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Allowing customer's cropping-what's your opinion?

fabthifabthi Registered Users Posts: 263 Major grins
edited September 29, 2016 in SmugMug Pro Sales Support
Hi everybody
I have put this question in the Feedback forum but I only have got and answer from an admin.
My proposal was:
"Let us decide whether to allow or not customers to crop images at orders"
My idea is that me, as the author, I should have the control over if the images I want to sell can be cropped or not.
And I think this is something that customers should find out "before" they actually place an order, not "after" as admin is suggesting in her comment:
"You can already override cropping using our proof-delay feature"
What is the meaning in allowing first a customer to decide his own cropping and then cancelling it with the "proof-delay feature"?
I'd really like to hear your thoughts
Fabio
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    denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Administrators Posts: 14,248 moderator
    edited May 7, 2011
    I just took a quick look at the photos on your site. I don't see any way around allowing customer cropping with the print sizes you are allowing. Have you considered limiting the print sizes to the sizes that match your photos? That would mean that cropping isn't needed at all to match the print size.

    That would leave you with 8x12, 10x15, and 12x18 as print sizes.

    --- Denise
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    fabthifabthi Registered Users Posts: 263 Major grins
    edited May 7, 2011
    I

    That would leave you with 8x12, 10x15, and 12x18 as print sizes.

    --- Denise
    Hi Denise
    thanks for your help.
    Of course I know I have seizes that don't match with images native aspect ratio (3:2) and obviously I don't worry about cropping for those.
    But the fact is that cropping is available "anyway", no matter what the size is.
    So customers can crop at their liking even if they choosed to print on a seize that match the image aspect ratio.
    Also, I put myself in a customer mind: I like an image but the option for cropping is very tempting so I crop it and I place the order for that cropping. What happens next? the photographer change my cropping.....
    And this is, I think you can agree with me, too much.
    Besides that, my opinion is that authors should have the right to allow cropping or not as a matter of principle.
    There is a big buzz since ever about intellectual image property and we leave to buyers the power to modify our prints.....eek7.gif
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    denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Administrators Posts: 14,248 moderator
    edited May 7, 2011
    Unfortunately even if you could disable cropping, you can't stop a customer from purchasing a photo and then cropping the image after they receive it - unless you choose to only allow purchase of a format like a MetalPrint.

    It probably doesn't matter what any of our opinions are - it's ultimately the customer who makes the decision.

    --- Denise
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    fabthifabthi Registered Users Posts: 263 Major grins
    edited May 7, 2011
    It probably doesn't matter what any of our opinions are - it's ultimately the customer who makes the decision.

    --- Denise
    I totally disagree with you about this
    I can buy a print and spray it with black spots once is delivered to me, but I don't expect I can ask the author to print one of his images covered with black dots just because I like it that way.
    A customer is totally free in deciding whether he likes or not to buy one of my photos "as is"; images should be printed as authors, not customers, want them printed.
    Because we, authors, are the owners of the image and that image has been created by us following our creativeness and inspiration.
    That's what I have been thaught about being a photographer.
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    denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Administrators Posts: 14,248 moderator
    edited May 7, 2011
    fabthi wrote: »
    I totally disagree with you about this
    I can buy a print and spray it with black spots once is delivered to me, but I don't expect I can ask the author to print one of his images covered with black dots just because I like it that way.
    You asked for an opinion, and I gave you one. I already knew that you disagreed based on your first post.

    I don't disagree with you that you should be able to control the cropping. I was just stating the fact that a customer can change your photo once it is in their hands. While I agree that disallowing cropping would be a good option, in the end if the customer wants to crop your image they will do it after the fact.

    And you're contradicting your own belief by offering photos in size ratios that must be cropped.

    --- Denise
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    bikealpsbikealps Registered Users Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
    edited May 9, 2011
    A lot of my customer crop images in ways that are ... suboptimal. I post mostly 4x5 aspect ratio, but when someone wants a small print, they select 4x6 and then crop... sometimes they crop bits of their heads off. And on the rare occasion that I post 4x6, sometimes people print them 8x10 and crop those.

    It would be so nice if smugmug would show aspect-ratio appropriate print sizes when customers order.

