People cropping YOUR images when purchasing prints -- Good Idea?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by stayathomedad, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. stayathomedad

    stayathomedad

    Mar 11, 2008
    Alaska
    I just purchased a zenfolio account and had a interesting conversation with my wife.

    I was showing her how I can restrict what products/prints people purchase for different galleries.

    Since I crop all my family/friends/wedding images to 4x6, I was considering removing the options to purchase images at different sizes (such as 5x7). This way I can restrict how my images are cropped and not have to worry about some random person doing a bad crop job on my photos.

    My wife's argument is that she REALLY enjoys the freedom of selecting, say a 5x7 print, if that's what she needs/wants. If she already has found a beautiful frame for an image, it's a hassle to be restricted to just 4x6 prints...

    Mind you, I'm not trying to make a living off my photography and I'm not a pro's pro... So the idea of someone taking a 4x6 and cropping off the sides a bit to make it a 5x7 isn't that scary... but that control is an issue... some yahoo taking a 4x6 and cropping it square (say a 8x8) will require THEM NOT ME making the artistic decision of how the print comes out...

    THOUGHTS?
     
  2. DanWhite

    DanWhite

    Jul 10, 2005
    Lansdale PA
    The biggest issue I have had was preople not cropping. I upload everything cropped to 8x10. People would not use the crop tool, order say a 5x7 and the head gets partially cut off etc.

    Dan
     
  3. I put a proof delay on my SmugMug account so that I can make sure all images are cropped properly for the ordered size prior to printing and shipping.
     
  4. stayathomedad

    stayathomedad

    Mar 11, 2008
    Alaska

    Thats pretty funny...

    There are three options that I can choose for people... center, fit, and manual...

    the first one will cut off heads, the second will put white bars on the sides or top if needed, and the last will allow people to crop however they see fit...

    But I just found my solution - I can setup a price list (I have a premium account) and under the price list I can require approval of all orders.. this way when someone submits an order, I can go in and make sure they've cropped it properly... WooHoo...
     
  5. Yep, that's the proof delay I was talking about. I upload JPEG 6 quality files to my gallery for faster uploads. Then, when an order is made, I process the image, save it high quality, and crop it to the size ordered before re-uploading it. If multiple print sizes are ordered, I upload an uncropped version, and then crop it prior to sending it to ship.
     
  6. iLLMaCK

    iLLMaCK Guest

    Why would you care if they crop a picture THEY are paying for?
     
  7. Because you don't want an unhappy customer (like I've had) who didn't crop properly and wound up with heads chopped off their prints.:eek:

    I now do proof delay also. It doesn't take long to double check orders before they go out.
     
  8. Are you serious, or have you just not thought this through before posting? An image cropped to 4x6 will require a different crop for a 5x7 print. If the person doesn't take the time to set the crop properly, they end up with heads cropped off, which in return means an upset customer and returned print orders.
     
  9. stayathomedad

    stayathomedad

    Mar 11, 2008
    Alaska
    For the same reason I wouldn't want people printing my images on their $50 HP ink-jet printer using cheap copy paper...

    Because it's MY file, MY image, MY PHOTO!
     
  10. GeorgeV

    GeorgeV

    42
    Aug 7, 2008
    Niles
    And with that poor of an attitude, you'll be keeping most of them. Once you sell something it's not yours anymore. Ford can't say where you can and can't drive your car, and Heinz can't say that their ketchup doesn't belong on a hot dog.
     
  11. This cropping issue has been a problem for me. Just this morning, I had an individual "order" several prints from my Zenfolio website. They requested a number of 8x10's, 5x7's and 4x6's. The problem is that some of the images cannot be cropped effectively to those dimensions without destroying the composition.

    For a while, I allowed friends and family members to download the original images from my Zenfolio website. They would then send the files to a local store for print. They never bothered to crop the images properly and the resulting prints were atrocious. They would then show these horrible prints to their friends. I then revised the settings on my Zenfolio account to disable the download and print features.

