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  • How much to charge for a CD of images from session?

    I recently did a very large session - extended family of 23 members, six inidividual family groups, etc. They have asked about getting a copy of the photos on CD. I'm not opposed to doing this, but not sure how much to charge. Should I tie the CD into a package purcahse? I know people want the CD's so they can print the photos they want, so that will mean a smaller print sale for me.....

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by leeann475 View Post
    I recently did a very large session - extended family of 23 members, six inidividual family groups, etc. They have asked about getting a copy of the photos on CD. I'm not opposed to doing this, but not sure how much to charge. Should I tie the CD into a package purcahse? I know people want the CD's so they can print the photos they want, so that will mean a smaller print sale for me.....

    Thanks!
    Your last sentence is what I hear so much from so many photographers. I have a much different outlook on print sales. If you're like so many other photogs (myself included), you'll charge a sitting/setup fee (or whatever you call it). I try to use this fee as a way to pay for my time (more or less) and, if I pick up print sales that's a bonus. But the big picture is I'm not making much of a margin on print sales and am not making a lot of money off them. I make the bulk of my money off charging for my time.

    So, I personally don't care whether they want to print their photos elsewhere. More often than not, they'll just not have extra prints made if I don't give them the option of buying their files. I say, "give them the option," because I'll charge for that disc. I don't give it to them for free. I may build it into my regular price and tell them I'm giving them the disc for free but it's not free.

    I think a lot of this, "don't give them files," comes from old-school photography when shooting on film. You had to have prints made in order to view the photos unless you're doing slides, in which case you'd have slides printed. Today, most photos are viewed on an electronic device of some sort. I know I don't print photos nearly as often as I did when I was younger.

    So, this comes back to your initial question, what to charge. Well, there are many different schools of thought on this. Many photogs sell it for a ridiculous amount of money. Most people aren't gonna spend that much on a disc of photos of their family. Just not worth it to them. So, what would they pay? Well, that depends. I base it on how big of a shoot it is. For a christening I just shot, I am asking for $100. Not getting any print sales out of it, it was work but I was also an invited guest and I offered to shoot the christening for them. If I were just a photog shooting a christening, in a similar situation, I'd have charged $x for the shoot and more money for the disc as they aren't ordering prints through me. I'd probably ask for more like $150 (minimum) to $250 depending on how large it was and how much pp work was involved. If they were buying prints I'd give a much better price on the disc.

    Again, my reasoning is, if they aren't buying prints anyway, why price the disc so high they won't want to buy it? Don't under-price it, I probably wouldn't price yours at $50 since it was a large portrait session and I'm guessing you got a lot of shots and had a lot of pp work. You could also encourage print sales (if that's what you really want) by offering a better price for the disc if they buy prints.

    Anyway, this is just the way I do it, others do it differently (obviously). You have to figure out what you're comfortable with.
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    • #3
      Double the price of an 8x10 per file, multiplied by the number of family members and adjusted for something more reasonable.

      Seriously, with 23 family members you stand to loose a LOT of print sales. How many "nulclear" families are there? You might consider something like $50 per file with the stipulation that they can't replicate the disc in any way, or something more expensive that would allow them to distribute the files to everyone.
      Best,
      Jim
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      • #4
        I charge by the hour. I include a CD as part of that.

        Most of the people I shoot aren't looking for the prints, they want digital to share with all their friends and family on facebook and myspace and such. I make it clear to them I will be including a water mark somewhere in the image of the digital file, and if they want prints, it will not have the water mark. I also reduce the image size so they are unable to send it to a print service and get big prints without it being pixelated. To top all that off I also include my copyright info on the image meta data. I've developed a CD and CD case that includes my name and company. When I hand it to them I tell them that walmart will not print these as they are professional photos with a copyright.

        I've only had one person ask for the photo's without a copyright, and I charged triple what I would normally charge.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by idcrewdawg View Post
          I charge by the hour. I include a CD as part of that.

          Most of the people I shoot aren't looking for the prints, they want digital to share with all their friends and family on facebook and myspace and such. I make it clear to them I will be including a water mark somewhere in the image of the digital file, and if they want prints, it will not have the water mark. I also reduce the image size so they are unable to send it to a print service and get big prints without it being pixelated. To top all that off I also include my copyright info on the image meta data. I've developed a CD and CD case that includes my name and company. When I hand it to them I tell them that walmart will not print these as they are professional photos with a copyright.

          I've only had one person ask for the photo's without a copyright, and I charged triple what I would normally charge.
          Excellent suggestions as you can't make much money off selling 4x6 prints, it's the larger prints where you can mark them up somewhat.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jim Poor View Post
            Double the price of an 8x10 per file, multiplied by the number of family members and adjusted for something more reasonable.

