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ikkoikko Member
edited December 2010 in wedding photography
Hi all, fair play Neil to have created the forum, hopefully it will be busy.
I just want to know what you guys do in terms of presentation when you show the photos to the couple for the 1st time.
I do a slideshow with music that I show them and then I give them a proof book. The photos are also on my website in a private gallery. i asked them to pick the ones they want in the album, then I do up a layout that I email them for approval.


  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Hi there ikko

    I still give printed proofs. I feel that clients still like the tactile thing of handling an actual photo, rather than clicking through hundreds of images on a gallery.

    I do post a gallery of images as well.

    At the reception, I hand out 100 bookmarks to various guests. These 8x2 bookmarks with images from the couple's photo session on it, along with a URL to where guests can view the images.

    I also make sure to post an album to Facebook with a selection of the best images (usually 40-80 images).

    For the album, the clients send me an Excel spreadsheet of the images they want included in the album, and my assistant and I design an album around this selection, adding some, and dropping a few of the images (with a note to the clients). The design is posted on a gallery for them to view and change, and finally approve.
  • @Neil vN

    Usually how many proofs? Just usable images? Any processing in those? (100-200-500-1000?)

    And how many photos in the final album? (20-50-100-200?)

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    My contract states a minimum of 500 proofs.
    I only do color balance; exposure; contrast adjustments on the images for proofing.

    For enlargements or album designs, I will do further editing like editing out skin blemishes or removing exit signs.

    The albums I offer are 24 spreads, and contain 100-120 images.
  • Neil,
    So you hand out 500 prints with watermark to your clients? That's a lot to go thru.
    Regarding the bookmarks, I imagine the images on them are from the pre-wedding shoot you did with the couple. The idea of a bookmark is a good one though. I rely in the couple to spread the word about the online buying facilities of my website which is probably a mistake.
  • My thoughts exactly, ikko. As a wedding photographer who is just starting out, I am always interested in post-wedding workflows.

    How many is 'enough'? If there is such a thing, and what should you expect to give to your clients? I mean, 500 photos, how many hours would that usually take you, Neil?

    Cheers in advanced for the replies,
  • I like the idea of printed proofs or even a printed proof book rather than online gallery (or as well as online gallery). I think it reminds the client that photographs are meant to be printed, not just looked at on a (usually uncalibrated) monitor!

    And Sanele - if you are watermarking and colour correcting the photos for an online gallery it's really not that much more effort to print them out as 4x6s.
  • Another down side to on-line proofs...clients monitors aren't color calibrated. I'm only doing family and senior photos, and I'm quick to tell my clients the images on the computer screen will look different than prints.
  • I've dipped my toe in the wedding tog game this year (6 weddings) and have gone from post processing literally hundreds to now only 50 or so. This year myself and my partner are yet to agree on the best course of post wedding selling to the couple. I was on DWF for a while and the upsell from some of the pros was very strong, a bit aggressive for my tastes but thats business I suppose.
    We use the Zenfolio online gallery which I'm very pleased with, but I'm probably going to go with bringing the couple to us to choose the pics. As Daubs says after calibrating our own monitors to then have the couple pick their album photos on their own screens after all your own colour calibrated hard work is a no no to me. I'd get that bunny in the headlights look if I tried to explain colour calibration to some of my B&Gs.
  • @ShannonMinion - I agree, the printing part is not so difficult, it's the PP after taking the wedding photos. I'm in the middle of creating a PDF sheet for a family photosession. I've colour balanced, contrast, exposure etc, but I'm wondering when photographers send their 'proof sheet' or 'printed photo proofs' how far away is that 'proof' from being finalised? Or will you add a vignette after the clients have seen the photo - or do you do all your PP before you send your proof out.

    Sorry for the long winded question! Hopefully someone can help :)

  • ShannonMinionShannonMinion Member
    edited January 2011
    @Robby - I like the idea of zenfolio for weddings so bridal guests or mother of the bride etc. can chose photos to buy, but I agree, in studio viewing is a MUST, even though it's more time consuming. Preview online, final selection in studio, with your expert, creative help :)

    @SaneleChadwick - personally, I do the RAW file edit stuff (contrast, WB, etc) before the clients view the images and then Photoshop (spot removal, liquefy if required, etc.) afterward. Mostly because the Lightroom edit can be done in bulk and so isn't too time consuming.
    But it also depends on how many photos are being handed over. If you are presenting 300-400 proofs to the client, RAW editing isn't too bad. If you are presenting 1500 and the client is only going to choose 100 from that, then I wouldn't edit at all until after the first cut by the client. Although, I doubt I would be in that situation where i am now!

    Hope it helps!

    PS: Personally, I wouldn't be adding a vignette to anything, at most a touch of burning on the edges. xx
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I also use Zenfolio.

    An important side-benefit is that with Zenfolio, I have an off-site back-up of all my important JPGs.

