A number of people have recently questionned me about my change in policy with regards to keeping the original images from events that I have covered over the last three years. I therefore thought that I’d write this blog article to outline my decisions.
I continue to support local clubs and other organisations through a ‘free to attend service’ that is based on my ability to capture good images that people want to purchase. Whilst many professional event photographers have now resorted to charging to attend events owing to the advances in mobile phone (iphone and iPad especially) and low end DSLR camera technology, I continue to resist this growing trend. As it is for many other event photographers, the ability for anyone to get good images using these readily available devices has resulted in a fairly large drop in purchased images and I continue to run M4Photo at a loss, even though I don’t take a wage from M4Photo – it is more about making memories for people than paying the mortgage.
The above means that I have to watch my costs in running M4Photo. This includes costs to host the website, insurance, gear purchases and maintaining that gear. With nearly two terabytes of images spread over numerous drives, one of my biggest costs that I can remove is the cost of drives. With the need to have a main drive, a backup drive and then third off-site backup drive, the costs of drives and other disk space is not insignificant.
I have also been monitoring when people purchase images and the drop off following an event. It has become very clear that 90 days is a decisive period of time, after which people very rarely purchase images.
There is also the child protection aspect of keeping images from events. Many of my events include photographs of children that I really don’t need on my drives. They have zero personal value and next to zero commercial value. It therefore makes sense for these images to be deleted once it is clear that they are unlikely to be wanted by the children themselves, their parents and families.
So, based on the need to reduce my costs, the hassle of managing multiple drives and in the interests of child protection, I will now only keep event photographs for a period of 90 days following any event.
As of March 31st 2017 (my year end, give or take a day or two) I will begin clearing out my drives and deleting images from events that are 90 days and older. I will then continue this policy and delete the images and pay club commissions 90 days (or just after) following the event completion.
I anyone wishes to purchase any images before I begin clearing the drives, please email me as soon as possible. I can then prepare the required images and keep them in a separate folder whilst payment is arranged.