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jusophine 11 104 1 England
13 Feb 2010 11:53AM
Wondered if this is a common problem. People are keen to have photos taken. You bust a gut editing, selecting and uploading them to a password protected gallery, the clients look at them then don't get round to ordering them. Now I know it's easy to think that maybe it's because the photos are crap, but I don't happen to think they are. Often the order does come but it takes an age.

I decided that perhaps as long as the photos were there to see there was no incentive to buy so have introduced a time limit that galleries remain online. It just seems really odd because if I had payed for photos to be taken I would be keen to buy some - assuming they are good.

I had one mum from the school pay me to photograph the entire family and there were some gorgeous shots of her kids, cousins, parents etc. The only order I got was 6 months later when her husband ordered 2 prints of them as a birthday surprise. No one else ordered a single print.

I have another client who I have now done 5 separate shoots with(family portraits and 2 Christenings). She has always ordered prints and books. This time she is obviously busy, liked the images but asked me to put a book together as she was so busy. I have invoiced her and reminded her but still 3 weeks later no cheque has arrived and I am not ordering a book until I get the money.

A few weeks ago I did a shoot with 19 family members. The grandparents have ordered their prints, ordered their book but the rest of the family haven't got round to it and I am still waiting for the family to pay for the grandparents books. It's driving me nuts.

Apparently everyone agreed the images were lovely so why no orders. I can see the gallery has been viewed many times.

Is this just me it happens to? If I truly thought the images were crap it wouldn't surprise me. Am I going wrong somewhere?


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13 Feb 2010 12:32PM
It's the nature of the beast I'm afraid.
2 or 3 times a year my wife will have me drive her the 200 mile round trip to Ikea and back because she has seen something on their website she wants but 7 out of 10 times when we get there she changes her mind and doesn't bother after all. People are fickle and will/do change their minds at the drop of a hat.If it's driving you nuts then I suggest you are in the wrong business(joking).
monkeygrip 9 574 6 England
13 Feb 2010 1:49PM
I think this happens to us all I am still awaiting payment from as far back as last September. I have even waited 4 months for my solicitor to pay me for some business portraits she paid up when I asked her to send herself a letter on my behalf to demand payment lol.

As for portfolios on websites the best bet is to tell them a date they will be taken off and stick to it they always phone the day after you take the images down asking for them to be put back up for a short while so they can get an order sorted.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
13 Feb 2010 1:57PM

Quote:Is this just me it happens to

No, There have been many posts of a similar nature over the last few years, Many of them from wedding photographers.

Its a sign of the times perhaps, The instant out of the box experience of seeing the images is enough to satisfy some people.

This is a brief of just one such situation ( No names no pact drill ).

A well respected wedding photographer was booked for a very posh wedding, The whole event took place at a top london hotel, The reception lasted into the small hours.

Considering he had to work with some very difficult lighting, The job was done amd some 500 frames chosen for finishing, These where then uploaded to his personal site for viewing via a password protected page etc etc.

I have seen the images, He even set them up to run in a slideshow, They where all superb and very imaginative......Smile

Some 8 months later, He sent a very poilte message to the couple asking if and or when they might be ordering some prints....Sad

Does that sound familiar....???

Speaking to many other photographers, It seem this is not an uncommon scenario these days.

Its probably not a great idea to base any income on prints, You might be wiser to have a single price for the shoot, That covers supplying the images on a disc, With if your feeling generous maybe one biggish framed print, As an all in package.

Or as in the old days print some proof sheets of thumbnail size images for viewing in person.

I really think the idea of spending time uploading to a site for viewing by all and sundry, Is proving to be a waste of time and effort.

Its not your work, Its peoples attitudes that have changed.....Wink
jusophine 11 104 1 England
13 Feb 2010 2:00PM
This has happened several times! On one occasion I put them back up and she still didn't order. Took them off then she asked again 5 months after original shoot and ordered loads.