    You have to consider the extreme what-if scenario of your house being burgled or your house burning down. Would you still have your clients' images? Zenfolio is part of my back-up system.
  • @ShannonMinion Great advice, Shannon, thank you. I've been doing batch raw edits, like you said, colour correcting, WB, contrast etc for proofs. Then when clients choose their photos I'll touch them up further, crop and straighten for certain size, post crop vignette in raw, blemish removal etc.

    However, the last wedding I shot (only my second) the bride asked if I could choose the 'best photos' I thought were taken, and send them through. I initially had 400-odd for her to proof, but she just wanted me to choose them. I ended up fully-editing 230-odd, and made a 3-minute slideshow too

    I've just send off the disk today, so should hear back from the couple in a few days time. Hopefully it goes well.
  • Nice work Sanele.

    I did 2 weddings over Xmas away from home, (250kms) so I'm not going to do my usual presentation that imvolves meeting the couple and present the images on a slideshow and hand out a proofbook.
    I was thinking, as it has been mentioned to post them my selection, approx 200 images, on 6x4s and let them choose the ones they want for the album.

    What do you think?
    should I watermarked them or would it be seem as pettyful?

  • Thanks @ikko - I appreciate the feedback :). I was in the same boat as you, the couple live 600km away. I do agree with Neil that having something tangible for clients to feel and hold is an advantage, but in saying that, it seems very common these days for photographers to host their images online for couples to view/order.

    However, printing 6x4 is very cheap these days, and you've only got approx 200, so I would think it's a good idea to get them printed. How many photos will you manage to fit in an album? 100-120?

    With regards to the watermark... nah, no need for printed proofs at 6x4. I'd only watermark digital copies if I had too, but it's entirely up to you :)
  • 600kms! That's bit far, I work in Ireland so 600kms would see me in the sea :)
    I usually fit between 60 and 70 in an album. I offer packages with an 30 page album, I always end up have 3 to 5 extra pages that I charge for and the couple always accept to pay the small extra.

    I m always wondering how to offer my services, how do you offer yours, do you have packages or is it "a la carte" ?
  • At the moment I just offer one package which includes the entire day shooting, editing, and digital copies of photos (I'll want to start designing my own albums eventually).

    As I'm just starting out, shooting all day helps me to build my folio, and build a strong network of happy clients who I can network. Recently I've been picking up some small jobs through friends of people I've shot for - who have then gone and looked at my work and liked what they saw.

    I'm trying to keep things very simple, so when people ask 'what do I get, how much, how many etc?' I can safely say X amount and Y this is what you'll get - it does my head in at the moment when there are too many options, lol.

    I guess it also depends on what the competition in your area is doing. Is there a massive overload of photographers in Ireland like there is in New Zealand with the digital era?
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Sanele ... nice work!
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    My pricing structure is also quite simple, and there isn't an over-abundance of options.

    I had clients mention meeting another photographer in the same town where I am, and being overwhelmed by 4 pages of options and add-ons.
  • @NeilVn Thank you for your comment Neil! I must admit that I have you to thank. I have read your book (can’t wait for the second instalment) and I read your blog which has helped my work immeasurably. I own a simple D90, 18-200mm VR, 50mm 1.8, and 85mm 1.8, but most importantly an SB-900 flash (due to your advice) which I constantly turn towards to improve my photographs.

    During the wedding when I was shooting the head table from an angle, I remembered your advice about flash ‘equidistance, equidistance, equidistance’ to your subjects, so I immediately tilted my flash head, flagged my flash, and bounced it on a wall that was equidistance to the head table (your photo of the guys in the sombrero’s if I recall correctly) the result was great, even though I was shooting with a ‘cheapo’ zoom.

    One day I hope to travel and attend one of your workshops, seeing as New Zealand is too far away :P
  • When you quote a price, does that include an album with images, or do they have to pay for the images going into the album or do they get an album and anything above that is at cost ala carte?

    example: $2500 for coverage of the day and this includes a stack of proofs, and an album. Do they buy the images to go into that album? or does the album come included, and anything over is ala carte?

    Also what about people scanning the proof and trying to print them as larger images?
    I've had that happen.

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    My pricing is a la carte.
    Basic coverage + whatever they want to add, incl album.

    I don't up-sell albums, by starting at a smaller album. I price it for a big album with 24 spreads. Done. I hate haggling. And I just knooooow the born salespeople here will have a conniption at the idea that I am leaving money on the table etc. Whatever.

    So my pricing for albums are fixed for a fixed number of pages. I don't limit the nr of images, but I do clearly tell clients the more images they cram in, the more it looks like a fridge door. Fewer images = Larger images. Larger images present better.

    Re scanning of proofs. I just let it go should it happen. There are other things to worry about in terms of running a business, than one client flexing goodwill and the agreement per contract.
  • Yeah cool, I just want it clean and simple as can be thanks Neil...
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