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How do you handle client approvals for restoration work?

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  • How do you handle client approvals for restoration work?

    I am requiring a client approval on the restoration work before I send for the photo prints. I am using an inexpensive inkjet print (Epson 900 on #20 bond paper) for the proof print which the client/customer initials or marks with changes. I am explaining that it is not a precise match print colorwise, and that the final photo print will be very close to the proof, but that this step is for them to see the cleaning, correction, photo editing they have hired me to do. I could see a time when this could be done digitally on my (theoretical) website.

    I just can't imagine not having that approval step. Any thoughts? How do any of you handle this issue? Gerry

  • #2
    I allow the customer to preview the finished job through my website when the customer is not local. When the customer is local I usually do a proof print on lightweight photo paper. When the customer gets the proof they are encouraged to mark any changes required on the photo or discuss changes with me. When they preview on line they e-mail me then changes required. I don't get many requests for changes either way though, I think that stems from making careful notes when the job is first quoted.

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    • #3
      Perhaps I'm being a bit arrogant, but I don't offer an approval step. No complaints, yet.

      I guess it comes from my years as a copywriter. If I presented something as complete, they'd love it. If I presented the exact same thing as a draft for their comments, they'd pick it to pieces.
      Learn by teaching
      Take responsibility for learning

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      • #4
        I have to agree with Doug, seeking approval can only lead to fraught times. For your own evaluation by all means proof it, but the customer doesnt need to know the process, just the end result. I presume all details such as particulair colours etc are discussed pre work?

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        • #5
          I also agree with Doug and Mike.
          Another thought. If you've had an initial discussion of the work beforehand, presenting a proof for approval might appear that you are unsure of yourself/work.
          Just my personal opinion, but I don't think most clients could visualize the final output from looking at an inkjet . Because inkjets are not of the same quality as the final print, I don't think it does justice to your work. It could even be bad for business.

          One other thing, I have never had a customer ask me for a proof.

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          • #6
            I don't do a proof per se for basically the same reasons Doug, Mike & Vikki cited. All of my restorations include an 8x10 RA4 print. I do have a 4x6 proof made for myself before ordering that 8x10 though, just so that I can make sure I'm satisfied with the work. But as for the client, they never see anything short of what I consider a finished product.

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            • #7
              I never proof a restore job. I don't do much of it(restoration) either. The only time I proof it(retouching). For certain people in the photography industry who request a proof (from the Heidelberg) before printing to either press or digital (Lambda) printing.
              Even if I did proof a restore job(rgb). I print to the Lambda. So it's going to be different(to the trained eye) from inkjets.
              I would not do a proof from an inexpensive inkjet for a customer, if it is going to be output to high end equipment. Its a different world...........High end printing.
              Let them see it on screen. Instead of an inexpensive inkjet.

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              • #8
                I also do a lot of photo restoration and I really agree with doug and almost everybody. Proofing creates problems, period.

                Besides, photo restoration is also an art, which means sometimes you can't say the approach is not correct until you know what is really the objective.

                I also had experience with proofing restoration jobs, believe me that is a big headache (labor, time, finances!)


                Rey Mendoza

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                • #9
                  The Proofing Step In Restoration Work

                  Thanks Ray and all. You have convinced me. I am going to take all mentions of proofing out of my literature, and go at it on a case by case basis. I can see times when I want to make sure that what I am sending off to mthe photo lab is what the client needs, but I can see how it can open up a whole can of worms. Gerry

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                  • #10
                    proofing

                    I mainly provide a proof via email if the photo has been restored from a highly damaged state. Often there may be areas that you have to make a judgement on when there is no information to go on. This also helps the customer. Fore example recently I restored a photo that the crack when straight across the forehead and hairline. It seems the hairline is a bit higher than I made it and with the customers feedback I have been able to make an accurate adjustment to the photo.

                    I have not had any complaints so I must be doing the right thing.

                    A hint though, when taking an order for restoration have a worksheet that details as much as possible before quoting on the job and have the customer sign it if possible. It is a great help.

                    Cheers
                    Katherine Quirke
                    Potential Time P/L
                    www.ptime.com.au

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                    • #11
                      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.
                      DJ

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                      • #12
                        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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                        • #13
                          Here is a link to a company's Terms of business that might help.

                          http://www.hollywoodfotofix.com/howto.php

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                          • #14
                            And according to this, they have a thriving business!Report

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                            • #15
                              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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