    And what about 16x9? Some images beg for panoramic treatment. 16x9 works great for a screensaver, but there is no 16x9 printing option.
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    Jill BazeleyJill Bazeley Registered Users Posts: 18 Big grins
    edited August 2, 2011
    bikealps wrote: »
    A lot of my customer crop images in ways that are ... suboptimal.

    I like the term "suboptimal." I'm chiming in because I feel my customer's cropping RUINS the photos. It's of particular concern with my very shallow DOF dance recital photos where a mom (usually) will crop out the in-focus girl in order to be left with a picture of her own daughter, who is, inevitably, blurred. Once the cropping choice has been made by the customer, I don't feel like it can be reversed by me in any socially graceful way. In addition, I like to use subtle vignetting to hide problem areas in these dance photos. A clumsy, self-interested crop often destroys any artistry I may have achieved with this technique.

    So my suggestion is yet another radio button (I know!) in the gallery settings to disallow customer cropping.
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    SamSam Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited August 2, 2011
    I understand your concerns, and it will be interesting to see if SmugMug has any plans to address this, but in the meantime all we have is what we have. I think it would be a big deal to change the order module.

    Lets deal with what is available rather than dwell on what isn't. You can use proof delay. You don't have to arbitrarily change the crop but you could contact the client and let them know your reasoning. You can provide some guidance on your site with regard to ordering prints. You can do all your own printing. You can set up a complete custom website.

    If you stop and think about it we are getting a hell of a deal for $150.00 per year. Think of it as the law of diminishing returns. For $150.00 you get say 90% of what you want. If you want 95% -98% be prepared to spent 10 to 20 times what your spending now.

    Sam
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    Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited August 2, 2011
    fabthi wrote: »
    My idea is that me, as the author, I should have the control over if the images I want to sell can be cropped or not.

    I am just curious as to why this bothers you so much.

    Someone pays you full price and chooses 3/4 or 1/2 or 1/4 of your shot because they like that part, and you want to eliminate this type of paying customer?

    If that is what you like, fine, I honestly don't understand it. However, there is a pretty easy solution to this problem. Have the customer email you directly to order a print instead of using the online shopping cart. Then you can decide what if any crops take place.

    There are plenty of smugmug users doing this already. If we have customers who want prints on fine art paper such as silver rag, they don't use our shopping cart. We don't use either of the smugmug printers for this service. It hasn't been much of an issue for us.
    Steve

    Website
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    swoonoveritswoonoverit Registered Users Posts: 6 Beginner grinner
    edited August 17, 2011
    I'm totally in agreement here. They are my images and I've decided what the composition should be. When someone crops out their tiny face from a much larger image and then has it printed as a 5x7, the quality looks bad, the image looks bad, and they they go around saying that I took the picture. I don't want that representing my business.

    Is that really so weird?

    I'm all for allowing them to crop to the ratio they are ordering, but I think it should be optional if we allow them to crop past that. Photographers go to years of training learning composition techniques for a reason! :D
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    AndyAndy Registered Users Posts: 50,016 Major grins
    edited August 17, 2011
    I'm totally in agreement here. They are my images and I've decided what the composition should be. When someone crops out their tiny face from a much larger image and then has it printed as a 5x7, the quality looks bad, the image looks bad, and they they go around saying that I took the picture. I don't want that representing my business.

    Is that really so weird?

    I'm all for allowing them to crop to the ratio they are ordering, but I think it should be optional if we allow them to crop past that. Photographers go to years of training learning composition techniques for a reason! :D

    Thanks for the feedback! In the meantime, set your galleries with Proof Delay so that you can re-adjust the crops as you see fit.
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    JSS44JSS44 Registered Users Posts: 46 Big grins
    edited August 2, 2012
    I see this is an old post but I am chiming in that I would really like the ability to disable the cropping option in the shopping cart. For someone who is selling fine art prints, not only does it look unprofessional and odd for the customer to be able to crop, it also confusing for them. I plan to set up price lists so that each image only has sizes available that don't require cropping. Then, in the shopping cart the customer sees an option to crop, which can cause them to wonder if cropping is necessary because why else would it be there. If they click on it, they will see ambiguous language telling them that often images need cropping, with no additional guidance. This just makes no sense for someone trying to buy a fine art print. It discredits the "art" shopping experience, and while the proof delay option allows me to prevent someone from creating their own cropped print with my name attached to it, it does not remedy the unprofessional impression made by a confusing experience for the customer.
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    Art ScottArt Scott Registered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    JSS44 I agree, the client should not be given the option to crop, that should be strictly up to the photographer.....
    but if you're not offering all the available sizes then simply decide what sizes you really want to offer for sale and
    crop to that aspect ratio prior to upload... ... ... that is a pretty simple solution and it keeps your art yours ... ... ...
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