Another particularly annoying one was after I donated the session and some free prints to the PTA for their auction. They got 100 for it. Took the family over a year to book(because I stupidly forgot to stipulate an expiry date). Did the shots at a party and then sat back and waited(one of those is my latest in my gallery). The weeks went by and I emailed her and asked if they had decided on their free shots. Eventually it came down to giving a 2 week warning of them being taken off. The day after I removed them she asked if it was too late. I was so pi$$ed off that they couldn't be bothered to order when they were free and they knew I had given 2 hours of my time for the shoot(and not the 1 hr stated in the blurb) all for nothing, that I said it was too late and that was the end of it.
jusophine 11 104 1 England
13 Feb 2010 2:04PM
My reply was in reply to monkeygrip. : )
jusophine 11 104 1 England
13 Feb 2010 2:08PM
Yes camercat I do charge a 'sitting' fee. I have seen some togs setting up say they do it for nothing and you just buy the prints, big mistake. At least I have earn't something, I doubt the client realises how long I spend post shoot sorting the images!
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
13 Feb 2010 2:58PM

Quote:I doubt the client realises how long I spend post shoot sorting the images

That sounds about right, I call it the " Mobile camera phone " era.

Lost count of the times someone has tried to show me a picture they are thrilled with.....On a silly mobile phone screen.....Sad

You only need to take a look at " Facebook " to see what turns people on photographically speaking.....Sad

To quote an old song " For The Times They Are A Changing " Sadly in many cases.....Wink
KathyW 14 1.8k 12 Norfolk Island
13 Feb 2010 3:01PM
I've noticed this is the current trend - people seem only too happy just to view photos of themselves on a website. They don't seem to want prints on the wall or photos in frames anymore.
I think the way to go is to charge a decent sitting fee and not expect much back from print sales.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
13 Feb 2010 4:11PM
I phoned up one customer after their portrait gallery had been up for a couple of months. Her reply was "but we already have them and all the family members are delighted with their pictures".

We didn't sell anything to anybody, but hubby is "in IT". Grrrrr
Xiaoli 9 661 14 South Africa
13 Feb 2010 4:11PM
Or how about offering 'prints' in a digital frame? If the trend is not to have actual prints then get creative about what you offer.
jusophine 11 104 1 England
13 Feb 2010 4:52PM

Quote:I phoned up one customer after their portrait gallery had been up for a couple of months. Her reply was "but we already have them and all the family members are delighted with their pictures".

We didn't sell anything to anybody, but hubby is "in IT". Grrrrr

That's sickening isn't it!

Perhaps the worst one for me was the family from school who also won a 1 hour session off me in a charity auction and asked for a location shoot where they walk their dog. Well I hiked my gear for 2 hours in the heat cross country, took 500 odd pics with great results. They were sitting on logs, jumping off logs, even the dog got in on the act. She then asked for all the images on a disc. When I duly quoted her X for this her and her husband obviously got the hump. After weeks of waiting they chose their 'free' 3 prints they'd also won and chose just 1 small extra print at 4. Gggrrrrrrr.
NickParry 12 1.0k 79 Wales
13 Feb 2010 4:53PM

Quote:I phoned up one customer after their portrait gallery had been up for a couple of months. Her reply was "but we already have them and all the family members are delighted with their pictures".

We didn't sell anything to anybody, but hubby is "in IT". Grrrrr

Copyright issue?
collywobles 14 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2010 5:09PM
You are right on everything you say here. i have done lots of similar assignments with exactly the same outcome. I actually created a website for a young girls Communion in Ireland and I never got an order or even a Thank You - really p*********d me off

Now I limit the upload (Photobox Professional) to 1 month max and when I'm requested to do an assignment I now charge a fee for attendance. That way at least I cover my shooting time.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
13 Feb 2010 6:23PM
Nick, the UK police take even less interest in copyright infringement than they do in house burglary or theft from a vehicle. They cannot usually be persuaded to do anything about it.

Threat of civil action will sometimes work with a commercial client, but social customers seem to have a right to rip off images from their photographers.

On the positive side, when we suffer copyright theft, there isn't a mess to clear up and we don't have to call out a glazier or carpenter!

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