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Archive 2012 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?
  
 
greglumley
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p.1 #1 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


Hi, I was wondering if you choose the images for albums or if you allow your clients to choose?

I usually allow them to choose because I feel after paying so much cash it should be their choice, but as you can imagine their choices can sometimes be horrendous!

How to you go about it?

Greg.



Apr 13, 2012 at 08:47 AM
Nic Cleave
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p.1 #2 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


Greg, it doesn't matter if their choices seem strange to you. They have paid you for a service and deserve to have an input into their final product. After all, it's not you who will spend the rest of your life looking at their album.

We encourage our couples to get involved with the album design process, but at the same time to trust my professional judgement and experience, when it comes down to how their favourite images are perhaps best laid out on the page together.

75% of our couples also come back into the studio for an album proofing session, basically to 'sign-off' the design before it's sent for printing and binding.

We find this adds to the perceived 'value' of our service, and as to our surprise very few couples ever request more than 1 or 2 image changes from a whole album.

Unless your charging £10,000+ and working with celebs who have 'bought your vision...' most ordinary couples will want to have some control over which images go into their wedding album.

Just my opinion, so hope it helps?

Cheers,

Nic



Apr 13, 2012 at 08:59 AM
Mark_L
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p.1 #3 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


Since I shoot with the album in mind I pre-design it and deliver the draft but say they can change as much as they want (2 rounds of changes) so at least then they have seen my vision of it. I tell them that this is part of what they pay me for since picking through hundreds of images is quite a task and honestly I feel most clients are way too busy to do it and would probably take months and months.

I rarely get any major changes, often nothing but usually just swaps of one frame for another similar one - most common on reception/candid work since I would may pick the best photographically and they are inclined to pick the most meaningful person.



Apr 13, 2012 at 09:44 AM
ai3x
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p.1 #4 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


I always predesign. If you let a couple pick first it usually won't make a good story. They pick images here and there which really don't tie together.

One I have the design nailed though I'll always send it to them. I then share screens with gotomeeting and we go through and make any changes they might want.

This seems to be the best of both worlds, they have control but at the same time I get to create the story.



Apr 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Chris Beaumont
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p.1 #5 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


ai3x wrote:
I always predesign. If you let a couple pick first it usually won't make a good story. They pick images here and there which really don't tie together.

One I have the design nailed though I'll always send it to them. I then share screens with gotomeeting and we go through and make any changes they might want.

This seems to be the best of both worlds, they have control but at the same time I get to create the story.


Same.



Apr 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Kittyk
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p.1 #6 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


in our gallery we have option to select favorite images and comment on them, we use it as starting point for a design.


Apr 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Mitch W
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p.1 #7 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


Same as Alex - pre-design. I've only ever had very minor changes come back. But by time the clients see the album design they've already seen my blog post and probably a slideshow, so they already know what I feel are the key story telling photos.


Apr 13, 2012 at 01:18 PM
FPS Studios
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p.1 #8 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


I have the couple send me a list of their 'top 40' give or take a few. Especially with the formals- I don't like making the call on which ones go in or out. However, along with their selections, I'll add some detail and supporting images to round out the story. Iíll then create the layout and once they approve itís off to the printers. The downside is some couples lose some interest and can take a looong time to give me the selections. That part makes me think about changing to doing the pre-layout like some others mentionedÖ.


Apr 13, 2012 at 01:33 PM
AlexF
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p.1 #9 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


I ask for their favorites - 40 to 50 shots and I choose the rest myself...


Apr 14, 2012 at 02:12 AM
NathanHamler
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p.1 #10 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


I usually have clients choose...the last book i designed the bride was like "they're all great, you can pick the photos"... So i did, and she came back with all these changes.... So i dont choose anymore...i say pick 2 times as many photos as there are pages, and out of that i say pick 10 that MUST be in the book...


