Photography/Wedding Photography Slide Show Video Pricing
Thank you for taking the time to read my question.
I curious what you may think about our situation.
We got married earlier this year and worked with a photographer who was nice and produced wonderful photos. We also bought a few albums from him worth several hundred dollars each.
We were surprised when we received a message that he was working on a "complimentary" video slide show so we could share with our friends and family. He started to post a few pictures on facebook and also posted a link to the video which was hosted on youtube. It was a nice slide show video with a cute song playing. All our friends and family enjoyed seeing the photos in that way!
Recently I realized the video was taken off youtube. My Mother-in-law wanted to show a friend, so my husband emailed the photographer and asked if we were able to get a link or file to the video, or a disc.
We got a message back saying we could get a disc of the slideshow video with up to two extra discs for $350.
We were shocked, and I am perplexed. We paid for his services and ordered costly albums despite having a print-ready disc. We could have made our own albums, and truthfully we could easily make our own slide show video as well. We both feel very taken aback that he is trying to get so much money for what we were told was complimentary.
Another note-worthy detail: His photography logo in the video as well, so you could tell it was his work. It seemed like a win win to give us something as a gift and also advertise his work.
We certainly understand he was under no obligation to make us a video, nor did we expect so. But we are really trying to understand: Is this a standard wedding photo/video practice or a sleazy way to make a buck?
Thank you for your questions Ashley. It seems there may have been a lack of communication and this caused some expectations which may or may not be fair to hold.
Let me say up front that $350 for a photo slide show is ridiculously high in price - if I'm to assume it is standard definition on DVDs instead of high definition on blu-ray discs. Also if the slide show only consists of a portion of all your shots which the photographer selected and with music selections you also had nothing to do with.
Now if you were talking about a "package" of three blu-ray discs (one for bride & groom and for each set of parents) and the slide show is in High Definition with images you and your husband selected with music you selected and there are an array of sophisticated transitions between all the images and this slide show production has a play time of say more or less 40 minutes and even a MENU so you may jump to certain events like "Prepping", "Ceremony", "Reception Entrance", "First Dance", "Cake Cutting", "Toasting", etc., $350 would probably be fair.
It sounds like when he posted the video on YouTube, that was your "complimentary" video and that was his way of advertising his services. After he had that advertisement run for awhile, he decided to take it off YouTube. Then he received an email that you were interested in the video. He may have never meant that he was actually going to provide you any free discs of the slide show. He only meant he would going to advertise his photography services with an online slide show which didn't cost you anything for him to produce. He just wanted you to know about it so you would tell family and friends and he figured that would give his video a lot more exposure and advertising value than simply giving you the discs to show now and then. He may also be assuming that when you are spending time with family and friends, instead of pulling out the little slide show he made if he gave it to you on disc, you would more likely be showing people the wedding albums. So he may feel to give you a disc of the slide show would just be a waste. As far as his talking about charging anything at all for it at this point might be because he didn't save the video slide show file. To try to reproduce the slide show video will mean extra time for him working on it again.
All of this is where I think there has been a lack of communication. Many photographers today advertise their photography work set to music in video slide shows. It is also picked up by search engines when the proper key words are used to help me get found by brides-to-be seeking venues for their weddings and other such things. I don't offer these slide show videos for sale. They are simply a promotional tool and a fun and easy way for my customers to share their photos online. I usually leave these videos on YouTube for around a year or so. I guess if I ever had anyone ask me for a standard definition video copy I would make them one for around $10 I guess just to cover my expenses. But a full-fledged high definition version on blu-ray discs etc., as I described above would require a little more payment.
Well, I hope I've provided some useful information. Thanks again for your wedding photography questions.