About a year ago, I decided I wanted to sell prints instead of releasing printing rights.
When I first started out in photography, doing a 2-3 hour session for $200 and burning a DVD of the images was no big deal. But that was before I started investing in my business by purchasing higher quality cameras, lenses and software to produce the finest quality image. When I spend that kind of money to produce top quality images, I want my art printed on top quality paper.
I realize many photographers markup their prints 8000%. I do not. I try to keep my prints reasonably priced. People do not understand the amount of work put into producing and editing photos.
I zoom in 1000% on their pores to smooth their skin out and make it look porcelain. I improve the saturation, sharpness and contrast of every image. It’s a lot of work, so I have to charge for my prints. If I spent hours editing photos and then it gets printed on a 10 cent wal-mart photo paper, my labor was done for no reason because it won’t be noticeable.
I work with a top of the line printer that creates “real” photographs not inkjet ones. The light sensitive paper goes through a chemical process, just like the old days. So these photos will last forever, unlike inkjet.
I do allow clients to purchase high res images on DVD for a fee. But I prefer to print them. After doing some research, I have discovered my stolen images posted all over the internet. That’s why I now watermark my images online.
When photos are stolen from facebook, my blog or other websites, not only does the resolution decrease, but the sharpness, clarity, saturation and contrast decreases too. It makes my photos look terrible.
I don’t mind people posting my watermarked images on facebook or blogs, as long as credit is given. I love it when people post my images because it makes me think they really like them! I just want credit where credit is due! But I do not condone the use of my images for personal printing and distribution without my permission. If you try to print my watermarked images, you will get yelled at by the printer, because they are copyrighted. I even have trouble taking my prints to kinkos, I end up having to sign a booklet stating I am the photographer, etc.
This subject has been on my mind for a few months now and thought I’d share my thoughts. I took several different types of law classes in college in which we studied copyrights specifically. I know my rights as a photographer and I know the rights of my subjects, I try to respect all rights.
It may make me sound mean, but I don’t want people messing with my art. I spend a lot of time cropping and editing my photos.
I found a blog that discussed this and answered questions that clients should ask before a session…so check out momtog…I feel the same as her. 🙂