            Seriously, with 23 family members you stand to loose a LOT of print sales. How many "nulclear" families are there? You might consider something like $50 per file with the stipulation that they can't replicate the disc in any way, or something more expensive that would allow them to distribute the files to everyone.
            I don't agree with losing a LOT of print sales. Most people are looking at prints on electronic devices, not on a piece of paper. I find most people want some prints for immediate family (if that) and they want to share the prints with everyone else electronically (i.e. Facebook, email, etc.). Heck, just did a portrait session with my boys for mother's day. I'm not even going to print them. I'm putting them on a digital photo frame so she can see them on her desk at work.

            I like your suggestion of stipulating they cannot reproduce the files to (try to) protect yourself though.
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            • #7
              This is what I embed into all my digital images and it's also included on hard copy thats provided with the disk and is included as a word file that's copied onto the disk along with the images.

              "Thank you for respecting intellectual property rights. These images are for your personal viewing only among immediate family and friends and may not be published, shared, or re-used in any way without written permission from Photographer." If you violate the intellectual property you will be liable for: actual damages, loss of income, and profits you derive from the use of these images, and, where appropriate, the costs of collection and/or statutory damages up to $150,000 (USD) or MINIMUM USAGE PER IMAGE: $300.00. For questions or permissions, please contact: Jim Bryant Photography
              jim@jimbryantphotography.com
              url:Jim Bryant Photography Shoots Corporate and Family Portraits, Youth and Professional Sports, Weddings, Festivals, Parties and Other Events
              Seattle, WA., based freelance photojournalists specializing in sports, travel | Jim Bryant Photography
              360.731.1944
              http://pa.photoshelter.com/c/jimbryant
              http://jimbryantphotography.blogspot.com/
              (1) EOS 1D MKIII (3) EOS 1D's, (3) EOS1D MKIIs', (1) EOS1Ds MKII, 14mmf2.8, 16-35mmf2.8, 28-70mmf2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, 300mm f2.8 and a 400mmf2.8, (4) 550 EX and 1 580E speedlite, and a Speed a tron studio flash system.

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              • #8
                All The Replys To This Post

                I am new to digital photography and wish to thank all of you for the information I see here. I have been asked by neighbors etc to do Generation portraits and usually do them for the practice, however from your posts I am getting great ideas. Also I would like to meet photographers from the Terre Haute, Indiana area to practice pictures with as well as learn more techniques.
                [http://community.webshots.com/user/FranksPhotography

                http://www.amazon.com/Crime-Photogra.../dp/0123757282

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                • #9
                  Thanks!

                  Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I decided to go with a tiered structure - with a print order totaling x or more, the CD would be free, with a print order totalling less a certain amount, and if purchased on it's own, a higher amount.

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                  • #10
                    i recently quoted

                    watermarked web use:
                    $5 per image
                    (low resolution, and watermarked with my name)

                    Full resolution Personal use only:
                    can print them for personal use only, but they cant be cropped, altered, sold or re-licensed to third parties nor entered into competitions.
                    $40 per image


                    Full resolution, exclusive rights, photographer is granted limied usage rights for portfolio
                    $80 per image


                    i thought i was giving them a bargain..
                    http://www.flashpointphotography.co.nz/
                    D300s | D7000 | D80 | 17-50f/2.8 | 50-150f/2.8 | 24-70f/2.8 | 10-20 f/3.5 | SB910 | SB900 | SB600 | SB28 PhottixStratos

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                    • #11
                      Lots of good ideas here. Here's my take on it. I personally give my customers a CD containing watermarked, low-resolution copies of each photo they purchase as a print. My thinking, free advertising....they will post these on facebook, blogs, and myspace. I make it clear that they cannot get a print off of them.

                      Most people who are wanting portraits usually do want a couple photos for the wall. When I started my business, I was one of those "$50 sitting fee, and I'll give you all your pics on a CD" people. (I know, I know, I know. Jim Bryant has taught me much better now!) I found that when I gave people a CD, the same thing was happening with each person. They weren't ordering prints. Now, if their ultimate goal was to get some pictures on the wall, then I wasn't actually helping them attain this goal by giving them just the CD. Also, I discovered that I'm extremely anal-retentive when it comes to my pictures. If I'm going to spend all that time post processing, I wanted to make sure they were getting the absolutely best quality possible! If I handed over a CD, I had no way of ensuring the quality of print they were going to get. Now, I control the quality of the print, the beauty of the packaging, and we have a fun overall experience. Everyone walks away happy.

                      Anyway, I just realized I haven't actually answered your question. If they are all in the area, try to get them together for an ordering party and get all their orders at once. Then give them a CD with the pictures they ordered prints of free (watermarked, low-res). Everybody loves something "free". If that's not possible, charge what you feel is appropriate for a CD or set up a gallery online for ordering through zenfolio, exposure manager, or someone else.
                      http://bendoutashape.com
                      It's ok to edit my pics for DPS only / critique is always welcome!

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