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How to handle a large job?

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  #1  
Old 04-11-2006, 07:02 PM
fishgal fishgal is offline
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Question How to handle a large job?

Hello All,

I have recently been contacted by a couple to retouch their recent wedding photos, which have been given to me on cd. However when i opened up the files i noticed their are close to 1000 photos. Many have shadows or a blue tint. Anyway this is my first paid job and first of this volume. Does anyone have any advise on how to approach this project? I assume i can do some batch processing but i have no idea how much to charge for this work? I am in the southern california area if that helps for a frame of reference. They will also want some prints when the photos are done but i am less concerned about how to price that as the retouching service...

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:03 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Just some thoughts:

Copyrights?

Where they shot by one person, two, or did many folks just give them files from many different cameras? If its many, do you see any changes in contrast, color etc between the images, they will most likely want them all the same if they want them in a book.

Charge by the hour, sounds like a great many hours. Think of it this way, what does a plumber make in your area or maybe a car mechanic? Would you consider that your training, time, equipment etc are kind of comparable to theirs? If you think that you are better or worse than them, then charge accordingly.

They will most likely want a final price, so spend some time trying to put them into batches, one can lose their shirt trying to bid this kind of work.

I will be interested in what others have to say.

Mike
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:14 PM
emarts emarts is offline
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You better have some sort of agreement. I can just see you working on 1000 images and then they tell you they only wanted 10 of them worked on. Be very clear about the work you can do and the pay you want. Also, ask for a deposit.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:15 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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1000 photos on a single CD means they'd have to be much tinier than traditional wedding photos. Are you sure these aren't proofs provided by their photographer? If that's the case (and I'm not saying it is) you'd be opening yourself up to a ton of liability by doing anything at all with them.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:35 AM
Mike Mike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Nelson
1000 photos on a single CD means they'd have to be much tinier than traditional wedding photos. Are you sure these aren't proofs provided by their photographer? If that's the case (and I'm not saying it is) you'd be opening yourself up to a ton of liability by doing anything at all with them.

Great point, I really missed that
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:10 PM
fishgal fishgal is offline
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Wow, thanks for the interesting points. It completely slipped my mind to see if the images were protected. The client had intended to do the correcting themselves initally as they thought it would be less expensive than the photographers fee. However they now wished they had just paid the fee and thus have come to me.

The files seem large enough when opened but i will have to check on the resolution to see what they are at. I believe they purchased the photo files and made a duplicate disk for me. I didn't check it is possible that they are on a dvd though i doubt it.

Can "professional" photo files be retouched without issues? What should i check for to cover my end? It is sad for these clients because the photographer clearly didn't know what he was doing photography wise.

Thanks again for all the very helpful suggestions, i will keep these in mind for future projects as well.
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Old 04-18-2006, 04:39 PM
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goose443 goose443 is offline
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Your clients may think they want all the photos retouched but in reality they're far more likely to only want those they will place in their album to be retouched. I've spoken to several photographers who say people often become overwhelmed at the amount of photographs a professional photographer will take at a wedding and unless they have some sort of guidance in selecting those they really want they may think they need everyting worked on. Of course it may be the case that they really do want every single shot but it might be worth sitting with them and hashing out what their album will look like before you correct. This may save you time and them money. (Of course make sure to charge appropriately for your consulting service)
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:23 PM
videosean videosean is offline
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It never hurts to check both the EXIF and IPTC section of a file to see if there are any comments, copyrights, company names, restrictions, etc... but just because there isn't any info like in the metadata areas doesn't mean that they weren't shot by someone who won't take too kindly to the idea that someone else is doing something to images they hold copyrights to.

I prefer a per image fee personally and to outline specifically what it would cover. I think charging an hourly rate would discourage me from learning to work faster and better

For instance - .25 per = color correct/boost/reduce and adjust for under/over exposure as much as possible. I think that's reasonable but a client may not. I have very little paid freelancing experience but I'm confident I could go lower than .25 per and still get through them (1000 / 700MB CD limit = 70KB avg file size) in an amount of time that would make me quite happy Doing more than that (like cropping and retouching) I think I'd ask them to select a few of their favorite files and go from there.

Like Doug Nelson said, these are likely proofs and not print-worthy files.
A Nikon D2Hs SLR will give an average file size of 1.65MB per with 4megapixel sized files (quick math from a sample of 40 files I have from a project - not my camera) My sony point and shoot 5MP gives me file sizes around 2MB per roughly at it's 5MP setting. I found one image I have that is about 82KB and it's pixel dimensions are 1000 x 768. Theoretically good enough for a 4x6 print size or going to video IMO but nothing larger. I've some 10MP images from a canon EOS-1DS at around 2MB+ per file but I don't know that that could be taken as an average size - the sample pics I have from that camera at that size are few and underexposed.

Just my two cents... and maybe someone will tell me I'm way out of line with my way of thinking
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Old 04-19-2006, 12:05 PM
emarts emarts is offline
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You, as a professional, need to have some sort of agreement that holds you harmless for any unintentional/potential copyright infringement. The client must understand that they are taking the risk. However, you need to check the laws (translated: consult a lawyer) to be sure you are not liabel in any way. Ignorance of the law does not excuse you from punishment should you break it.

Call (or have the client call) the photographer and ask for his/her copyright policy when it comes to digital proofs. If the intention was for the customer to print unlimited number of prints from the digital files, I don't think that you are violating any laws by performing retouching/corrections on them. A good lawyer could probably argue the simple fact that the photographer handed over the digital files and the fact that the client is now in possession of those files, that they have every right to print as many copies as they want. Not to mention you don't have to provide any printing services. Just give them back the digital files.

Copyright may only protect the photographer from the client being able to make any money from the use of the photos. I believe that is the difference between registering a copyright and not.

Such a gray area and why I hate copyright law. And don't forget (obligatory disclaimer coming here), an online forum is not the best place to receive legal advice. I am not a lawyer. These are just my opinions.
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:49 PM
fishgal fishgal is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions, it turns out they did give me a dvd-rom and the files are quite large enough. Thanks for all the suggestions with reguards to copyrights it was very thought provoking.
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