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I was cruising the web today and I stumbled onto a blog post with the title…I HATE Photoshop! It could actually have said – How my photographer is ripping me off!
I thought that her hating Photoshop made an interesting title so I read the post.
Turns out it was written by a bride who had hired a photographer for her wedding – for 4 or 5 hours (her words, she wasn’t sure how long).
After the wedding, she was given all the negatives. In her opinion, photographers who keep the negatives and try to sell photos later are a scam. By the way, giving the negatives in the analog world is the same as giving them a memory stick or CD file of the photos in the digital world.
So, she was given all the negatives.
She had kept them, the negs, for quite a while – didn’t say how long – because she had no retouching software. Finally she got a copy of Photoshop. She was now “retouching” over 500 black and white images. (The photographer shot half in BW and half in color.)
The reason she “hates” Photoshop is because of the boredom involved in retouching 500 photos! Hmmm…have to wonder how good this photographer is if she has to retouch ALL of them! (Fortunately, the software was given to her as a Christmas gift, so I guess she couldn’t hate it for the $600.00 + price tag!) She never mentioned the steep learning curve or the time to do the retouching, or the cost for printer ink, photo paper and so on…
BUT…she wasn’t “scammed” by some photographer! One who had actually PAID the $600 for the software, took the TIME to learn how to use it, took the TIME to retouch all the photos, edited, then PAID the costs to print them, then took the TIME to compile them into an album. (we won’t even get into a discussion of the cost of the equipment, training, and the hundred other miscellaneous details that went into creating the photos in the first place.)
Yup…photographers who actually want to charge a fair price for their work – and not give it away – are a real scam! For those of you who do NOT have a sense of the ironic – I’m being facetious!
How many brides out there never actually get a wedding album because they want to save a couple bucks and “print them themselves”? And never do? How many brides do get an album – but it’s a crappy one because they don’t have a $600 piece of software? Or don’t have the knowledge, or won’t take the time to do all the work?
As professionals, we know, or at least we SHOULD know, the amount of work and effort involved in creating a beautiful wedding album – or the hardcover books that are popular these days. We know that the bride will very rarely put in the work involved to do the job right and will end up with either no album or a substandard one at best.
So when you take the easy way out and give the bride the negatives or the camera memory stick – or a CD, whatever, you truly ARE ripping them off. They are NEVER going to be able to see their album the way it should be seen or enjoy it the way it should be enjoyed. You’ve cheated them. And, they will never even know!
By the way, you’ve cheated yourself as well. None of their friends or relatives are going to see your work as it should be seen. Do you want YOUR reputation and future bookings to be dependent on an amateur who “HATES Photoshop?”
I don’t. Stand your ground and charge for your work, everyone will be better off for it.
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