I used to store multiple copies of images of my weddings and portraits on a disc, on an external hard drive, on my computer, and even in a fireproof safe!
Yes I would tell my clients that I would store them indefinitely.
A frequently asked question I was asked by clients at sale time was “ You keep the files don’t you? We can always come back later and order?”
It was a hard one to overcome.
Of course they rarely came back.
I had to find a way in my systems and processes so that this objection didn’t come up.
I decided to put a Digital File Collections offering on my price list, and give my clients the opportunity to purchase their digital files.
I did also feel that I wasn’t a data storage company, and if the customer didn’t want to purchase their images in digital form, they did not want them, and therefore I had no responsibility to keep them.
Through one of my FAQ key letters that my clients received prior to their photography session, it stated …
”Can I order photographs at a later date?
“Of course you may order photographs at a time later than the purchasing session time, but please note that we keep your files for only 28 days after your photography session”.
From that moment no-one ever asked about whether they could order at a later date, as they knew that I didn’t keep the files.
As a Photography Business Coach it just makes good business sense?
It was amazing to recently learn that some photography bodies and organisations require their members to keep their client files for at least 4 years.
That is just plain silly!
Are we, as photographers really responsible for our customer’s memories, when they had the opportunity to purchase them, but made a decision not to?
Please help me understand some photographer’s mindset about keeping, archiving, saving, customers files.
It just doesn’t make sense to me and is a very dated approach to a fast flowing photography industry.
Why would you waste time and effort in keeping something that isn’t yours anyway?
They are but photographs, and unlike the years prior to digital, everyone has thousands of images on their phones and computers now.
Which ones of the thousands are the most important to you?
What are your thoughts?
Photography Business Coach