One Wedding Portrait - before & after
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Old 03-08-2009   #1
Vicuna
 
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Default One Wedding Portrait - before & after

Comments, thoughts? I really hate to smooth away every single flaw, so I left a hint of the forehead creases and a few other things. I should also note that I almost never do this kind of hand retouching for wedding shoots - however from now on I think I am going to do it for one or two photos for every wedding.




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Old 03-08-2009   #2
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Default Re: One Wedding Portrait - before & after

I like it. Good work! Hope the client likes it, too.
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Old 03-08-2009   #3
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Default Re: One Wedding Portrait - before & after

Just don't do it for free. You should be paid for all the time you spend. I don't "retouch" wedding images as they are all "small" (<= 8x10). That is one of the reasons I charge more for my "portrait services." There is is typically only one image that has to carry the load and there is at least one print that will be of a larger size. In weddings each pic is a part of the whole. Lots of groups and full lengths so small face sizes.

Now anytime I make an 11x14 or larger, those get retouched and charged for. No other option. It is not just a bigger piece of paper. The good and the bad get bigger and it will be in a frame subject to dust, so it is mounted for easy framing and lacquer sprayed so it can be cleaned and has some UV protection.

I let the bride know that retouching is available and show samples of good, better, best versions with appropriate variations of cost. That way, if there is one little pimple that wasn't there, I can get say $2.50 (fictitious number) to do it. Not much, but for 30 pictures, it adds up as does the time it takes me away from other things, so it makes it worth it.

Face it, they paid someone $50-$200.00 to make up her face to fix the pimples, so shouldn't you get the same rate?
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Old 03-08-2009   #4
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Default Re: One Wedding Portrait - before & after

Quote:
Originally Posted by kgphoto View Post
Face it, they paid someone $50-$200.00 to make up her face to fix the pimples, so shouldn't you get the same rate?
Plus, your fix is a permanent one while the make up fix is temporary, hehe.
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Old 03-08-2009   #5
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Default Re: One Wedding Portrait - before & after

I think the touch up is very good. The only thing I'd suggest is bringing back a little bit under her right eye (camera left). Maybe there should be a little more there, because her cheek on that side looks a tiny bit uneven with the other cheek. Just an idea.
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Old 03-09-2009   #6
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Default Re: One Wedding Portrait - before & after

Based on replies from multiple forums I modified the undersides of the eyes and brought back some of the shadowing, as well as a few other edits.

I normally don't retouch any wedding photos in photoshop unless they really need something; 99% of my work is now in lightroom. Because this is just a single photo I'm editing like this, I don't think I should try to charge more for it. I wouldn't get it, anyway, since they didn't request the editing. I still think I'm going to do this for one or two photos with each wedding from now on, just to improve the quality of what I provide.

I believe this shot was taken with the 24-70L at 70mm f/2.8 on a 40D. I wonder how it would look on a 5D with 85L attached.

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Old 03-09-2009   #7
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Default Re: One Wedding Portrait - before & after

I totally agree that you shouldn't do something and then try to charge for it that wasn't asked for. 100%.

So I would show them the one that I did and ask them if they wanted it at $XX.00? That way you wouldn't be charging for something you weren't asked for and you still were improving your product, just not establishing that your retouching skills were not worth any extra money.

By the way, are the bumps on her forehead pimples or moles? If they are moles I would ask before removing them too. If you are going to remove them, I would remove the shadow that the largest one left as well.

Please give us feed back from your clients when they see these.
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Old 03-10-2009   #8
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Default Re: One Wedding Portrait - before & after

They were moles. I reduced just about anything that I knew was a permanent blemish, and removed what I thought was a pimple/temporary.

Well, I really just want to improve what I give my clients; I'm not looking for extra pay for it. If they were to decline my retouching, then we would both be in a bad position - me for giving them an unrefined product when I have refined it, and her for knowing that she's not getting the refined version. I think it would be counterproductive to do more than bring up casually that I did some extra retouching on one photo in the list and see if she can spot which one.
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Old 03-10-2009   #9
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Default Re: One Wedding Portrait - before & after

Quote:
Originally Posted by form View Post
Well, I really just want to improve what I give my clients; I'm not looking for extra pay for it. If they were to decline my retouching, then we would both be in a bad position - me for giving them an unrefined product when I have refined it, and her for knowing that she's not getting the refined version. I think it would be counterproductive to do more than bring up casually that I did some extra retouching on one photo in the list and see if she can spot which one.
Well if that is how you feel. Of course, I wonder why you charge them anything for what you do. I know that sounds sarcastic, but you are a service provider along with a product provider. Shouldn't you get more for a better product? Most car lots offer 2007 cars for less than 2009 or ABS brakes for more, etc.

It is important that we all learn to run our businesses like businesses. Why learn more and do better if you can't charge for it. Good feelings won't pay your rent when earthquakes, tornado's, and snow storms stop the shooting season. That is what the extra money that can be earned is for. The old saying is make hay while the sun shines and save for a rainy day.

You may laugh at that example, but we had an earthquake here a while back and my business dropped 40% overnight as people's discretionary income was taken up with getting some place to live while getting their house fixed up. So both sales and bookings were down.

If I go out and take a class from Hanson Fong for $1000.00 and learn to better pose groups, shouldn't I charge more for my service so I can afford to go back and take another class next year?

Showing them an option that they can buy for an upgrade price isn't hurting them if they don't buy it. Not everyone wants OR can afford the Cadillac. It may be hurting you for having spent all that time doing it, but I see it as you now have a sample to show others and you got the education of doing it. I say give them every opportunity to transfer money from their pocket to yours. That is what being a business is all about. Don't force them, give them opportunities.
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Old 03-11-2009   #10
Vicuna
 
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Default Re: One Wedding Portrait - before & after

I'm a budget photographer, and what I offer is a no-frills package; therefore, it's hard to ask for more money for voluntary work (hand retouching), only to risk getting turned down and have the bride get negative feelings about the entire job. I'm not turning in masterful work, since I'm not capable of that at this point. I would rather not risk turning her into a dissatisfied bride over an extra $10 or so, which is all I'd be able to charge for what I did anyway.

I don't think comparing cars is quite the same as comparing a bride's physical appearance in a photo with no blemish removal to one with lots of hand retouching. See, having a 2 year old car isn't going to make most people (except the joneses) feel bad about their appearance, but in this instance I think the original photo would make the bride feel bad if she saw the edited version too, because it would really bring out her own flaws and make her self conscious.

I didn't pay for any classes that would improve the quality of my output. What I did to that photo, I already knew how to do. I may see that as applicable to equipment purchases and classes/seminars like you mention (vastly overpriced things they seem to be IMO), but not to what I did here.

This is all of course just my opinion, but I feel that showing the client options that can be upgraded seems more like an album or package deal offering, not showing her something that says, "I can make you look prettier than you are, if you'll pay me extra."


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