    Sometimes, someone will want an 8x10 from a 4x6 image. I then went into the original image and created extra space (via cloning) on the sides of the image. This was time consuming to say the least.

    I guess I'm just venting as this cropping issue is still one that I am trying to address...

    Glenn
     
  12. I think this is another "are you serious?" moment. If you put photos on your website with the ability for folks to purchase them, then yes, it's your image, but it's THEIR print. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you don't shoot events, do you?
     
  13. What I've learned when shooting events like dance recitals, or portraits for folks is, ya gotta leave some dead space in your original composition to allow for different aspect ratios. There was this local photographer who posted all his gallery images online for anybody to view. It amazed me how tight he would frame his portraits. He would shoot a group, and have the entire frame full of people, from left to right (horizontal). If they wanted any size other than 4x6, they were cropping into the people. I don't know how in the world he made it as long as he did with these compositions.
     
  14. stayathomedad

    stayathomedad

    Mar 11, 2008
    Alaska
    Notice how I didn't say MY PRINT... That was on purpose... :smile:

    Yes... I do events and such... 5 weddings this year...Why do you ask?
     
  15. By events, I'm referring to things like a baseball game, or a dance recital, where you upload a couple hundred images to your site, and allow folks to select and purchase the ones they want. The reason I asked is because by your apparent attitude toward others cropping your images would seem to indicate this was not the sort of things you shot. Of course you're going to crop your own wedding images prior to printing, but when you're talking about 500 images that will require a different crop based on what size is ordered, it's hard to have a "Because it's MY file, MY image, MY PHOTO!" type of attitude toward the idea.
     
  16. I have a guillotine - could order an 8x10 and cut it to 8x8 at home - the photographer would never know!
     
  17. Thanks! I'm going to have to make a conscious effort to leave that extra space in the composition. It's something that I'm not accustomed to doing as people have just recently been purchasing some prints.

    Glenn
     
  18. Alig

    Alig

    43
    Jan 17, 2008
    USA
    This is the reason I use a service that only allows orders to be ordered directly for me to fullfill! I could opt for a lab to print the orders, but I don't like giving up MY control!

    If a person has a request to crop an image, and I don't agree with the way they asked for it to be done. I will let them know, they usually understand the composition will be bad, if cropped as per their suggestion. Most everyone trusts my judgement in cropping. :biggrin:

    As stated by others, I also shoot a little loose, to help when making prints for my customers.

    I DON'T sell full digital files either! :biggrin:

    Alissa
     
  19. Not only is a customer unhappy with a poor crop, but if it's a compositionally poor crop, then YOU the photographer are made to look bad when the image is shared with others.

    Alissa, many higher-end portrait photogs don't sell digital images at all from what I've been reading. Too easy for the customer to take the file somewhere cheap and get a non-color corrected print made and then go around displaying a poor representation of your work. Eek!
     
  20. Alig

    Alig

    43
    Jan 17, 2008
    USA

    YES, I understand this....
    This is exactly the reason I use a service, where *I* get the orders, and complete them myself, and *one* reason why I don't sell digital files. I shoot mostly dog performance events, and portraits. I also shoot other stuff too, but prefer action of any sort!

    But if a person is loading photos on to a site where you give up that sort of control, then you've given it up, and loose your control! Since this was the choice made by the photographer, then they have no input as to how the image will be cropped or any other issues with the image.

    If a photographer wants control over what people get as finished photos, then maybe they should be editing the images themselves? Otherwise, they must accept what the regular Joe Public, relative or friend, or even lab, may do to destroy the creative, well thought out composition the photographer intended the photo to convey.

    IMHO

    Alissa
    BTW....
    I know many photographers in my field of shooting who sell digital files, with no problem. I won't, because I've had people try to sell MY images to publications as their own work! Luckily for me....the editors of a couple of the publications KNEW my work, and questioned who captured the images, and alerted me. So NO MORE digital files from me!