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    JSS44JSS44 Registered Users Posts: 46 Big grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    Art Scott, are you saying that if I only offer sizes matching an image's aspect ratio that the cropping tool won't appear in the shopping cart when someone checks out?
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    CWSkopecCWSkopec Registered Users Posts: 1,325 Major grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    JSS44 wrote: »
    Art Scott, are you saying that if I only offer sizes matching an image's aspect ratio that the cropping tool won't appear in the shopping cart when someone checks out?

    Unfortunately, that is not the case. I already have all my photos assigned to price lists according to their size and only offer prints which match their crop ratio.

    However, the crop option still appears in the shopping cart. For example, this link will take you directly to the buy options for a 8x12 ratio image. Notice that (with the exception of the 20x30 thinwrap) all offered prints are in the 8x12 ratio.

    Add one to your shopping cart and you will notice that the crop option is still there.
    Chris
    SmugMug QA
    My Photos
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    JSS44JSS44 Registered Users Posts: 46 Big grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    Thanks for clarifying. That's what I thought and what I would like to see change.
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    fabthifabthi Registered Users Posts: 263 Major grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    The reason why I decided to post about this issue is becausef from my point of view, being a pro photographer for more than 30 years, I simply consider that leaving the option to crop available for customers is just a non-sense.
    But at least it would make some sort of plausibility if this choice would be left in the hand of the author.
    While here at SmugMug they seem to think that "customer comes first"; I do respect customers as long as they respect my creative choices without pretending to have the freedom to modify them to their liking.
    As for making this feature available for SmugMug artists, I just think it's only a matter of good will to do that by SmugMug staff. They offer us every week so many new features, why not this reasonable one Andy and Denise?
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    smurfysmurfy Registered Users Posts: 343 Major grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    I'd like to see this as well. Just this week I had to e mail a customer that I had changed the crop she applied to an 8 by 12 that didn't need any cropping, and had a subject 'hitting the ceiling' visually when she applied a weird crop. I tried to be really nice in the message explaining why I altered it, but it is very awkward.
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    Art ScottArt Scott Registered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    CWSkopec wrote: »
    Unfortunately, that is not the case. I already have all my photos assigned to price lists according to their size and only offer prints which match their crop ratio.

    However, the crop option still appears in the shopping cart. For example, this link will take you directly to the buy options for a 8x12 ratio image. Notice that (with the exception of the 20x30 thinwrap) all offered prints are in the 8x12 ratio.

    Add one to your shopping cart and you will notice that the crop option is still there.

    Ok I just double checked.....it did not use to be that way......Thanks for the clarification.
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

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    Art ScottArt Scott Registered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited August 3, 2012
    Someone that is more articulate than I needs to add it to the Feature Request List here: http://feedback.smugmug.com/forums/17723-smugmug and get the voting started...

    Setting a print delay is no way to handle this...it can cause lost clients quickly....
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

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    fabthifabthi Registered Users Posts: 263 Major grins
    edited August 4, 2012
    Art Scott wrote: »
    Setting a print delay is no way to handle this...it can cause lost clients quickly....
    I agree 100% with you, what's the meaning to allow clients to crop just to deny that permission later?
    If a client wanted to purchase a cropped version of the image, he is likely going to refuse the correction we make.
    It's definetely a wrong and poorly professional way to handle a sale.....
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    fabthifabthi Registered Users Posts: 263 Major grins
    edited August 4, 2012
    Art Scott wrote: »
    Someone that is more articulate than I need to add it to the Feature Request List here: http://feedback.smugmug.com/forums/17723-smugmug and get the voting started..
    You're right, there's already a poll about this issue started here, please all of you that agree with this request can support it by giving a vote (or even 3!!!) clap.gifclap
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    denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Administrators Posts: 14,248 moderator
    edited August 4, 2012
    fabthi wrote: »
    ...why not this reasonable one Andy and Denise?
    Just to clarify - I don't work for SmugMug; I'm a customer just like you are.

