View Poll Results: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

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  • X number of edited photos for each hour of service engaged, could be 5 to 25.

    45 26.79%
  • 300

    53 31.55%
  • Return all images shot for the day.

    62 36.90%
  • Others, pls elaborate.

    14 8.33%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

  1. #1
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    Default How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    I’ve noticed on CS that the last few grievances on Wedding Photographers were on quality. Why give the client everything or unedited images? Complains are always on the bad ones. In an unregulated market and business like wedding photography, there’s no “market practice” or standards.

    This poll is not about what you are practicing now, but on what you think is a better “market practice”. It may not be comprehensive enough, but we’ll see if more need to be done.
    Last edited by Winsonapm; 30th August 2008 at 05:00 PM. Reason: typo
    just1book, no kidding!

  2. #2

    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Future shd give limited shots.
    Eat breath LIVERPOOL!!!

  3. #3

    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    In fact, I forsee a future business model whereby digital negatives won't be returned in its entirety by default - as per bridal studio style, as well as the standard model of most wedding photography businesses in many parts of the world.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    My friends ones, the photographer gave her all the thumbnails, after she chose, then the photographer gave her the chosen one in full resolution.

    She only got 300.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    In fact, I forsee a future business model whereby digital negatives won't be returned in its entirety by default - as per bridal studio style, as well as the standard model of most wedding photography businesses in many parts of the world.
    It'll take a while, and unless photographers are educated to know why their work are worth a lot more than what they think, this is something that will take a while to happen.

    Bridal studio are actually doing it the way most biz in Australia and USA are doing, ie they have a base amount or "initial investment" of X amount of images and additional images are purchased from USD$35+ each.

    I just feel that we're giving away too much for very little in return.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    when done in film, if i am not mistaken, the standard is 10 rolls.. tat is 360 prints, no negative return.. maybe for digital, it should be about there as well? any extra, of cos, must pay.. : )

    imo, 360 is quite a lot already.. let say u take 3 sec to view a frame.. tat's a total of 18 min.. i rem i did a video presentation of a birthday party of about 300 shots, 3 sec interval, some of them wanna fall asleep.. haha.. ok ok.. it's my skill, i am lousy.. : P


    -B52-

  7. #7

    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Video presentation should be short and sweet... lasting not more then 5 mintues
    Leica M4P/ M2 / Summarit 35mm f2.5 / Summicron C40mm f2 / Kobalux 21mm f2.8

  8. #8

    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    I find its just so weird that everyone is speculating how many images to return to clients. how hard is it to understand that the more interesting the wedding, the more images you will receive and the more simple the wedding the lesser. It should be based on quality and never on quantity so that is what so I believe.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Quote Originally Posted by shinken View Post
    In fact, I forsee a future business model whereby digital negatives won't be returned in its entirety by default - as per bridal studio style, as well as the standard model of most wedding photography businesses in many parts of the world.
    What do you think is a good practice and what would you recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by JillValentine View Post
    My friends ones, the photographer gave her all the thumbnails, after she chose, then the photographer gave her the chosen one in full resolution.

    She only got 300.
    This is a practice, with terms upfront and expectation met?

    Quote Originally Posted by canturn View Post
    It'll take a while, and unless photographers are educated to know why their work are worth a lot more than what they think, this is something that will take a while to happen.

    Bridal studio are actually doing it the way most biz in Australia and USA are doing, ie they have a base amount or "initial investment" of X amount of images and additional images are purchased from USD$35+ each.

    I just feel that we're giving away too much for very little in return.
    I felt the same too, photographers must rate their own worth.
    The Bridal Studios have a standard practice, consumer understood and accepted it. No argument. e.g. 20 images edited in a package (can be $2K or more), each and every additional images is $60 to $80. It can be 2 to 3 times more money than the package signed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belle&Sebastain View Post
    I find its just so weird that everyone is speculating how many images to return to clients. how hard is it to understand that the more interesting the wedding, the more images you will receive and the more simple the wedding the lesser. It should be based on quality and never on quantity so that is what so I believe.
    There's no argument on quality. Most would understand that you will/can get more images in an interesting wedding and less in a smaller or simpler one. The poll is on what is a good practice or we would like to envisage. We can't be telling the client, "Hey, your wedding is small and simple, here's 50 images. The images are very high quality one leh!"

    In the terms and conditions, a number is tangible and quality is intangible. A photographer may win or lose a deal just on number of deliverables. Hence, the current practice on returning ALL images.
    The grievances may/could be:
    1) Half the images cannot be used! (Not saying that he/she recieved 2000 images)
    2) Like a 10 years old standard!
    3) WPJA, ABC, XYZ, etc photographer leh!
    4) Nip-pick
    5) What other unique complains?

    Do we need a guideline for Professional Photographer? Model A, practice by 60%, model B by the rest of the players, etc,.
    Can we set an expectation for consumer?
    just1book, no kidding!

