© Master Disc Handoff_01

SHOOT AND BURN – “The Truth About This New Trend”

Many potential clients now are asking if we will simply photograph their wedding and burn it to disc for them. This is what is known in the industry today as “shoot and burn.” They want no prints, they want no album and they think that they can save a substantial amount of money by finding a photographer to do this, and then later, go and have the prints and album done themselves at a local lab.

The truth is . . .

Yes, there are a ton of photographers today, who WILL do this. These photographers will also in most cases, heavily reduce the rate for this, since they think that “all they have to do is “shoot and burn to a disc.” Its easy, right? No hassle, right? No insane re-do’s from the bride on the album pages, right? No endless crap from the mother of the bride about things she knows nothings about . . . right?

Yes, this is all potentially true.

But here is the truth as to what this “shoot and burn” almost every time, actually does.

  • It gives far lesser quality images

Why? Think about it. If you are shooting a wedding for a client with a $2699 package, are you going to shoot it exactly the same as if you were only receiving $700 and handing it off the next day? Of course not. No photographer would do this.

  • It gives a far less chance to get any referrals from the event

How on earth, would anyone receive a referral when the images are actually printed by the client? Not to mention the fact, that this is usually done far longer from the event than if the photographer was doing the album and printing for them. And even if a referral did come your way, it would most likely be the same “low end” client, as they would say, “so, can we get that same $700 deal that you gave John and Lisa?”

  • It encourages the photographer to be fast and cheap

Are you going to put your heart and creativity in the job when you know that you will never see the client again after they receive the disc? Your mind will be on nothing more than finishing the job, burning it to disc and moving on to the next.

  • It is NOT for quality photographers

Any photographer can make more money. No . . . substantially more money, by passing on the client who wants noting more than “shoot and burn,” and waiting for the client who clearly realizes the value of NOT doing this. This client will in most cases (1) – be easier to work with, (2) – send you future clients and (3) – spend 3 to 7 times the amount of the shoot and burn client.

My point to this post, is to educate photographers as well as potential couples about what this terrible new trend is doing to our industry and the client’s memories. It needs to be our job, to constantly educate these uninformed and uneducated photographers and potential clients, as to what this will do and why they should not consider this. This is what we do in our business, and this is what we hope all decent, hard working and creative photographers will do from here on out.

Here is what we say at the end of our talk to potential clients on this subject:
“I wonder which couples stay married the longest? The couples who place serious value on the memories which cannot be replaced or done over . . . or the ones who hire the quickie photographer who hands off a disc at a heavily reduced rate”

At that point, they all sign on the dotted line and pay the retainer which is many fold, what the “shoot and burn” rates are.

My desire is that no photographer who reads this, will ever shoot and burn. Also, any potential bride, will understand the issues and problems with this and also, never hire a photographer to do this. To move a mountain, it starts with one grain of sand. It is now time for us all to unite and change the mindset of what is happening with this issue with our industry.

Who is with me . . . ?

3 Responses to “SHOOT AND BURN – “The Truth About This New Trend””

  1. Rain says:

    I learned today that in Canada, the term “shoot and burn” means no album and no prints in the package. I just wanted to clarify that this is not what we are talking about here. The “shoot and burn” that we are talking about is simply a heavily reduced rate and nothing more than shooting and burning the job to disc with no post production. What can you say but, EEEeeeeeewwwwwwww! Who would do that?

    Not our clients, that for sure . . .

  2. Renee says:

    Great Post!

    We are with you.

    Kevin & Renee

  3. Tyrone says:

    I fully agree!! and believe that those photographers who allow this practice to be ruining the industry, a client wouldn’t ask for it if it wasn’t available? Suppose it goes back to the lack of standards in the industry with everyone just thinking about themselves and not looking at the bigger picture and the impact they are having on the industry – an impact that will catch up with them too…

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