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Wedding Photography Question
Old 08-28-2006, 12:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My roommate (who is a budding amateur photographer) is getting married. He is trying to pick out a photographer for his wedding (in Richmond, VA). I am lending a hand to help him find a quality shooter. I would like to tackle this one but I am in the wedding...so not an option. Anyways he wants to have the original digital unedited files from the photographer. Most photographers do not want this. I would like commentary from you the guys who shoot weddings or large events on this requirement. He will buy some prints from the photographer and all other print sales will be through the original photographer, but 6 months or a year later he wants to have the prints on disc for his own records and so he can do some creative composites and such with them.

One photographer he got a pamphlet from wants $400.00 in addition to the price of the wedding package $2685.00 to burn a cd of hi-res prints.

Also consider this an open invitation to anyone that shoots weddings in the Virginia, Richmond area that would be interested in shooting on October 6, 2007.
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Re: Wedding Photography Question
Old 08-28-2006, 12:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i know many photogs that charge $500 for a DVD of hi-res "edited" images of their choice...

none of the photogs i know will sell someone a dvd of all of the "undedited" shots... simply because those shots have not been edited at all but yet they will be out there refelcting back on their product and their talent.

many wedding photogs spend a ton of time post processing photos in order to make them just right for the customers. sending out unedited shots they took can hurt their name and reputation because they will be straight from the camera, no cropping, no color correction, no sharpening, no tweaking etc.

Plus having a photog sell their photos will ensure that the client will never come back for any later sales which may include enlargements, duplicates etc hence the high price of the DVD to begin with. They are trying to recoup some potential lost income in the future from that client.

just a thought.
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Re: Wedding Photography Question
Old 08-28-2006, 12:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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one bit of advice... try to find a company that has multiple shooters at the wedding.

i often shoot as a 3rd shooter for a group here in houston. having 2 photogs helps out tremendously for the preparation etc. you get one photog to stick with the bride and bridesmaids all day prior to the wedding getting all of the makeup, hair, dress shots etc while the other photog is focused in on the grrom and groomsmen.

makes things so much nice from the client aspect since they will have complete coverage of both sides prior to the wedding.
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Re: Wedding Photography Question
Old 08-28-2006, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Abel touched on the main reason your friend is having difficulty getting unedited files: quality control. No wedding photographer in his or her right mind would let unedited files go to a client for ANY reason.

As your friend has discovered, prices for hi-res images on CD or DVD are all over the map. Some photographers include it as part of a package, some offer them after some period of time, others never offer them at all. It all depends on how the photographer has defined his or her revenue stream.

Weddings are a LOT of work. If you ask a fashion shooter, a product or food shooter, and a wedding shooter who works hardest for a $5000 day, they will all tell you the wedding shooter works the hardest. They take the most pictures, they spend the most time in post, and they spend the most time with the client. They need to pay themselves for all that time and about the only tangible thing a typical wedding client understands is the final print. So a lot of wedding photography is priced around the album and prints. Built into the album and print prices is all that time spent on behalf of the client, but not in front of the client.

The last time I saw statistics on wedding clients, they purchased the bulk of their imagery in the first 12 months after the wedding, with some residual purchases going out to about 36 months. But there is very little, if any, money made after 36 months. So your friend may have a hard time finding someone to remit hi-res imagery before 36 months. If they do, they will price it assuming that the client is going to try and have prints made by someone other than the photographer.

Just FYI, unless the photograher also supplies a document granting your friend permission to make prints from a supplied disc of imagery, your friend can't legally have the images reproduced. The Professional Photographers of America association spends a lot of time going after printing labs for this. It's very common these days for clients to walk into Walmart with a disc of images and ask for prints. Without a copyright release they can't legally do so.

All that said, your friend should be able to find someone that can meet his needs. He just might have to pay for that flexibility. $3000 for a wedding package with a hi-res DVD is not a bad deal at all. Unlike most other areas of professional photography, a wedding is not something that is easily re-shot. It pays to have someone who's good at it. 6 months, a year, five years, twenty-five years down the road, what do you have left from your wedding except the album and photographs?

-Chip
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Re: Wedding Photography Question
Old 08-29-2006, 10:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roastdawgg
My roommate (who is a budding amateur photographer) is getting married. He is trying to pick out a photographer for his wedding (in Richmond, VA). I am lending a hand to help him find a quality shooter. I would like to tackle this one but I am in the wedding...so not an option. Anyways he wants to have the original digital unedited files from the photographer. Most photographers do not want this. I would like commentary from you the guys who shoot weddings or large events on this requirement. He will buy some prints from the photographer and all other print sales will be through the original photographer, but 6 months or a year later he wants to have the prints on disc for his own records and so he can do some creative composites and such with them.
One photographer he got a pamphlet from wants $400.00 in addition to the price of the wedding package $2685.00 to burn a cd of hi-res prints.
Also consider this an open invitation to anyone that shoots weddings in the Virginia, Richmond area that would be interested in shooting on October 6, 2007.
I do a lot of weddings.... I get asked for the digital "negatives" a lot... this is how I reponde to there request...

There is a misconception that a bride and/or groom can purchase the original digital files to a wedding. This is a practice engaged in by only amateur photographers. They do weddings as a weekend hobby, they are amateurs, and have nothing to lose. As a working professional, all my digital files and negatives become part of my professional inventory. You are selecting a professional because we deliver only the best for our clients. By releasing our files we are also releasing our intellectual and artistic property. That simply is not done. If however you sincerely desire these files, they can be purchased after the original agreed upon wedding package has been paid for. The price for sole ownership of the digital files is $5,000.00.

Thank you

And all my prints are printed with a linen texture.... becouse of the texture they can not be scanned...
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