    --- Denise
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    Art ScottArt Scott Registered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited August 4, 2012
    fabthi wrote: »
    ... why not this reasonable one Andy and Denise?
    Just to clarify - I don't work for SmugMug; I'm a customer just like you are.

    --- Denise

    Andy is leaving Smugmug...he has not stated when, just that he is leaving.......and I do believe his son is getting married today..........
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

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    fabthifabthi Registered Users Posts: 263 Major grins
    edited August 4, 2012
    As for Andy, I didn't know he is leaving SmugMug; and about Denise I didn't know she is not part of SmugMug staff but, that said, my reference to them (" why not this reasonable one Andy and Denise?") is mostly due to the fact that they seem to advocate the opportunity to allow a cropping option for customers.
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    Art ScottArt Scott Registered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited August 4, 2012
    I understood your reasoning with the above question.....i was just letting you know that Andy
    was leaving and had a wedding today ( see this thread - http://tinyurl.com/cfuupq7 )....other support people really ought to be chiming in about this hopefully.
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

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    fabthifabthi Registered Users Posts: 263 Major grins
    edited August 4, 2012
    Art Scott wrote: »
    I understood your reasoning with the above question.....i was just letting you know that Andy
    was leaving and had a wedding today ( see this thread - http://tinyurl.com/cfuupq7 )
    Thanks Art
    Art Scott wrote: »
    ....other support people really ought to be chiming in about this hopefully.
    I do hope too however it doesn't really seem a priority issue eek7.gif
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    ArkieArkie Registered Users Posts: 17 Big grins
    edited August 21, 2012
    I do not like allowing the customer to crop my images...quite unprofessional, imho.

    I do not actually "crop" any of my images. I create (edit) my images to fit a certain aspect ratio.

    Explanation...

    If my subject doesn't fit a certain size, I will sometimes "stretch" the entire image a bit with the transform tool. It doesn't matter if the tree or waterfall is a bit wider than it actually is...and I explain this on my website...

    "(My goal is to) create a work of art that will look good on the wall of ANY home or business. This usually involves adapting of the images to fit several different types and sizes of media. So many of the images have been cropped or stretched just a bit in order to fit pleasingly on an 11×14, 16×20, gallery wrap, or other sizes offered for purchase."

    So...if I upload a "pleasing" image for my catalog...then they try to crop this image...they may find that they cannot get all of the tree or waterfall inside the crop area of the size they have chosen. This makes the purchase quite misleading and complicated.

    I hope my explanation was not "complicated"...just my two cents worth. I used smugmug a while back as a "pro-account", but didn't quite like some of the functions. I am possibly returning to smugmug and hope it will better fit my needs this time. As for this "mandated cropping" flaw, I may just add a line of text somewhere that will let the customer know that they need not crop their image...as it is just in the system and can't be removed.

    My best!
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    HoofClixHoofClix Registered Users Posts: 1,156 Major grins
    edited August 27, 2012
    I don't consider it unprofessional or unreasonable to allow a customer to give me an idea of how they might want an image cropped. Mostly when they order via my shopping cart, they don't crop it at all, and it is only via print delay that I have the control of the final crop.

    In such case that a customer gives me cropping instructions, I will take a look at it an at least decide if I agree with in. Some instances are special, such as perhaps grandma is on the fence in the background, outside of the limits of where I might normally crop. I would call the customer to find out what they were thinking.

    I don't put cropped proofs on line unless it is a piece of fine art that I have spent hours on. In that case I would also disable cropping, and only allow the aspect ratio that I put there..
    Mark
    www.HoofClix.com / Personal Facebook / Facebook Page
    and I do believe its true.. that there are roads left in both of our shoes..
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    LiveAwakeLiveAwake Registered Users Posts: 263 Major grins
    edited January 31, 2014
    I can't believe that after YEARS of people asking for this, SmugMug still will not allow us to choose whether or not to allow customers to crop images when purchasing prints. People who don't want this restriction would not be required to add it, but why not give it to all of us who find it so important to our work?? I mean, SM already has the filtering capability built in to the shopping cart:
    i-sVZRJ7C-L.jpg

    All we are asking for is the ability to control this on the back-end, so that we, the photographer and merchant, can choose to filter print options this way.
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