I think all of us in the industry have had this problem. We do a shoot, rave to our clients about their photos, edit and then deliver. And a few days after delivery, we get an email from the client. It goes something like this…
“I think I’m missing some photos.”
“I didn’t see all the photos you took?”
“Didn’t you take more?”
And then you might get the ever-dreaded question that we all hate.
“Can I just have all the raw, unedited photos?”
So now, we photographers have a big problem on our hands. Some of us are comfortable with the way our images look without post-processing, and some of us freak out when the words raw, unedited are said. Either way, I think we all like to touch-up our photos a bit before sending them to the client.
So when the client asks for all the raw, unedited files, most of us want to refuse.
The problem is, how do we do so in such a way that doesn’t offend the client and make her say to her friends, “Man, Aria was SO hard to get photos from!”, or be hesitant to recommend us?
- First off, don’t tell your client how many photos you actually took. This was my first mistake in my career. I like to get a lot of angles, different focuses, and play with light. And I always like to get a couple short bursts of each pose just in case someone blinks. Naturally, I end up with a lot of photos. When you tell your clients that you took 300 photos on their session, they get super excited. What they don’t know is that you’re probably going to end up with 30! So when they open their gallery, expecting at least couple hundred photos, and get way less than they were expecting – they think they’re getting gypped.
- Secondly, set an expectation. On my website, I clearly state how many photos come with a 2-hour senior session. At a wedding, I would tell my bride ahead of time how many photos she can estimate she’ll have from each hour of shooting. This way, she knows what she’s getting before the shoot and before she pays. This leads into my third and last tip.
- Always, ALWAYS under-promise and over-deliver. This is a HUGE one for me! I do this in two ways. For one, I always try to deliver the photos early. I set an expectation, whether it be one week to a month, and then I try to cull, edit, and deliver in half the time. (Hint: This also builds in time for you if you run into something that keeps you from getting the photos to the client, like your computer breaking down or there being a family emergency.) Clients LOVE to get their photos early, especially after their wedding when they’re on their honeymoon. The second way I under-promise and over-deliver is that I always try to include more pictures than they’re expecting. This really eliminates the chances of them asking for more!
Have you ever run into a client asking for more photos? Have you used any of these tips in the past?