WWYD

Apollo T.

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Hi,
I’ll try to keep this brief. A couple of yrs ago great nephew had an outdoor bday party. I attended and took some pix. I made sure to get portraits of each kid attending. Parents saw the display and every one asked for a copy of their kid’s pic. Someone suggested selling these.
WWYD in a situation like this? Attempt to sell? If so what price?
Thanks for your thoughts
 

PakkyT

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That is a tough one since you were taking shots for fun and then when parents ask for a copy it could seem weird to suddenly ask for money. Your pictures of course and you can do with them what you please. Maybe next time the situation comes up, if you are interested in selling copies, have the party host include a note in the invite saying a photographer will be present taking portraits for anyone interested in buying copies. Then there is an expectation of the arrangement.

As to prices, do the parents simply want a digital copy or do they want prints? I am guessing these days most want a digital copy for their social media pages. Maybe offer a low priced social media ready lower resolution JPG for a few bucks, perhaps a couple standard sized prints for whatever it cost you to get the prints made + a few bucks + an additional small markup for the trouble of getting the prints, and then finally a full resolution digital copy for a few bucks x2 or x3? Even if every parent wanted the $3 SM sized copy, if the party has 20 kids then you still make out with $60 which will buy you a new flash or something.

Re-reading your post again, did the parents see the display years after the party and now want copies? Or was this right after the party and now you are asking about if you ever do it again?
 

PhotoCal

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If there was no expectation of payment at the time (when the event was going on ) then it would be wrong to expect payment now. Assuming, that is, that you don't incur expenses providing the images.

Why not burn images to a cd and give them to the host to distribute to the guests, free of charge?

People who want prints can use Shutterfly or something and buy their own.
 

ex machina

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You could give them small digital versions suitable for social media posts and charge for printable quality and more for actual prints. The ones who care about quality won't have a problem paying, and everyone will be happy.

If it were me I'd probably give them the full-res files and only charge for actual prints because it would involve additional time, effort and probably a little pain.
 
Last edited:

ex machina

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When I was a kid I took this photo of my neighbors at our bus stop and offered a print to their mother for $10 because I wanted to be "pro" -- pretty sure she didn't have the money to spare and I've always regretted asking for it, even though it was entirely reasonable to do so. I'd like to think that she was ultimately happy she came up with the cash.

51014077333_4daa1081eb_c.jpg
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The Yopp Kids by Lewis Francis, on Flickr
 
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I have done the same thing many times. My photos are likely not worth anything given my limited ability for posing, etc. I have always offered the full files up on my smugmug account for free download so they can use as they wish.
 

Apollo T.

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Two part reply:
@PakkyT
I only received normal notice of replies this afternoon. I didn't receive notice of your reply way back. I'm sorry for any appearance of rudeness in not thanking you for so much time and effort on your part.
Apollo T.
 

Apollo T.

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Part 2
This happened 18 months ago-pre pandemic. It was a bday party with about 10 guys as guests. It was the last party before they entered different high schools (they're a pretty gifted group of nice kids). It was a heavily overcast day with lots boring backgrounds- in short perfect for cndid outdoor portraits.

Since it was a small group and my time there was short, there weren't a lot of pix. Culling was fast and there was little need for PP- mostly cropping and straightening. Virtually no color or brightnes work (only one was underexposed a bit). These were really good out of the box. I was able to send pix to nephew in a couple of days.

Nephew called that all the parents were clamoring for copies. Then asked, "What do you want to do?"
I was elated that someone would 'clamor' for my pix. "So, let them have them." my response. It wasn't until later that i realized his tone implied the question of selling the pix. He and wife are lawyers.

A couple of months later, at a club meeting, I mentioned this- still happy about the response- when a pro photographer asked how much I charged for the pix. I told him and he looked at me and said he would never miss a chance to sell any pic. One woman said it seemed, to her, like buying pix taken on a cruise.

Finally, there may be a couple of chances to do this sort of thing over the next year.

Thanks again everyone.
 

demiro

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@Apollo T. I may have missed it, but are you are working full-time photographer?

This sort of conflict between working pros who say "never give your work away - other professionals don't do that" vs hobbyists [who may or may not occasionally get paid] who say "I'm happy to share my photos" exists. As a never-paid hobbyist with no desire to make photography paid work I'm firmly on the side of "live and let live" on this one. I understand why pros get rankled about competing against free, but that's life, I think.

If a chef cooks for friends and family for free, lawyers or docs give free advice, or a mechanic works on a friends car for free, no one says "hey, you're taking work away from a pro". Only photographers seem to do that.
 
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In a situation like this I would give the photos to them for free. I'm mostly a hobbyist who has done some paid family & newborn sessions to support gear purchases.

A similar situation happened this year with my son's T-ball team. My wife and I took photos of each kid during games and just shared them with everyone on the team. Sure some parents would have probably paid us something, but those action shots they got of their little ones were something they never would have had otherwise. It made me happy to share with them and see the appreciation. I shared the photos via my shootproof account where it looks fairly professional. Many asked if I have a photo business on the side and what other types (family, wedding, etc) that I would shoot. That way, at least in my mind, it gave them a sample of work and an avenue to reach out to me for a paid opportunity if they see fit. There was no pressure that way.
 

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