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Archive 2012 · How do you show proofs without having them stolen?
  
 
Richard Booth
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How do you show proofs without having them stolen?


Let me say first that I'm not a working pro. I do this because I enjoy it and can write off the equipment because of our publishing business. However, I have sold landscape work at art fairs, sports shots to parents and musical theater shots for local high schools. I hate to put watermarks on prints but feel it is necessary to slow them down.

We have a Zenfolio account and I post some online in a page-turn program. Doing a screen capture is a walk in the park for most people and especially the kids. I've seen my images on Facebook with proof numbers and watermarks all over them. When I shoot a theater performance and bring proofs the following night, people complain because they are too small but it's costly to print large proofs. I actually had to stop one woman who was taking pictures of my proof sheets with her phone. They don't care. Short of limiting my shooting and only doing face-to-face consults with parents using an Ipad, I don't know what else to do.

How does everyone else handle this?

Richard



May 16, 2012 at 09:24 PM
RDKirk
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How do you show proofs without having them stolen?


You're worried about people stealing the images? Well, that's something to worry about. But let me mention something else that I and many others have found to be true:

The impulse to purchase the image is greatest upon first sight. Every time the client sees the image without purchasing it, the impulse ever to purchase is gradually extinquished.

That means you want your initial point of sale and the client's initial point of view to be the same point. You don't want "look, take it hom, think about it," you ideally want "look and buy...now."

In fact, I have been extremely successful in portraits by making my own selection of the best image, enlarging it to a gallery wrap (depending on my reading of the client from previous consultations, anywhere from 16x20 to 30x40), taking it to the intial preview...and selling it on the spot. Once they've seen it, the wives/mothers rarely want to see me walk away with it.



May 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Richard Booth
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How do you show proofs without having them stolen?


I couldn't agree more and have used that for some assigned portrait work. I'm concerned about times when I shoot, for example, a high school musical and end up with 100+ images. Or a hockey match or baseball game. When I make proof sheets on 13x19 paper, the images aren't that large but I think large enough to make a selection. Problem is when a cast includes 60 or 70 kids, it is difficult and expensive to show that many proofs. They all want to see them online and that's when I risk losing them.


May 17, 2012 at 05:08 PM
AlphaValues
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How do you show proofs without having them stolen?


I found myself in a very similar situation. While I don't do this professionally, I do take a lot of pride in making sure what goes out into the world is the best work I can do. A few months ago, I shot a couple and posted previews on a secured area of my website. The email I sent them explaining that these are preview images and are only for their eyes went unheeded - within hours several images, some of them horrible, were all over the social networking sites. I'm just glad those didn't have my watermark on them.

After this incident, I wrote an ImageMagick script that layers a 50% grey, 50% transparent "PREVIEW IMAGE - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE" across my preview images at an angle. It was a little tricky getting the size of the text correct; I want it to be prominent but not plastered across the center third of the image. Since I've started doing this, I haven't had any issues with unprocessed images going wild.



May 17, 2012 at 08:34 PM
 

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s1930
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How do you show proofs without having them stolen?


PhotoCart works well for proofing larger numbers of images and they cannot be stolen outside of a crappy screen shot. Just one option to think about.




May 18, 2012 at 07:47 PM
alohadave
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How do you show proofs without having them stolen?


Richard Booth wrote:
I couldn't agree more and have used that for some assigned portrait work. I'm concerned about times when I shoot, for example, a high school musical and end up with 100+ images. Or a hockey match or baseball game. When I make proof sheets on 13x19 paper, the images aren't that large but I think large enough to make a selection. Problem is when a cast includes 60 or 70 kids, it is difficult and expensive to show that many proofs. They all want to see them online and that's when I risk losing them.


High Schoolers buy pictures of themselves performing plays? That seems like an odd prospect.



May 19, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Richard Booth
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How do you show proofs without having them stolen?


Alohadave:
Yes. High Schoolers do buy pictures of themselves performing plays. As do the family members and friends. Actually it's refreshing to see kids who aren't athletic get some attention for a change. Spend a few hours at one of these events and you may be surprised. Sure there are kids who couldn't carry a tune in a box. But there are always a few who surprise. Look at those on American Idol working as waitresses and in pawnshops on the verge of becoming stars.

In fact, shooting high school productions narrows down the field of "photographers" standing next to you on the sidelines with consumer DSLR's making decent images. If you don't have the equipment in a dark theatre, you may as well stay home.

Richard



May 19, 2012 at 12:59 PM
alohadave
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How do you show proofs without having them stolen?


Oh, I'm aware that some of the kids have talent, I've just never heard of pictures being something that people were buying. Things are different than when I was in HS.


May 19, 2012 at 03:35 PM





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