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  • Client wants PSD file

    Hi,

    I've done some retouching for a local photographer, and he's asked me how much it would cost to get the PSD file of the final image.
    He's not so much interested in the actual retouching, but more in the colours, contrast, etc... in other words the grading & overall "look" of the image. And whilst I want to give him the PSD, I also want to get compensated for this added value service...

    Because it's a bit like teaching & parting with my knowledge, I don't know what to do.

    I can think of two options:
    1) add a certain percentage (50?) to my normal hourly rate
    2) take the normal hourly rate and add US$150 for the PSD file?

    Any other suggestions? What would you do?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Re: Client wants PSD file

    Give the customer what he wants and keep a customer. I wouldn't sweat it but you could always flatten the 'tricky bits' before handing over.

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    • #3
      Re: Client wants PSD file

      As I said: I want to give him the file – like you say: I want to keep the customer.
      So you're saying don't raise the price?? Not sure if I agree with that.
      With regards to flattening the tricky bits: he's got OK retouching skills already, and I think he'd notice if I flattened the tricky bits – which might have a negative impact on our relationship.
      I think it'd be better to keep things transparent, but ask for a markup. I'm just not sure about how high that markup should be...

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      • #4
        Re: Client wants PSD file

        I use a simple rule - what they pay for is theirs! I couldn't get away with, nor want to, charge extra for a psd and I'm not sure you'll smell too sweet if he finds out no one else charges. That said, you know your local market and if that is the convention then add a percentage. Quite rightly, keep it transparent e.g. 25% for supplying a re-editable file or for waiving future editing rights.

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        • #5
          Re: Client wants PSD file

          Sure – what they pay for is theirs. On the other hand, you'll have a hard time finding (for example) a car mechanic that allows you to watch them whilst they fix your car.
          Thing is: He'll be able to learn from the PSD. Once he's learnt enough, he won't come back. (Particularly not during times of recession, when photographers often have spare time to do their own retouching).

          You say that you don't charge extra, which is fair enough. But that doesn't mean that no-one charges for a psd. I know my local market, but don't know anyone who gives out their PSD files at all.
          On the other hand, as you say: I don't want to loose a customer.

          Tricky one...

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          • #6
            Re: Client wants PSD file

            Originally posted by Repairman View Post
            I wouldn't sweat it but you could always flatten the 'tricky bits' before handing over.
            This. It's done a lot.

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            • #7
              Re: Client wants PSD file

              Seriously; when I switched to giving clients layered files instead of a transparency I thought the game was up. (Heck! now they'll know my secrets) In reality, they couldn't be arsed or were too busy to bother learning. As qualified by Benny, I flatten elements that are either scruffy or if I want to hide a curve. You can also delete saved selections and paths. If your client was aware of a surcharge for psd's when you quoted the job then fair enough; establish a scale of fees consistent with the local market.

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              • #8
                Re: Client wants PSD file

                I have never heard of charging extra for PSD files... it doesn't make sense.

                Unless you've developed very unique techniques and styles I wouldn't worry about a client 'stealing them'... 99% of it is only a few google clicks away anyway...

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                • #9
                  Re: Client wants PSD file

                  Could he be actually asking really to see just how much work you have put in to justify to himself your costs?

                  If he already has retouching skills and his intention is to do some work himself then it is going to happen whatever you do. But if you are reasonable (or more importantly he perceives you as such) he will be more likely to return or pass work to you in the future that is beyond his skill or just does not have the time. Of course he might just want to buy a plugin to replace you

                  A tricky one for sure and will be reliant on your understanding of the client and the market you are in.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Client wants PSD file

                    Originally posted by Sinisa View Post
                    99% of it is only a few google clicks away anyway...
                    Hey, maybe your work, but, not mine.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Client wants PSD file

                      I would (and do) tell them that some of your techniques are proprietary, and you're not comfortable letting it out of your studio.

                      If they're gonna dump you just cause you don't give out the recipe to your secret sauce, they're probably gonna dump you soon anyway, because they're simply unreasonable.

                      Clients will want to bend you over many times in a relationship. It's good to be flexible, but sometimes you have to draw the line.

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