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How do you handle client approvals for restoration work?

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Old 07-25-2002, 07:44 PM
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DJ Dubovsky DJ Dubovsky is offline
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Location: Upper Penninsula of Michigan
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I have done e-mail proofs in a number of cases and for the most part I get pleased custiomers but there have been nightmares requesting fixes and critiquing me to death to a point where I am thinking I would be better off not doing that in the future. If you're asking if it's a good way to go I would say it could cause more trouble than good.
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Old 07-26-2002, 06:53 PM
Gerry Monaghan Gerry Monaghan is offline
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Location: Montour Falls NY
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Smile Client Approvals

It is kind of funny how experience can give us such insights. I have one client who is such a pain in the butt that I wouldn't dream of not getting every pixel where she wants it. So I am using emailed 72dpi jpegs, and we are on round 3 of minor changes (fix that tooth). Then I have 2 other clients who have both looked upon my Epson 900 inkjet proof prints and stated that this print is all they want, and could they just have this and be done with the transaction at hand, not wanting to order finished photo prints. Go figure. I just feel that I am in a service industry, and that if I am truely committed to providing my clients with a treasured keepsake, it is worth the time and effort to show them the restoration I have done. I guess it is a balancing act, deciding which clients will be satisfied with what I present, and which clients want to feel involved in the process of rediscovering their personal photographs. Then, charging accordingly. Gerry
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Old 07-31-2002, 10:50 AM
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Aric Aric is offline
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Here is a link to a company's Terms of business that might help.
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Old 07-31-2002, 03:32 PM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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And according to this, they have a thriving business!Report
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Old 01-11-2006, 07:54 AM
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twinkissed twinkissed is offline
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I saw this while posting in a different forum and wanted to ask something...

I notice when most people run any online advertising they focus on the fact they offer proofs and some will say, pay after you receive the photo. How do they do this??? If I said pay after the photo is received, I would probably be stiffed 80% of the time because that's just how the world is getting. I would love to not offer proofs because I "do" get nitpicked to death. I mean I always try to keep it as close to the original as possible in a restoration. I am restoring what was damaged... but... next thing I know they are saying it's slightly blurry, his eye looks a little closed, etc. Well, that's how it was in the original. By the time I'm done sometimes I making well under minimum wage. What I worry is if I DON'T send a proof, will I still be able to keep up with the competition? I know obviously if I do a better job, yes, but there are some that seem to offer pretty good work and people like that pay later thing.
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:48 AM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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I agree that it is not in your best interst to offer the proof. There will always be people who will find something wrong, even if you worked 100 hours on the restore. But if you give them the finished product, those same people might be thrilled with the results. If you do decide to offer proofs, you could put lines throughout the pic (on a seperate layer so you can easily remove them) that wouldn't be easily removed with software after the pic was scanned. Variations in color and opacity, as well as edges that are not well defined would help in making removal unlikely. The lines should intrude on important areas like the eyes, etc. After saying that, I still think it's in your best interest not to offer the client a potential problem for yourself. And yes, you can still compete.

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Old 01-11-2006, 09:11 AM
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chrishoggy chrishoggy is offline
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I work it this way. I agree with the customer what they want and expect from me, and then give them a price based on that. I don't offer proofs, as that gives the impression that you didn't understand what they asked for. It also stops them saying "While you are at it, can you also do this, that and the other as well". Because when you say yes but it will cost, they get all upset and fussy about the work you have done. I work in a few simple steps
1/ Ask what they want and expect as the finished work.
2/ Do the work and inform them the image is finished.
3/ Get payment for the work.
4/ Send the image, and hope they like it.
5/ If they see something that was missed or something that was done without them being informed, I fix it ASAP for free.
6/ If they see something that wasn't agreed upon at the beginning, they either pay to get it done at a reduced rate, or live with it.

It may sound a bit blunt, but if you give a customer too many options, they will have you tied in knots trying to make them 100% happy
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:42 AM
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twinkissed twinkissed is offline
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Hmmmm I may have to consider that route more. So far I have done this:

Receive the photo and give estimate
They approve estimate and place order.
I send a side by side proof with proof written on it and at a lower resolution.
Once approved I then send the final copy.
I save documented approval.

I guess that's why I've done the whole proof thing. I thought if I send the final and then they "say" they don't like it and they don't want to pay it would just be a big headache. My current situation makes it to where I can't have any chance of non-payment. That's my biggest concern is if they have that photo... they could love it but say otherwise to get a freebie, discount, etc.

On the other hand, another great thing about not sending a proof is eliminating the wait for them to get back to you. I had one lady take FOREVER to just come back and say "oh yes it's great send the final" and I like having the deal completed as soon as possible so I can have full attention on my new orders.

I could still offer them on my returning customers since they are used to it but take it off of my site I guess. I'll be pondering this a while probably. Thanks for all of the advice though. This subject is actually a pretty good part of my job related stress if you know what I mean.
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:48 AM
emarts emarts is offline
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I only provide a proof for color correction. And I charge for it. The price depends on what the proof is. For example, a matchprint is much more expensive than a digital print. Usually though at that point the image is part of an overall page-layout design and that will go for proofs. The cost of that is usually part of the layout charges.

But for a photo alone, there's no proof outside of seeing it on screen on my website. No charge for that.
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