  10. #10

    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Quote Originally Posted by Winsonapm View Post
    What do you think is a good practice and what would you recommend?
    I can only speak for myself, to be starters. After lots of pondering, this is what I discovered for my business.
    I've charged for my deliverables (albums and what nots), made sure that I have some margin to add to my profits.
    I've charged for my hourly rates.
    I've taken into account on my projected expenses based on the gross profit of my hourly charges and products.
    Then I realised I've never really charged for my digital negatives.

    On the point of view of the consumers, I would expect, that whatever delivered to me, has been charged in the price I paid. With that logic in mind, I would have certain expectation of everything that's delivered, inclusive of the digital negatives. This has been proven by recent unhappiness over the disappointing quality of the digital negatives. I believe in order to meet this level of expectation, or even to attempt to meet this level of expectation, substantially higher costs have to be incurred in order to meet this expectation.

    While it's unfair to assume all clients would have the same kind of expectation as the unhappy clients highlighted recently, I think it would be a safe projection that such demands would be prevalent in the near future, and steps have to be taken to prepare for that scenario. Some possible increase in costs would be hiring few more 2nd shooters, using more higher end equipment such as 1DsIII to reduce incidence of camera focusing errors, shooting with only primes, hiring assistant to only change my lenses and sling my cameras etc, just to ensure that all shots are sharp enough.

    To devote more time to the digital negatives to bring them closer to the quality of the images I use for the album and/or my portfolio, I would have to hire a full-time digital artist (which some local photogs have done so, btw, and also a common practice in many parts of the world) so that it's more manageable.

    If the above is to materialize, I don't see think it's possible to just bundle the digital negatives as part of the deal given my current charges.

    In the near future, for my business, the files will only be given if clients have paid for it in some form. Either in their coffeetable album, or photo slideshows. I would probably start implementing various purchase options in terms of digital negatives which has to be meaningful to the couple as well as to my business's existence and growth. For example, right now I don't sell 4R albums anymore, but mainly coffeetable albums. So the new model, if clients want shots which don't go into the album (such as group photos and such), they might have to opt of a 4R package and buy them in blocks of 90, which means they'll receive both the files and the 4R prints.

    Ultimately, they won't be paying for what they don't like, and thus hopefully, enable me to meet their expectations better.

    Sorry if I sound confusing, coz I'm still in the brainstorming stage.
    Last edited by shinken; 31st August 2008 at 06:37 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belle&Sebastain View Post
    I find its just so weird that everyone is speculating how many images to return to clients. how hard is it to understand that the more interesting the wedding, the more images you will receive and the more simple the wedding the lesser. It should be based on quality and never on quantity so that is what so I believe.
    I think one of the main points shinken is driving at is, we need to be able to put photography service and image/print sales into 2 departments. This awakening came about during David Oliver's seminar last year, and one of the key points that was raised is how we can monetize and be rewarded more for the work that we produce. David Oliver charges around $2000 for a 4-hour photography service (4 hour is a norm in overseas and he can shoot 2-3 weddings in a day), but the print/image sales are a separate bill altogether and each image can be sold in print form, depending on the size. Note that he doesn't even return digital files at all. Same with folks like Jerry Ghnonis, who provides their clients with an "initial investment" of about 40 images which they can choose from the entire series of photos. After that, additional images are sold at $x.

    In a way, I do find this pay-by-the-print model quite fair to both the photographer and the client, because 1) the photographer will have to work hard to produce quality prints that the client will buy 2) the clients only need to pay for what they want

    The more I participate in some of the professional photography forums, the more I understand why some folks can do 100+ weddings a year partly because they only need to deliver like 80 - 100 QUALITY images per wedding (not even counting reprints, and 4R & 8R are sold around $5 and $20 each). Say and average photographer charges like $2500 for 60 images (initial investment) and additional ones at $50 each, we are looking about $4500 just 100 images returnable, and that doesn't even include an album, which are priced from $2k onwards or $3k+ for higher end ones.

    In comparison, we are really giving away too much for very little and we're not monetising fully our images that we have worked so hard for.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Speaking from a client point of view, I feel it is only right to pay for what you get. So the more images I request for, the more I pay. Simple as that.

    Canturn, I went to your website and you've taken some really mind-blowing pictures.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    I think that focusing on "pay per print" or "shld we return negs" or "should we give 50/100/1000 shots kind of misses the point. The end state is the total margin.

    In 2000/2001, the "last days of film", a studio wedding package could be a $3000, 2 big album, 2 small album, 50 4R to give away + negs IF you buy a 20x24 single enlargement on canvas for extra $495.........this is/ was real. My point here being that it did not matter what you itemised, the end state was the margin per wedding shoot.

    For actual day, more often than not, the price quoted was for 4Rs of all the shots in a simple album plus the negs. Usually again priced either as basic charge plus per roll or just a one-off total package charge.

