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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    5

    Default Can a Photographer Charge Extra for High Definition Files Without Advance Disclosure

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Idaho

    Hi I purchased a photography package from a professional photographer in Idaho. Before I booked the session, I asked her about her prices and packages and she told me "My session fee is $75 and my digital package is $300. That includes 20 to 25 fully edited portraits from your session and a print release for you to use for your personal printing needs." I purchased the package. There was no contract.

    The session went fine but when I received the files, I was surprised the files were small and I discovered the photographer resized the images so that they can only be printed up to size 8x12. I was under the impression that I would receive full resolution files which can be printed up to at least size 16x20. When I asked the photographer why the files were so small, she told me I purchased personal print files and she considers sizes for personal prints to be size 8x10 and under. Then she told me if I want to make larger prints, I need to purchase the full resolution file upgrade which is an additional $150 dollars.

    She never mentioned the package upgrade or the specific size of the files in the digital package that I purchased until after I asked her why the files were so small. I have been in contact with the photographer and have tried to resolve the problem with her but she is unwilling to provide the full resolution files unless I pay an additional $150.

    She does not feel she is at fault for the misunderstanding. I feel she should have disclosed all the pricing details before I booked the session. Who is at fault here? Is there anything I can do to get the full resolution files without paying more money to her? Thanks for reading and for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13,953

    Default Re: Can a Photographer Charge Extra for High Definition Files Without Advance Disclos

    I purchased the package. There was no contract.
    Oops.

    I was under the impression
    "Under the impression" is the same as "I'm imagining it."

    that I would receive full resolution files which can be printed up to at least size 16x20.
    Apparently, your photographer was not under that same "impression."

    She never mentioned the package upgrade or the specific size of the files in the digital package that I purchased
    And you didn't ask, so that's probably a wash.

    until after I asked her why the files were so small. I have been in contact with the photographer and have tried to resolve the problem with her but she is unwilling to provide the full resolution files unless I pay an additional $150.

    She does not feel she is at fault for the misunderstanding.
    And you're not?

    I feel she should have disclosed all the pricing details before I booked the session. Who is at fault here? Is there anything I can do to get the full resolution files without paying more money to her?
    Frankly, you're at fault for not getting a written contract specifying what you were buying.

    Unless you want to go to court to see what a judge says about it, I suggest you just pay the $150 and chalk it up to a life lesson from the school of hard knocks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    94,449

    Default Re: Can a Photographer Charge Extra for High Definition Files Without Advance Disclos

    If you want images of a specific resolution, you had best clarify that the resolution will be available before you contract for photographic services. Had the photographer told you, "As I was contracted only to produce files for your personal use, no larger files are available", you would have had full satisfaction of your contract and would have no remedy -- not even the possibility of paying extra for the high-resolution files. I can also understand the photographer's impression, given that it is unusual for people to produce prints larger than 8x10 for personal use, with 5x7 being by far the most popular size for personal use. I understand that you might want to make a larger photo of yourself, for example, as a gift to a spouse -- but it would still be an unusual size for personal use.

    To try to compel the photographer to provide you with larger files, you cannot file your lawsuit in a small claims court in your state -- an action for specific performance must be filed in a regular trial court, with a filing fee of $221 and no guarantee of success. Also, having been on the receiving end of bills for photographic sessions, the price seems reasonable for what you received.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Can a Photographer Charge Extra for High Definition Files Without Advance Disclos

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If you want images of a specific resolution, you had best clarify that the resolution will be available before you contract for photographic services. Had the photographer told you, "As I was contracted only to produce files for your personal use, no larger files are available", you would have had full satisfaction of your contract and would have no remedy -- not even the possibility of paying extra for the high-resolution files. I can also understand the photographer's impression, given that it is unusual for people to produce prints larger than 8x10 for personal use, with 5x7 being by far the most popular size for personal use. I understand that you might want to make a larger photo of yourself, for example, as a gift to a spouse -- but it would still be an unusual size for personal use.

    To try to compel the photographer to provide you with larger files, you cannot file your lawsuit in a small claims court in your state -- an action for specific performance must be filed in a regular trial court, with a filing fee of $221 and no guarantee of success. Also, having been on the receiving end of bills for photographic sessions, the price seems reasonable for what you received.
    Thanks for your response. Is there a standard definition for personal use for photography prints? These are portraits of my family and children (was not planning to hang a large photo of myself) and I like to make prints size 11x14 or size 16x20 to hang on my wall at home. Is that not considered personal use?

    Do service providers have any responsibility to be upfront about what they are offering? Is there any protection for customers when a service provider is intentionally vague to misrepresent their services? I did ask her what packages she offers and her prices but she only offered me the the package for my "personal printing needs." She did not tell me about the full resolution package or any other packages at the beginning. Had she told me, I would have understood that my personal printing needs are different than what she considers to be personal printing needs and that I would need the full resolution package. I have used other photographers who offered packages with similar wording and they have never resized the files to limit the print size so I thought I understood what I was buying. In the future, I know to ask more questions and get a contract.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    94,449

    Default Re: Can a Photographer Charge Extra for High Definition Files Without Advance Disclos

    You should have been more up front about what you were expecting and your intended use. Again, had the photographer used a resolution that would only allow for 8x12 photographs, we would not even be having a discussion about higher resolution photos. You would have received the only available files.

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