Fee for providing lost images?

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Fee for providing lost images?

Postby haring on Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:32 am

Hey Guys! I am a wedding photographer. A client contacted me recently who apparently lost her wedding photos. I shot her wedding 9 years ago.
She asked me to find out whether I still have their images. It would take me a half a day to go through all the archives.
My question: Do you charge a fee for providing images 5 years after you shot a client's wedding, portrait session, etc?
If yes, how much and how do you explain the clients that a fee is involved...?

Thanks a bunch!
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Re: Fee for providing lost images?

Postby gstark on Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:30 am

This is an interesting question.

It's been a long time since I shot weddings; we're talking film based shooting - mid-80s.

Back then, I used to file all my negs in a date based format, so that with just the name of the couple and the date of the wedding, I would be able to locate the negs in a matter of minutes, subject to them being placed in a handy location.

With digital imaging, not much has changed. I still store my images in a date based format, and folders will contain details of the subjects, be they people, or locations. So again, with just the date of the wedding and the names of the parties in the wedding, I would have very little trouble in locating the images in question. And they're all located online, in several places, within my home location.

As nothing I do these days is commercial, I have no real need for off-site storage, but that could be easily managed with either some cloud storage, or dropping it onto an external hard drive and asking a family member - my sister, my son, for instance, to store that drive somewhere safe in their home. Labelling each drive with appropriate details relevant to the contents would be essential, so again, locating anything within any of these drives would rarely present any issues for me.

I would certainly be charging the clients my current print prices for the replacement prints, but in terms of locating the actual images, that seems - to me - a matter of how I manage my business, and I doubt I would be charging any such fee for looking through my archives, simply because with the correct systems in place, there's little that needs to be done.
g.
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Re: Fee for providing lost images?

Postby GregDarcy on Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:49 pm

I agree with Gary.
Nine years ago you would have been using Digital Photography. From another post, you have been using LightRoom for 10 years.
I use LightRoom. Given a date, I can find any image - or group of them - taken since I started using LR in seconds once my computer has booted up.
Perhaps a little longer - minutes not hours - if the original image has been taken offline to an archive disk. A new archive disk each year dated with a marker pen on the disk. Preferably two in case one suffers from stiction.

If you cannot, then I suggest you take a hard look at your filing system.

I will admit my film archive is in a mess. I am currently trying to rectify that by scanning all my old film to digital*. But that is my problem. If someone came asking for a photo of mine from back then I would wear the cost in time for finding it as the time needed has been caused by my poor storage systems not their delay in asking for the photo(s).


*Actually I am working on my Uncle's photos right now, and am dealing with photos from the fifties and sixties. His are in an even bigger mess than mine.
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Re: Fee for providing lost images?

Postby ozimax on Fri Jul 24, 2020 6:46 pm

gstark wrote:It's been a long time since I shot weddings; we're talking film based shooting - mid-80s.


1980s or 1880s :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh:
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Re: Fee for providing lost images?

Postby gstark on Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:17 am

ozimax wrote:
gstark wrote:It's been a long time since I shot weddings; we're talking film based shooting - mid-80s.


1980s or 1880s :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh:


Correct.
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Re: Fee for providing lost images?

Postby zafra52 on Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:28 pm

My question: Do you charge a fee for providing images 5 years after you shot a client's wedding, portrait session, etc?
If yes, how much and how do you explain the clients that a fee is involved...?


I agree with what has been said above, but you do not specify how those clients want their photos and this consideration will need to be included in your bill. Are you just willing to provide them with digital copies of your files? Many photographers don't because they lose control of the quality of the images and their work. However, they can and provide printed copies for a price; while other photographers include in their original client contract a free printed copy of some photographs (wedding album) in case of disaster (fire, flood, theft etc.). Well, at least is what I heard in one of the many workshops I attended in our camera club a couple years ago.

I am not a professional photographer and therefore I cannot be specific.
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Re: Fee for providing lost images?

Postby haring on Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:49 am

Thanks so much!!!
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