices (smartphone ,tablet, etc.), so all they need to do is have a backup disc/USB key with the images, so they can upload to social media or post to a site like Flickr. What you price this package is up to you, but I think it must be offered.

    Travelintrevor said, "Hiring a pro and then printing at your local grocery store does nothing for anyone." I disagree with this statement, because people actually do this. The print is considered a transient object, so many just want a simple print. If that print wears out, they are often ok with just reprinting it. If they desire a high-quality print, they would just go to a good printer and print a-la carte. The important thing is the digital image.

    In addition, I have observed people wanting a print of one or a handful of digital images. The traditional print package that a photographer offers attempts to provide prints for a lot of images ("album"). Some clients just don't want that many prints.

    Just like declining sales of print magazines, photographers cannot rely on print sales to maintain their income streams. Each generation becomes increasingly digitally savvy, so reliance on print diminishes. Print will never go away, but it's likely to be a smaller revenue source than now. Photographers need to stand out in other ways.

    The most important thing for the photographer is to have quality digital images to give to clients. I agree with Skipperlange on that point. The client will post the images online, and if the images are not retouched, it will leave a bad impression about the photographer by others viewing the images.
  • 2 years later.... but Im still thinking about it. and re
    I completely agree with you Stephen , the dilemma is most clients have very small budgets and retouching takes a long time .

    Lou Recine
  • Hi Lou,
    Wow, two years later, and you're still thinking about what services and products to offer?  At least, it's good to see you still posting about your business shots, as it sounds like your business is still going.

    Regarding your comment about "retouching takes a long time," you should see how much retouching you are doing.  You may be doing way more retouching than is necessary for the client.  

    Are you dodging and burning manually a lot?  
    Are you making lots of manual adjustments that a Photoshop plugin might be able to do in a single pass?  

    Think about ways to make parts of your workflow more efficient.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I make a point that I deliver images which have been corrected. 
    Corrected for color, exposure and contrast. (Etc)

    And I make a point of differentiating this from retouching - which I only do for album and print orders. Retouching involves finer Photoshop work - skin blemishes and also clutter in the images such as exit signs. 
  • Hi Niel and Stephen

    Thanks for the insight , the issue is most client don't/  won't buy prints or books or prints.
    So going to try and include 15  retouched files , Im hoping they will buy more.

    Lou Recine
    Matrix Photography
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    A good plan. 
    But you can't spend your life away retouching huge numbers of files for free. 
  • I know Ive integrated the retouching into my  price , thats what Im only giving 15 retouched images clients choice also hoping that they will choose more.

    Lou Recine








  • MatrixphotoMatrixphoto Member
    edited October 15
    Hi Niel 
    Im sorry to drag this up again , but Ive been thinking about this. You said 

    " I make a point that I deliver images which have been corrected. 
    Corrected for color, exposure and contrast. (Etc)

    And I make a point of differentiating this from retouching - which I only do for album and print orders. Retouching involves finer Photoshop work - skin blemishes and also clutter in the images such as exit signs. " 


    ok make sense. 

    But one thing confuses me,  what happens if the couple doesn't  order prints or books , if you only give edited images then client are not seeing the  images at its  best.

    Lou Recine
Sign In or Register to comment.