Upload & Sell: Off
Fact is, any photo that we take and don't sell is wasted time and wasted space. Each market has its own price and method to which they'll buy - being dynamic for different situations is key to making it work.
Couldn't agree more.
This mentality of keeping images locked up so no one can make an extra copy they didn't pay for or pricing the image as if it's something it's not, amuses the hell out of me.
I would say that the OP practiced a very poor business model in the first place by not charging for his services. To me that's like saying " Whilst my time and effort is worth nothing, I want you to pay a fortune for my images".
To me, that's mixed messages and setting oneself up for a fall or at least a sticky situation... like this one.
Being old school, sitting for hours on a computer fiddling and editing pics gives me the Chits. I'm a photographer not a graphic designer. The way I would have done this is when the client approached, sussed out what they wanted and then offered the Photography and the images on disk as a package deal. You want prints, sure, here's my discounted reprint list seeing you have already paid for the images.
There is more money to me in getting a good price for my time and efforts and moving to the next job rather than fiddling around and getting much less for my time trying to extract the last cent out of every client.
I have done glamor work, portraits, sporting events and other one off and low volume shoots like that for years and it's worked great and brought me plenty of repeat and referral business.
As for the suggestion of charge the same as an 8x10 for every digital image, I'd like to know honestly how many shooters are REGULARLY able to get that for their pics and how many have tried it and got ZIP.
Having approached the job the way the OP has, the clients have him over a barrel. They are either going to order prints and scan them or make prints from the CD.
If the OP over prices the digital images, the clients will only buy prints and have them scanned.
The best option I believe is to put an all up price on ALL the images taken to make them a value added extra the clients can't resist. It might be that they will pay a couple of hundred dollars, they may pay more but I'd be very surprised if they were prepared to pay the 8x10 price for them unless the prints are under priced in the first place.
I really doubt there are as many images printed from CD's as people make out. In any case, I sell lots of Cd's as said for a variety of markets. I get good money for them and if someone wants to make a 100 prints from an image, good luck to them.
I price my work so I make a damn good hourly rate for my efforts so I am content with that rather than trying to have my cake and eat it too.
The bottom line with these situations is you can only try to salvage what you can.
You are not going to get top money for a train wreck. You have to do the best you can on the scrap value and be wiser the next time.