When clients manipulate your photos (Venting)

Old San Juan Puerto Rico full moon alicia kidd do not manipulate

How do you feel about working day in and day out on a project, to have your client manipulate and destroy its integrity? Let’s pretend that you’re a landscape designer. You go to the site, take measurements, speak with your client, go back to your office, design the garden, go back to your client, and present it. The client loves it! Thanks you and praises you, but then a few days later you see that he’s planted different plants and completely ruined your design but mixing plants that will never survive in the sun. Everyone knows you designed a garden for him because he (your client) posted it on Facebook. But you wouldn’t make the rookie mistakes he made, and you wouldn’t be so obviously sloppy with your work. *Sigh…

Stay with me

Now, imagine that you’re a photographer. And you have worked very hard at educating your self, purchasing the best gear out in the market, you’re a member of a few prestigious associations, and you teach seminars and workshops at well-known art schools. How would you feel when your client retouches your photos?

I’m debating in my head whether I’m OK with the concept of having a client retouch my images.

Now, I have had clients that are professional photographers, professional retouchers, and graphic designers, and I have intentionally given them their images in a format they could edit and manipulate. No problems with that, because honestly, maybe they’re better at it than I am. I have seen books and thank you cards designed by clients that look absolutely amazing!

But when you see deformed arms, warped stomachs or weird looking chins, and you KNOW you didn’t warp or liquify THAT… It just makes you feel like you wasted your time retouching and color correcting in the first place.

You wasted your time converting photos to web versions with sRGB color space and your watermark so that your clients upload those to Facebook or Instagram, and instead, they upload the Printing version, which has a larger dimension and color space that web browsers and Facebook do not understand and damage when uploading. Do they know this? Most likely not. *breathe*  


Where am I getting at with this?

If you’re a photographer, let it go. Yes. Let it go. Unless specified by a contract that the client has read and understood, they will manipulate your photos on their computers or cell phones even if it’s just a simple filter on Instagram. If you don’t want this to happen, you should specify it. You should have it in writing. Whether in a message or invoice or contract. Contracts are the best option. These your photos, whether your client purchases them or not. You have the right to stand by your work.

If you’re a client, ask before you play with your photographer’s work. Ask before you upload a damaged file to a social media public account. Ask before damage your photographer’s reputation.

Manipulate this

For an additional fee, I’m sure your photographer would do the retouching for you. I’m 100% sure, that most photographers want their clients to be satisfied with their pictures and happy with their service. But, I might be wrong.

Anyway, I hope this will enlighten some of you. Let’s keep communication open and talk to your client or photographer. Be honest, be respectful & be kind. 

Want to get good at manipulating and retouching your photos? Want to stay updated if you’re a professional photographer?

Great! Then read this post where I list the best resources for photographers beginners and pros.

You can also take a workshop with me. My workshops are one on one, private and very fun if I say so my self!

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