The Digital File Dilemma
Two cd you're not two cd that is the question um and that that's a huge dilemma in our industry right now and and it is largely in part because everybody can be a photographer and it's a very easy thing and it's also a very easy mentality to say well if I go and do this if I go shoot a session in charge one hundred fifty dollars or two hundred dollars I'm making a hundred fifty to two hundred dollars because I'm not that I don't have any cost involved I'm handing over a city and what happens is you know, people aren't considering all the time that's involved in the time that's taken away from family and taking away from what's important and when you start breaking down I know for me and my regular studio sessions with a very streamlined workflow we've got eight to ten hours per client invested and so when you start thinking about that and the breakdown of um really what we're making an hour you know that's gets you start thinking about you know am I really price profitably where do I n...
eed to be priced and we'll talk more about that on the pricing day but um you know, thinking about the does anybody have any comments about the seedy thing? You sure we're ready to open up that door it's something that I struggle with every day and the more which is one of the reasons I'm here because I need to understand at you know at what level you get to that you just say yeah, I'm not doing that anymore I'm not selling my digital files of of this shoot or that shoot um and I think sau cine kata is it last week wait for um I think he was he I think all the photographers who come on creative life I think that is a topic that get to eventually you know, selling those files because I'm guilty of it big time I you know, I hand over cds of those fingers all the time and part of me is going wait a minute time out here s o yeah so again it's making that transition transition in the business to say nope I'm not doing that well I think it's oh sorry can I just add at that point of also I think that the big question is hand over unedited images or to hand over a nonentity won't ever give anybody an unintended image but I don't want that existing out then I know I was watching sal and I was interested but how sal was saying that I'm just like no that's like me going on camera that my makeup on I did it for you in the mood to midnight and that's about all it's gonna happen you know this is I don't want something out there that's not representative of my complete work and so then that adds a whole different question because each image is now worth a lot of money because I spent how much time editing it so that is the extra question is are those ended images we're talking about all those out of him and I would I wouldn't come with you I would never never I never give anybody anything that I wouldn't hang my hat right ever which means you're investing a lot of time and exactly and I think that's the case for most people and where do we put the value? You know what? How much have valued is our time have no time is really all we have you know and so is with the cd thing and we can talk as much about it as you guys want to but one of the things that's industry related but I believe you know that we're seeing you know that's ah industry trend and you know, kind of where's the industry going you know, the sad thing is is that lots of people are taking photographs and I read a statistic the other day about how many images per minute were posted on facebook and it is like astounding I don't remember what it is anymore but it's unlike the million's like per minute and um but nobody's printing anything nobody's printing anything anymore and I have you know, people that will tell me all the time even my my mother in law who's my ex mother in law, but I still claim her she's best um she, you know, she told me a few months ago and she's one of those people that always has her snapshot camera with her always and you know, years ago you took your roll of film, you dropped it in the mail, you got your proofs back and, you know, and she eats, she told me a couple months ago, I don't have any money, you know, for my sixes anymore, um, they're all on the computer and, you know, when you hear that over and over and over for for pete from people, and that is what's happening is in the industry a lot of times, the only thing anybody knows to ask is, do I get the digital files? Because we as a community have made it so available and, you know, when they're the reality is they're going to get that digital file or the cd or whatever and it's going to go in a drawer, they're going to download it on the computer and that's the last place and said, we're going to go and it's a sad, sad reality, you know, no longer can I even say, well, I'm not selling a digital file because I'm really concerned about how it's gonna be printed and look you know, first of all the printers at wal mart and sam's are the same printers that are in the lab they really are mean, we could we could go there and you could prove a session that sam's and have nice looking prince um you know, the reality is though is that they're not doing that they're not taking it and putting it and we're doing a huge disservice to our clients by not giving them a final product and you know, sal, I'm sure they talked about that uh with the wedding thing and we've had this conversation before the sound taylor taylor good friends of mine um but you know, wedding photographers what a great disservice people photographers are giving to their brides and grooms by not providing them with that first family heirloom you know had giving them something to treasure and hand down and share with their children and the grandchildren, you know, handing over a disc of images that wedding day's done very sad um but I believe the same with my portrait clients and we'll go through, you know, how we're working with them to, you know, kind of invest into this concept that you know what this is about wall decor and enjoying what you what's most important to you every single day, being able to see what's most important to you and and share it with friends and family who are coming into your home this is what's important to me and this is you