    You can look at it in different ways. eg
    Perpective One: It costs me nothing in expendables to shoot digital. What you are paying me for is my skill which I charge per hour of my time. All other expendables eg albums can be charged at (my cost x 5) which will allow for the time it takes to put the album together.

    Perspective Two: My time is free. What you pay for is for the albums, enlargement bedside portrait, studio time, 100/500/1000 4Rs ie (my costs x 10-15, since i did not charge you for time)

    To answer the TS poll, I would tend to aim to shoot 300-400 AD shots (equal to old school about 10 rolls of film) to give and I would give all the dig negs for AD as I tend to process all through a established digital workflow. For studio shots, I will give the dig negs of the final shots that make the album simply cause I agree that "raw" dig files are not of sufficient quality (eg insufficient sharpening etc) for the couple to use to make top-notch prints. Hence those that did not make the album, I clearly did not waste time doing DI...

    my two cents.......

  14. #14
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    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Quote Originally Posted by squall View Post
    I think that focusing on "pay per print" or "shld we return negs" or "should we give 50/100/1000 shots kind of misses the point. The end state is the total margin.

    In 2000/2001, the "last days of film", a studio wedding package could be a $3000, 2 big album, 2 small album, 50 4R to give away + negs IF you buy a 20x24 single enlargement on canvas for extra $495.........this is/ was real. My point here being that it did not matter what you itemised, the end state was the margin per wedding shoot.

    For actual day, more often than not, the price quoted was for 4Rs of all the shots in a simple album plus the negs. Usually again priced either as basic charge plus per roll or just a one-off total package charge.

    You can look at it in different ways. eg
    Perpective One: It costs me nothing in expendables to shoot digital. What you are paying me for is my skill which I charge per hour of my time. All other expendables eg albums can be charged at (my cost x 5) which will allow for the time it takes to put the album together.

    Perspective Two: My time is free. What you pay for is for the albums, enlargement bedside portrait, studio time, 100/500/1000 4Rs ie (my costs x 10-15, since i did not charge you for time)

    To answer the TS poll, I would tend to aim to shoot 300-400 AD shots (equal to old school about 10 rolls of film) to give and I would give all the dig negs for AD as I tend to process all through a established digital workflow. For studio shots, I will give the dig negs of the final shots that make the album simply cause I agree that "raw" dig files are not of sufficient quality (eg insufficient sharpening etc) for the couple to use to make top-notch prints. Hence those that did not make the album, I clearly did not waste time doing DI...

    my two cents.......
    Actually, time isn't free and if you ask me, I'd prefer to shoot on film because my time needed to edit 300-400 pictures properly would cost a lot more the cost of the film + scanning + editing.

    Plus, when we do our calculations for margin, the equipment cost has to be taken into consideration and digital bodies are costly compared to film ones, not to mention they need a lot more maintainance and constant upgrading.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Yep. I agree. Work out all your real costs (expendables/ eqmpt/ assistant/ rent/ transport/ electricity etc etc and decide your margin. That is the most impt. However way the package is finally creatively sold, the all impt factor is the final margin. Getting hung up on seemingly "not charging" for an item such as "extra photos" or "dig negs" is not necessary if the margin can be achieved by charging in other areas.

    As an extreme example, I could charge 3000 for "scenic location rental" and say that photos/ my time/ albums/ dig negs are all free!! and if that is what appeals to my clientale, then so be it. My margins are still reached.

    That is all I am trying to say...

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    300 images for them to choose on the spot. i will edit myself and just give the the 300, the rest i keep and look out for potential shots which i may missed it.

    i keep at 300. or less. never exceeded the amount, because so far i felt that 300 is good number to conclude their AD happenings tho.. too many it bcomes boring, too little, too summarised.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    just wondering...

    for those pros out there, have you ever screwed up some shots and later "hide" them from clients during the final presentation of images?
    The shots may or may not be important type.

    Do your clients realize you have done this?

    Is your philosophy more of like, the overall flow of wedding sequence is more important, so missing some shots or screwing up some of them is acceptable.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Another question I wanna asked.. let's say you deliver 300 images for the AD, does it includes the tables shots as part of the 300?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    Whatever is said in the ang moh country will take time to sink into singapore because our asian traditions has always been can get cheap and good, go for it and best if can get more discount for it! it's the asian mental attitude of kia see than kia su. everything must win at bestest price. squeeze more to get the best. ang moh are different lot of attitude that's why they can command more $$$ because their traditions have always appreciate fine arts like portraits and photos.

    my 2 cts

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How many images should be given for a wedding client?

    the few ADs that i've shot as 2nd photog may not put me in the best position to comment here, but yea.. i base my approach on goodwill. Process up to 300 shots. the rest of the photos i will put in an Others folder, of cos this is less the bad shots (blurred, cut limbs etc)

    My reason is that these are the 300 that i feel best represent the wedding. The others, are for the couple to see see look look on their own.
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