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Have I committed some photographer faux pas?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by cmdwedge, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. cmdwedge

    cmdwedge Member

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    Hello photographers!

    I'm not a photographer myself, but I have a question that you may be able to answer.

    My two little boys have just had a bunch of photos done at their childcare centre, and the samples have arrived yesterday, with a pricelist. The pics look fantastic, they somehow managed to get them both smiling at the same time - a miracle!

    Now, the package that we are interested in is $105, and includes a CD or DVD (not sure which) containing 12 pics each of the boys, and 12 pics of them together - 36 in total. The ones we saw looked awesome, so we are happy to pay the money and print out as many pics as we like for interstate relatives, etc.

    I did have a question though - which file format do the files come in? So I rang the place and asked what they use, and to be honest the owner there was pretty short with me. She said that the files come as JPEGs (no surprises) and in '300 dpi'. I asked whether they were shot as JPEG or as RAW, and the answer was that they were originally RAW, but have been manipulated and converted to JPEGs.

    Here's where it gets silly. I asked whether I could also have the RAWs on the same disk, and she said 'most of our customers don't have the ability to use RAW files' which I imagine is fairly true. However, I plan on buying Lightroom or at least Elements, and having a play around. She then got REALLY short with me and insisted that the 'pricing only includes JPEG files' and there was no pricing option for RAW. So I left it at that and thanked her for her time.

    Now, to you guys. Why on Earth would she not just copy the RAW files as well as the JPEGs? It is only 36 pictures in total. In fact, I think there are only 18 RAWs as half of the 36 samples were just black and white versions of the colourised originals. Surely the RAWs and the JPEGs would fit on the same disk - if not CD, then DVD? Why not just press Ctrl+a and do the whole folder of my children's photos?

    Have I committed some faux pas by asking for the originals? Is this like asking for a part of a photographer's soul? I have no intention of using the photos for commercial purposes, but I hate the idea that they're being so bloody-minded about it, when I am offering to purchase the highest-cost item on their menu.

    How should I approach this? I am thinking of writing them a politely-worded email to hopefully get a resolution.

    Thanks, wedge
     
  2. mmBax

    mmBax Member

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    Because most photographers like to maintain the original image, they're only selling you a copy. A low res copy at that.

    If they gave you the high res RAW you'd be free to see numerous things, like what was wrong with the photo to begin with, if he's done any processing, and you'd be able to do as many full sized prints as you'd like.

    General practice is a lowish quality jpeg

    It's probably a bit of lack of willingness to compromise, but I haven't gifted the raw to anyone I've ever taken photos for, regardless of whether I knew them or what they were paying. Ask politely and perhaps ask what their reasoning is for not wanting to give you a copy.
     
  3. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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  4. 13atman

    13atman Member

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    Prints is where people these days make their money. Friend of mine worked a short stint doing uni graduations where they had to work for free (due to the competitive nature of winning contracts) and hope to god people would buy prints otherwise they'd be screwed.

    Also as mmbax above said, you would be able to see what the original photos looked like, which could either tarnish his created image of being a professional or make it look like its easier than it is, thereby detracting from his business.

    The other argument I've heard many times is that people who are still new to post processing may edit the photog's images then the finished pictures may be mistaken as being the photog's own work, thereby tarnishing their brand.
     
  5. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

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    Most photographers retain the RAW for number of reasons.

    1. Copyrights. It's easy to prove who owns the copyright if you can provide RAW.
    2. Not everyone like to show the RAW because a lot of people gets a little shitty when they see how much PP is done.
    3. People can't process RAW files gets shitty because photographers does not provide instructions on how to view them.
    4. They're not obligated to provide RAWs. You make exception for 1 person, you open the floodgate for everyone.

    If you go to a restaurant and you like their pasta sauce, do you think you'd get the recipe if you ask for it? If you go buy a game, do you have rights to the source code?
     
  6. chilloutbuddy

    chilloutbuddy Member

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    they've possibly (or even probably) manipulated the crap out of them
    maybe your kids dont even both smile at the same time but the took the smiley head out of one photo and moved it to another where his brother is smiling LOL

    anyway everything has its price.
     
  7. dche5390

    dche5390 Member

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    2-3% of paying clients ever ask for raw files. Of that, only 1% probably have the means of doing something with that file format.

    For fucks sake, just deal with the jpeg file. I don't blame her for getting short. You're wasting her time. There is no profitability in giving raw files in her particular business model.