know what I want to invest in so it's something completely different there's so much conversation going on online, and so I want to bring that in here as much as possible. I love this lorry peanut again saying the way that I handled the cd thing is it's not only it is that it's on ly included in my highest price package, which is set in a very profitable price point allows me the ability to say yes, I offer files when the question is asked, but it also guarantees that people will be paying a price for them and the package includes other product, so they have the tangible products too. So it's in that scenario combining the two and you'll hear me say this throughout these three days, but my policy and my studio is to always say yes, I always want to have a yes answer for my client. It doesn't mean that the client's always right, but I wanna have that yes, answer. However, the other component of that is that it has to be yes for my business and my family, and so that, you know, I have to be very calculated and really think through the process yes, I want to say yes I want to be able to you know, give you the answer that you're looking for but it has to work for my business and it has worked for my family so those were those were kind of my rules as we're planning the answers to questions and the answers to objections and things that come in so we'll go through some of that uh but this you know, on on a light note on that same digital thing um I totally agree with that with that person that that wrote in um you know, our yes answer when someone calls and ask us you know, due to have digital files or can I get a digital files? Our answer is absolutely every image order you're going to get a website's version of that image to share on facebook on your family blog's wherever you'd like to share that it is web size it's very small it's got my logo on it but I honestly that is really all they want they just want to be able to share those images so if we don't allow them to absolutely they're going to scan your prints absolutely they're going toe take pictures of your prints and put them online you know it's gonna happen we know it's gonna happen and I'll share my copyright released that every every client signs with me but we have to know that we live in a digital age they can sit there and sign it right in front of you and still, you know, take a picture of the screen when you're showing on their images and um the others all kinds of things that happened I don't even I don't get worked up anymore um even about a mom standing beside me with her iphone taking pictures it doesn't happen very often, but I don't care because I know a it's not going to be the final product that I'm selling and you know and be if she's taking it she's probably posting it and tagging me so you know, so who cares? But yes e I don't offer disks anymore I just offer like that person online said just included downloads and their screen resolution with water marks and the reason I will do that is because there's huge value in just that in being tagged and peoples you know and peoples feeds and and that's how you get it out, get it blown out there and and I have seen huge benefit for from providing screen you know, screen resolution watermarked images um I'm in a transitional phase right now of where I'm putting my print resolution images and some of my packages currently include thie unequal amount of the same images print resolution there quantities air very low but I am thinking about phasing it out totally and just making people purchase files and that's kind of where I'm at I mean do I need to discontinue allowing them to purchase files because I'm like you I don't want to say no right? You know well and and I think always have the yes answer available but make it right for your business and so where that's come for me is the first answer is absolutely every image order you're gonna get websites version of that that image to share and typically that's where the conversation stops um we're also communicating that what we specialize in is custom water corps for your home and let me tell you a little bit more about that if the question comes back and they really you know well I really want teo archive of the images or you know that we've got some savvy people out there that you know really know what they want to do or at least they have the right terminology and so when that comes we want that yes answer again but to make it yes and are right for my business. What I did was I decided what would be my minimum that I would be willing to part with these images for if they didn't buy anything else and so that's the number that I have on paper and so what we offer is ten images for two thousand or thirty images for three thousand those were the only two options they have but that's their yes answer and so I haven't had very many people take me up on it so vastly underpricing my digital well, it has to be you know, I mean, consider what you want your average to be and then if they only bought digital files can you meet that average you know, that's kind of where that mentality has to come and we'll talk about more that and when we talk about pricing but you know, so those air that's the yes answer and we let people know you know, absolutely we understand some of some people like to archive their images and have complete control there we do have two options available for you they're this in this and we also have the option there those are available on our bonus schedule and we'll go through that as well. But on the bonus schedule, what happens is as they spend more money they're going to get discounts on the bonus schedule items and those air there so they actually can get those for fifty percent off if they spent twenty five hundred dollars so at twenty five hundred dollars I'm very happy to allow them to add that on for either a thousand or fifteen hundred so you know, so those kind of things they're very calculated and thought through and so if you're including them now you might want to consider at making them an add on or even allowing them and you pricing them up there and then in putting on a bonus schedule. So, yeah, they're here here, available to you, here's. How you can get him.