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Question for Photographers!

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Hi,

 

I am researching photographers and had a few questions on what to look for. There are so many photographers! I am not only looking at style and quality but also the package deals. I was wondering why some photographers include high resolution pictures on DVD to brides while others only give the low resolution proofs that is not meant to be printed. If I got the low resolution proofs couldn't I later if I wanted have a photographer retouch them and make it look more professional? and if a photographer doesn't offer high resolution on DVD or CD- is it because they can't (maybe lack of software/equipment) or because is it the time and process? Does it matter if it's on a DVD or CD?

 

And for the brides out there. If your package included just low resolution on a disc- was that all you really needed? Did it matter or not if your package offered all the high quality pictures on disc?

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From a personal stand point if you don't know how to edit pictures then I would choose to get the high resolution CD. Some photographers may offer the low resolution to keep the prices down and editing pictures could take a long time depending on what they do. Also a thing to think about, is the photographer offering some prints in his/her package? If not and you get the low resolution CD then you'll be forced to order the prints through them and probably at a much higher rate then what you would pay through say MPix..

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I agree with Tammy. If they are offering low resolution pictures on a disc, that is typically only meant for proofing. The quality is okay enough that you'll be able to tell which pictures you want... and then you will be forced to order them from your photographer.

With a high resolution disc and all personal rights to the pictures, you can print them, make photo books from them... or 10 years down the line you can do something with them. I really feel that the high resolution disc is the way to go. However, many photographers will charge for the disc since print prices are where they can make a lot of money, so you'll probably end up paying more for their services. But, when you add up the cost of all the prints... it gets REALLY expensive. Just something to think about! Let me know if you have any more questions and I'll do my best to answer them!

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First, it depends what they mean by "low resolution" files. It could be that they are so low that they are only appropriate for viewing on your computer (to choose which ones to order) or it could be that they are good enough for printing 4x6s but not good enough for printing enlargements for framing.

 

Usually the reason the photographer doesn't include the high resolution files is because they want you to order your prints through them because they charge a high price for prints (like 20$ - 100$ for an enlargement. You could get the same thing from a local store for 1-3$, although the quality of the professional ones is better, but for me personally not worth the extremely high price).

 

It's also possible they don't include the high resolution files because then they have to edit all the files, rather than just editing the ones you order from them. but I really think it's more about forcing you to buy prints from them.

 

More and more photographers are starting to give the high resolution files, because they know that's what most clients want.

 

In terms of CD versus DVD, the only noticeable difference is that a DVD can fit a lot more pictures (like 5 times a much, because CD is 700MB and DVD 4.7GB)

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That, and not all computers have DVD drives so a data DVD wouldn't be readable :)

 

 

Most questions have already been answered but I think there's some misunderstanding on what "low res" photos are.

 

First of all, you can't "retouch" them to make them better. They probably have already been processed by your photographer, but then "downsampled" to low res. That simply means that they can only be viewed on a computer, or if printed they would barely look acceptable on a 4x6. Forget about 5x7 and larger. Even if you COULD "retouch" them, by printing them you'd probably be breaking the copyrights that the photographer gave you... and that's just unethical.

 

We firmly believe that that is changing. First of all, we know that if we provide only low-res versions, our brides WILL try to print 8x10 and they will look bad, therefore making US look bad. So it's self-defeating to limit to low-res.

 

Further, I myself would rather make up-front money than HOPE for an order down the road. The time/effort spent 6-12 months later to make prints isn't worth it. It isn't worth the "sales" process to sell prints. And, IMO it's unethical to charge $50 for one 8x10 that costs us $2.45 at one of the best printing companies in the country!

 

And here's a secret... I'd MUCH rather be answering our phones, responding to emails, and working on our marketing as compared to screwing around with making print orders. Think about it, why would I want to work hard trying to get a $300 or so photo order, spend a couple hours getting it ready to send to the printer, making the order, receiving the order, checking over prints, then re-packaging and worrying about shipping. I'd MUCH rather be talking to a prospective bride willing to spend $1000-2000 up-front for a full service photo package!

 

So, all of our packages include a disc with hi-res AND low-res photos. So really there's 2x the photos, every hi-res is turned into a low-res, too. Bride gets both.

 

We factor that cost into our packages. We don't "nickel and dime" our clients and we don't mislead or confuse our brides with fine print. For example, there's one company in town that claims to provide all photos on a disc. They do, but they are VERY low-res... like barely good enough to post on MySpace!

 

That said, many of our packages include prints, but those are "sold" as part of the package and taken care of right away. There's no after-selling or screwing around with that stuff later on.

 

ANYWAY, maybe the short answer to your question is this:

 

If the photographer is offering hi-res photos on disc, ASK THEM the size of the photos (in pixels x pixels and also in file size). If they are truly hi-res, then they will be AT LEAST 5mb in size (except if they are black/white, they will be smaller). If they are truly hi-res then you can expect NO other expenses from the photographer. You'll have your own expenses, but buying very nice prints at Adorama or similar will be MUCH less expensive down the road.

 

If they offer only the low-res disc then figure you'll be spending more money down the road buying prints from them, since you can't really print your low-res photos.

 

that's the difference!

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agreed to the posts above.

 

It all stems from the days of shooting film when the photogs made most of their money by selling prints and albums. It was expensive & time consuming to scan a negative to make a larger print.

 

Todays digital software doesn't slow down much while working on full resolution files. The photographers just want to sell prints for extra $$$.

 

This style of business is slowly dying out. Most of the younger shooters realize it more rewarding financially and creatively to be out shooting more then to be organizing print orders.

 

If your making an album or large prints, you will need to have the higher resolution images. If you just want to share them with family and friends on email or in slideshows, then the lower resolution images are fine.

 

If i were getting married, personally, i would try to negotiate for the full resolution images and the copyright co-ownership.

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although i hand out a disc for my clients to make prints from, it is not fun knowing they can take my images to the drugstore and get a crappy print that makes me look like a less experienced photographer...so i just try to lead my client to a good lab like mpix.com. the metallics are really cool from there. so thats one reason i can see why photogs these days dont want to hand out the disc for prints...whats the point of hiring an expensive photog if you are going to print the images on your home printer? which costs more than a great lab anyway...people just dont realize whats all involved. one more thing, if the client decides to get ahold of the image in photoshop and do a funky enhancement that no one in the world likes except for themself, then there goes the photogs rep to some more potential clients...thats just another view...but id rather do more of what i love than worry about print orders for sure! and not be such a control freak:) and trust that my business will still come.

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It's all about money. The photographers that offer the low-resolution discs maybe charge extra for the high-resolution? It costs nothing for the phortographer either way, but why sell something for less when you can charge more. That is a BIG difference between photographers. If you are considering someone who is offering the low-resolution disc but you want to get larger prints made, how much do they charge for a high-resolution image? There is money on the front end and then money on the back end. Some photographers charge a higher fee upfront similar to a "sitting fee" at a studio which they figure covers thei time and will include a disc for you or they will charge a lower upfront fee to encourage you to book them but them charge heavily if you want prints or a high-resolution disc. Hope this helps!

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Forgive me if this can't be answered in this thread but I'm also wondering the same things about video. I've been finding that most videographers offer an HD option for an additional fee. Apparently a separate type of camera is required. Does this sound right? Its usually around 200 bucks additional. Is the quality that noticable? All of this HDTV talk is pretty foreign to me. I appreciate any input anyone may have. Thanks in advance.

Erika

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