March 29th, 2016
Tyrone in Chicago recently asked the question:
I have a client who wants a second disk of his project because he lost the first one. Putting together a second photo disk, should I charge a fee for work that I have been paid for in the past (last Year). Or just let him have it.
Creating a second CD for the photos seems pretty trivial. If it wasn’t for the fact that you need to get it to the client via the mail or dropping it off at his office someplace it takes more work to talk about it than to do it for him. Making sure the client has the photos is the kind of thing is generally that is considered great customer service. Do it for free and thank him for his business!
A more important aspect of your question is why are you delivering photos via CD? In this day and age when most modern laptops don’t even come standard with a CD player, photographers should be delivering photos digitally via the Internet. I understand that some older people haven’t fully accepted the fact that CDs are dead but if you deliver ALL your photos via CD that’s a big business cost!
Here are some alternatives for real estate photo delivery:
- Physical delivery of a CD: Many agents would just love to have you deliver a CD to their office. While this is certainly a customer service opportunity it just doesn’t make economic sense and it doesn’t scale to large volumes of clients. Besides, most modern laptops don’t even have CD players anymore! Also, in some states (like WA and CA) there are sales tax implications when you deliver a tangible product. If you deliver a physical product in these states the whole shoot is subject to sales tax. So this is an alternative that is dying out.
- Client login to your site: This approach is a very professional approach for online delivery because delivery is via your personal branded site. However, this means you have to have a site that has this capability. Photoshelter.com is one example. There are many others. Basically, each client has their own account on your website where they can log in and download their photos.
- File/photo delivery sites: A few years ago there used to be a few of these, now it seems like there are hundreds. A few of the popular ones are Box.net, YouSendIt.com, Pixoasis.com, Shootproof.com and Pixieset.com. All of these are professional ways to deliver photos and other large files. Many like shotproof.com are tailored for photographers. They are all in the area of $10 USD/month. With Pass.us you can deliver under 100 photos for free.
- Tourbuzz.net: If you use Tourbuzz.net for tours, it has a great built-in photo delivery feature that delivers two different sized photos. I use this feature all the time.
- DropBox.com: I put DropBox in a separate alternative because of its wide usage and the fact that you can get 2 gig of storage for free. You can send anyone a download link to Dropbox files. This maybe a good free getting started service, but it doesn’t look as professional as other alternatives.
Think of photo delivery as a promotion and customer service opportunity. Use delivery to present yourself professionally. For most of these delivery sites for around $10 USD/month they provide a very professional delivery process. One thing to avoid is sending ZIP files of the whole photoshoot. Many Realtors are not sophisticated enough to deal with Zip files.