    Take your own photo in your desired file format. They are selling a jpeg file. Accept it and move on. Don't waste a legitimate business' time with a complaint that benefits a statistical indifferent number.

    As you have said, the proofs look good. THEN LET IT GO!!!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    cmdwedge

    cmdwedge Member

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    Alright, I'll accept that reasoning. But why the low-res JPEGs then? How about very high resolution JPEGs and perhaps TIFFs (do TIFF keep the photographer's stuff intact?).

    I don't want crappy Facebook-resolution photos. Stuff that.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    cmdwedge

    cmdwedge Member

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    Christ, way to rock the douchebag photographer stereotype.
     
  10. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

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    Do you know what 300dpi means?
     
  11. OP
    OP
    cmdwedge

    cmdwedge Member

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    Low-res, apparently. She said that it would look ok up to 8x10 or something and would pixellate after that. I'd like the option of doing higher resolution prints for family.
     
  12. dche5390

    dche5390 Member

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    I am simply telling you how it is because you asked. You don't have to like it.

    There is a lot of money in these portrait business models. I don't see it changing any time soon.

    Graduation photos are the worst from experience.
     
  13. power

    power Member

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    So why be so nasty to the 2-3% of customers who do ask?

    Fair enough if you aren't getting any prints but the OP stated he was

    Anyway, photographers can be dicks you shouldn't be surprised OP a lot of them are hacks with a DSLR and a basic understanding of paint.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    cmdwedge

    cmdwedge Member

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    I'm not actually that bothered, now that the business model has been explained to me - I didn't know about being able to manipulate the RAW images to look like I'd shot them (and possibly sell them on). Hey, that's why I asked here.

    I get it, you're an 'artist'. Whatever. I wasn't 'wasting her time', I didn't know. If she'd taken 30 seconds to explain why they keep the RAWs I would have been happy with that. Instead, she was an uppity bitch and it seems that I've found the same thing with your reply.
     
  15. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

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    if it's 8x10@300 dpi that's 2400x3000 pixel resolution. Unless they mean a 4x6@300dpi which would work out to be 1200x1800. Saying 300dpi doesn't mean much unless you provide a reference. 300dpi just means there are 300 dots per inch. So unless they say how many inches it is, it's a pointless reference.

    Sounds like she did. You just didn't accept the answer.

     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  16. mmBax

    mmBax Member

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    Buying the highest price thing doesn't immediately mean they're going to roll over and let you have whatever you want though.

    But I definitely can see a buyers point. They should be clear when they're advertising, with what you can actually do with your prints that you're getting. Maybe try and start some communication between them again and quiz them about what maximum size you can print the supplied image.

    If they're providing something for 6x4 prints, and they've made that clear in the package, I don't know what you can do about it, but if you wanted to do some large canvas prints, quiz them and see if what they're supplying is capable of doing so.

    If you don't want to do large scale prints, then there's probably not a lot of reasons to have an original sized image.
     
  17. ThankDog

    ThankDog (Banned or Deleted)

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    I'd go somewhere else. There's no way in Hell I'd pay money to someone like that. I don't give a shit about the business practice, the fact that she's being rude to you, a customer, is the only thing that matters in this situation.

    I'm so sick to death of the poor customer service in this country. I have zero tolerance for it these days. Your job relies on the customer, not the other way around.

    I really hope you don't make your living from photography. And by that, I mean, I hope nobody pays you, since you don't deserve to be paid with that attitude.
     
  18. power

    power Member

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    Yep there's a difference between being customer orientated and self-important, maybe find a different photographer who'll give you better than fb quality pics you could take with your smartphone.
     
  19. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Member

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    Exactly. I'd understand if they cared about a licensing fee for prints but surely it would be straightforward to have a compromise price for supplying the originals?

    eg $100 for the "print" quality, $200 for RAWs.

    A photographer isn't selling a bowl of pasta and they're not selling 10,000 copies of the same photo in most cases. They're selling you a service.
     
  20. Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    You hired the wrong photographer?

    Last photo shoot I had done included the end result of me being provided with disk containing images in both high res and low res, plus my choice of them as 8x10 prints. (Choice of 6 prints from the provided images.)

    That was the pre-negotiated package which I was charged for.

    I kinda think that the photographer should check what you want before accepting the commission, but you're still responsible for figuring out what you want before you get it done rather than after you get it done.



    Besides, why would you, for example, want raw image photo against a white backdrop or somesuch, when the post-processed image can end up like this

    You need FB for that'n, by the way'
     

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