Apr 15, 2012 at 02:08 AM
 

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gabemc
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p.1 #11 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


Nic Cleave wrote:
......Unless your charging £10,000+ and working with celebs who have 'bought your vision......


i don't think only celebs should be hiring you for your vision or clients who are paying $10,000+... this should be every wedding photographers goal...regardless of your pricing. i choose all the images that go into my couples albums. i do all the design and i really only offer black leather covers. my clients hire me to capture, what for many, is the most important day of their lives. they trust me. they trust my creative decisions. so why wouldn't they trust my creative decision when it come to thier wedding album? if the trust stops after the wedding day, i persoanlly feel you haven't done your job to the fullest extent, you should go back and try to find the reason as to why that is.

IMHO.




Apr 17, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Nic Cleave
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p.1 #12 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


Gabe, totally disagree with you on this one.

I provide my couples on average, with 300 images that document the story of their wedding day. From this they receive 45-90 prints in a traditional Jorgensen album, or up 100 images for a 30 page (60 side) press-printed story book album.

I don't care how 'in tune' we think we are with our couples, in my experience there is always at least one (and in most cases many, many more,) images from these 300 that for some reason un-be-known to me, jump out as my clients 'favourite' images.

They are also usually images that I wouldn't have included in the album design if doing it myself.

The truth is that although I feel confident that I've captured the complete story of their day through my still images, most couples memories of their day are often influenced by factors other than the day's actual events. These are family and friend relationships, events and past memories of interaction with their guests that I'm not privvy too and so on.

For this reason, over the years I've seen some 'strange' and surprising image choices, but by at least involving my couples in the process, I'm confident that when they come into the studio to collect their albums, that what they receive matches as closely as possible, 'their' memories of their wedding day.

Again these are just opinions and obviously personal to each professional wedding photographer, but my opinions none the less, based on my experience of shooting over 250 weddings where we're based in the UK market.

I have no doubt others will have different opinions.

Kind regards,

Nic

Edited on Apr 17, 2012 at 04:54 PM · View previous versions



Apr 17, 2012 at 01:58 PM
gabemc
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p.1 #13 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


i guess we just run our businesses differently Nic. not better...just different. i feel i am totally in tune with my clients and i pride myself on this. i am booked because of this. i offer, what i feel grat product...but i feel i offer an even better experiance. i don't shoot a lot of weddings..no where near 250 like yourself. i shoot on average 16-19 a year in the summer and take the rest of the year off. so this minimal bookings allow me to really put all of myself into each and everyone of my couples. to really get to know them and vice versa. i attract a very specific client and we just "get eachother" so for me this way of "selling" albums works....again not for everyone.

and the business side of me is that i want my albums to be a direct reflection of me and my work. i want people to see my albums and in turn understand what it is that i do. what i offer. what style and feeling you'll get when you book me.

i see the argument..."but at the end of the day it's my clients book" and yes i agree but why can't the book at the end of the day be both your clients to cherish and yours as a portfolio? again what you do and how you do it should be EXACTLY what your clients want...and in doing so this discussion will never come into play.

and for some who may think i am not selling albums this way..i am and would be more then happy in sharing my averages with you privately.




Apr 17, 2012 at 02:54 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #14 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


I'm transitioning towards doing initial design totally on my own and then they can make changes if they want. I'm trying to have less traditional and more story-telling in my albums. Sick of having books full of family crap, which is what happens when they pick. They can get a box of prints of that stuff if they want, I'll even make it affordable if I have to, if it means a good fine-art album instead of a typical wedding album.


Apr 17, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Nic Cleave
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p.1 #15 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


Yep, we're all different and that's what makes this board a great learning and sharing place.

I only shoot 20-25 weddings each year, so I'm certainly not 'stacking em high and selling them cheap,' and I feel that I get to know all of my couples really well before the day too. This is vital in the way I prefer to work.

I still design the album and encourage my couples to 'trust' my professional experience, but always ask for their input from the beginning, with letting me know which images are their favourites throughout the day's events.

With 50% coming back to 'proof' their album before they are sent off for printing/binding. Of these couples, very few ever make more than a few changes to the design, and like someone else earlier in this thread said, it's usually just a case of swapping out one shot for a similar shot, or changing one or two of the detail or reportage shots.

We decided about 2 years ago that as we aren't inexpensive for our area of the UK, we didn't ever want the situation to arise where we had designed an album for a couple that for what ever reason, they weren't completely overjoyed with.

