Photography for Cleveland and Northeast Ohio by photographer Tom Szabo

Deliverable – What’s A Deliverable?

Deliverable – What’s A Deliverable?

The phone rings, after I answer and identify myself, the magic question comes; how much do you charge to photograph a wedding?  Wow, that’s like asking; how much does a car cost?  Do you want a Hyundai or a BMW?  In order to answer the bride or groom, some details are needed.  Often I ask:  What do you want as a deliverable?  That’s when the discussion comes to a halt.  I can tell by the prospect’s voice they don’t understand the meaning of “deliverable”.

So let’s try to explain.  Wedding photography consists of 2 parts; the service of photographing a wedding, then delivering some finished product to the bride or groom.  I’ll refer to the final product delivered to the newly married couple as a “deliverable”.  So what do you want?  The deliverable can be in the form of: a CD (with or without a license to purchase your own prints at a local photofinishing lab), album with prints, proof book, individual prints, thank you cards, or a coffee table book.  In fact you can order any one item or a combination of them.

One variable that impacts the “cost” is the type of deliverable.  Let me go into greater detail.  Photographers can fall into two broad categories.  They both provide photography wedding coverage.  Most will offer a range of service based on the amount of time the photographer is needed.  Now, here’s where the two begin to separate.  It has to deal with the “deliverable”.  The first type – “Traditional” generally start by providing proofs for view.  Proofs may be in the form of prints or image files on a digital medium.  You then purchase prints, wedding albums or other “hard copy” images.

The second type is often referred to as “shoot and burn”.  After the wedding photography is completed, the photographer delivers a CD with full camera files.  See my post:

Some “traditional” photographers look down on the “shoot and burn” photographers.  It’s just how people are.

Remember, photographers own the rights to all images they create.  You need to purchase a release from the photographer to copy or print the image files.  I know, you’re going to say but it’s my picture – I can do what I want with it.  NO, read my post about copyrights:

If the CD includes such a release, then you may take your CD to a photo finisher to print the files you want.  The details of your rights will be spelled out in the release you purchased from the photographer.  Let me suggest you read it before signing your contract!

Why do you care which type of “deliverable” you purchase?  Let’s say you purchased a CD of files, now you must sort through the hundreds and hundreds of files, select the files to print or distribute and source a vendor to provide printing services.  If you don’t like the final print results, then you have to go back to the lab and argue your case.  The lab now has an easy “out” by claiming they printed the file you gave them and the file is poor.  So you go back to the photographer, claiming the file is of poor quality.  The photographer may claim his file is acceptable, but your lab is not providing quality print services.  Now what do you do?  Who do you believe?  Or do you even care?  If not, simply accept the poor print quality. 

Often when purchasing prints from your photographer, there is time built into the cost of wedding photography services to provide touch up or enhancing, counseling time with the bride and groom to make print selections, design time for albums or coffee table books and the photographer wants you to have the best final product they can offer.

So how do you know which way to go?  Well, you have to do your research and make a decision.  If you really are on a tight budget, talk with the photographer.  Explain your budget restrictions.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are many very effective ways to hold down your wedding cost.  But, remember – you get what you pay for!  That statement may refer to quality of service or the amount of service you can expect.  You may or may not get much post wedding support if you’ve hired a “budget” photographer.   Be a good consumer.  Ask questions and make an informed decision.  Be ready to tell the photographer what you expect as a “deliverable” and best of luck!


March 30, 2010 Posted by | Wedding | Leave a comment

The Art And Business Of Photography – Yes I said ART!

People often think photographers want to give away their work. We often here prospects suggest take pictures for me and you’ll get Recognition or PR in lieu of being paid. Wow, I’ll try to deposit that Recognition or PR into my checking account to pay my mortgage or put food on the table!

So where does this mentality come from? People seem to think photography is not art or just a hobby because I have a camera. Let me assure you photography is not just a hobby for me. It’s a business and one I use to generate income, so I can pay my bills.

Now if you think photography is not art – check out this link:

The link announces a display of Ansell Adams’ work. Many of us photographers hold Mr. Adams in high regard. His work is stunning, artistic, ahead of its time and commands a high price. Viewers of his images will want to stare at his work and study the details.

Maybe the Southern Illinois University Museum is asking the Ansell Adams Trust to display the work for Recognition or PR? I don’t think so!

March 1, 2010 Posted by | Photog Is Art | Leave a comment