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  1. #1
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    Watermarks on Prints from a promotion

    Does anyone put a watermark on their prints? I did a promotion of one day of shooting 10 different families at $55 a pop. Hardly worth my time monetarily speaking - but I did it for the exposure and word of mouth. I put a VERY small gray watermark on all of the images from that day and gave them all to the clients. One person out of ten is protesting and asking for the images without the watermark. What should I do? She specifically said that my images were "useless" and "worthless" with a watermark and that she would never print or hang any of them in her house with the watermark.

    Opinions appreciated.
    www.vickisiggphotography.com

  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Watermarks on Prints from a promotion

    Welcome to the Forum. My first thought was to have the customer purchase more prints from you without the watermark. But the more I think about it, the more I'm not so sure that is the best solution. Since you are doing this as a 'promotion' and a way to get exposure for your business I think you may be better off keeping the customer happy. Maybe you could offer them new prints at a discounted price or even at cost in order to keep them happy.

    It might help to know what exactly your promotion included for the $55. Was it the sitting fee and number of prints of a certain size? Was it noted in the contract that the prints would include a small watermark?

    As a side note, this is one of the biggest reasons I say no when people ask me to do portraits.
    Mike

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  3. #3
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Watermarks on Prints from a promotion

    They'd be perfectly happy if it was a signed Rembrandt or Picasso or something.
    I say leave it.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member jetrim's Avatar
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    Re: Watermarks on Prints from a promotion

    This is a tough call. I've looked at your website (very nice) and noticed you are quite clear about pricing and the fact that you don't up-charge for prints. My first inclination is to suggest that if they want the standard watermark free version, they are more than welcome to provide the additional $145.00 for the standard sitting fee. However, in an effort to keep the peace and avoid more bad publicity than good coming from what started out as a losing proposition profit wise, I might concede to mailing them 1 print at a size of their choice (up to 8x10) and see if that is satisfactory. I would not under any circumstances provide them with a watermark free digital file. The problem with giving this type of customer everything they want right away, is that they will tell their friends (who will also be this type of customer) and the problem will continue to compound itself until you can't dig yourself out from under the "cheap & easy" label.

  5. #5
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    Re: Watermarks on Prints from a promotion

    Vickie,

    I agree with jetrim, but would add one additional item. I would Stamp or otherwise coypright mark the back of the print. These are the types of people who would go to Wal-Mart, Walgreens etc and get the print scanned and then buy a bunch of prints @ Wal-Mart Prices. Under no circumstances would I give them an unmarked print or File.

    Good luck
    Bill,

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  6. #6
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Watermarks on Prints from a promotion

    One person out of ten is protesting and asking for the images without the watermark
    But if you go get your photo by Olan Mills they gold emboss their name in the corner - and that's paying full price!

    Looks like one out of 10 of your customers are people you want to go to someone else.
    I agree on stickering/stamping all the prints on the back as well as the front watermark.
    PAul

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  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Watermarks on Prints from a promotion

    Quote Originally Posted by VickiRDH
    She specifically said that my images were "useless" and "worthless" with a watermark and that she would never print or hang any of them in her house with the watermark.
    More likely, they're "useless" because they won't be able to make copies at WalMart. Tell them they can return the prints and go get photos taken somewhere else. I watermark everything and no one ever complains. If people are confused about it, tell them you're proud of your work and you also want to protect it from being stolen. Like SmartWombat said, if they got the prints done at Olan Mills they'd have that little gold stamp on it.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Watermarks on Prints from a promotion

    I wouldn't give in either. Apparently, you have nine happy references, and I seriously doubt you will want to do business with her referrals any way. Christmas is coming and she likely is looking for a way to get "cheap" gifts.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Watermarks on Prints from a promotion

    Thank you to everyone for your responses. I sent her a polite email offering a few prints without watermarks and she responded with a rude and rediculous email about how she's worked with SO many professional photographers (she's a wedding planner) and she's never seen anyone do this. I have a feeling she's just going to photoshop the watermarks out of the images. I guess there's nothing I can do. Thanks again for your responses as this has been a lesson learned.

  10. #10
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    Re: Watermarks on Prints from a promotion

    Hello Vicki; are you trying to build a business? Is profit (bottom line) important to you ? Is this your full time endeavor? If yes, DO NOT CAVE to the one in ten. As mentioned above, this is a client who will give you nothing but headaches, as evidenced by the latest response. As an expert in the business side of our chosen profession, I'm always thinking about maximizing income. If yopu need any help in this regard, contact me directly and we can have a short discussion on how to help you out.

    neil@phtostockplus.com

    Happy Holidays!

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