This way we feel that this is guaranteed with every couple we work with, and in no way suggests that I'm not confident in my own ability to design the perfect album for my clients from the images I created with them on the day, it's just how we feel most comfortable doing business and charging couples for what amounts to a highly personal and emotionally evocative end product.

Cheers,

Nic

Edited on Apr 17, 2012 at 05:44 PM · View previous versions



Apr 17, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Sam Hassas
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p.1 #16 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


They choose 15-20. I/we choose the rest. I tell them to choose 15-20 images that wouldn't be obvious to us.
Formals, close loved ones etc. We had an additional 40ish images to this mix.

I'm proud of our album design. Think we do it well. Lot of love goes in.



Apr 17, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Nic Cleave
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p.1 #17 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


Thanks Sam, that's exactly what I was trying to say but in twice as many words!

Cheers,

Nic



Apr 17, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Steve Tinetti
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p.1 #18 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


I give them the option, but usually my clients choose. If they need help, I offer my help. There are no horrendous images. If I show it to them, it is meaningful and it is album worthy. They only choose images that are meaningful to them for their album. I am not the one who will be looking at this album 20 years from now. This is their chance to have some or all control over the final product. I've had clients tell me to "just do it" and I have had micro-managers who beat me up on every detail. Either way, it's all good.


Apr 17, 2012 at 05:13 PM
paparazzinick
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p.1 #19 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


We ask the bride if we should just do it or do they want to pick. If they say go for it, we get the album done within a few weeks of the wedding, they make maybe 2-3 changes and we are done with them within 45 days from the wedding

If they pick the photos, then it drags on months and months and then usually they are out of the contract deadlines and have to pay extra fees. Some people actually never finish their albums because they took forever and some bitch and complain they have to pay a fee. I explain to them its like a late mortgage payment. Now if it is a month over due, then I usually forgive them. If it is 6 months, a year or more then screw them. They are paying fees.

Albums is a never ending battle with some brides. They all think they are designers and know style and how to make an album flow. They forget that this is what we do for a living and we usually know whats best.

With that said. For 2012 and 2013, we let them pick 20-30 of their must have favorites and then we design an album. They then get 2 session changes and everything after that they pay session fees to make changes. Albums are now all 1 price for us. We used to do a base price then each additional page was more.

So example.

8x8 album is $10 regardless if it is 20 pages or 60 pages. We charge enough to make it worthwhile. We are not selling pages anymore we are selling their story. SO if the bride feels her book is good at 26 pages then we are done. If it is 60, then o well. Now upgrades are more suck as thicker pages, upgraded covers, book cases and such.

So we have 3 sizes and 3 styles. 8x8, 10x10, 12x12 Pages are magazine style, thinner photo paper style and then photo paper mounted on board for the thicker pages. So the prices do change for bigger books and with thicker pages. But for more pages, the price is the same.

Brides that booked us for this year love this idea and we just did 3 weddings this past month with our new way of doing things. One bride said she had to have 71 photos in it. We ended up with a 60 page design. She made 5 changes. So paid to have those changes done. Then decided she wanted a 12x12 with the thick pages since her book was going to be huge with the design. I was excited for the $2000 upgrade that I said if she upgraded and paid right now (on the spot in my studio) I would give her 2 parent albums for free. (Cost of $100) She signed.

So it can go either way. Brides can pick and it works great for you or you pick and it works great. My suggestion, give them the option. but stick to your rules and dont let them puch you or it will be years later and youre still dealing with that bride.



Apr 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM
katiedis
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p.1 #20 · Do you choose or do your clients choose their album pics?


I do the draft design, no input from clients.

Then they get to make any changes they desire. We do that until they love it. usually only takes one round of minor revisions.

(I used to ask for clients to pick the photos first and I swear it took them ages to do that. ridiculous amounts of wasted time, in that it never seemed to be a better end result than doing it my current style. equally happy with end result, but now the clients are happy they didn't have to spend time pouring over photos and stressing about if they picked the right ones.)



Apr 18, 2012 at 03:15 PM
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