Client sends Photo A to you for use in a design. The photo is a portrait with a background.
In the course of work you remove the background and color-correct the photo for your use. This can sometimes take considerable work depending upon the photo itself. This is all part of the project billing. So, really the client pays for this editing as well.
Contract states the client is paying for final deliverables (PDF generally) and not any construction, working, or native files.
Some time later the client ask you to send Photo A to another designer so they can use it in some unrelated project. The client doesn't specifically state they'd like the edited version sent. Merely "Can you send that photo to...."
- I don't own the photo. I am aware. The client owns the photo.
- I have no problem sending the photo as requested
- I did put in several hours of work to refine the client-provided photo for use in my office
I honestly have no issue forwarding client-owned resources when asked. But I wonder......
Should a designer flatten or otherwise restrict the image when sending it elsewhere?
What I mean by that is....
- Should the layers be merged resulting in all masks and various correction layers being merged?
- Should color corrections be merged removing the easy access to further adjustments?
- Should the image merely be flattened and all transparency removed resulting in a white background and no defined outline for the portrait?
- Should I merely forward the original image the client sent me? Keeping the edited version to myself for my use?
- Should the layered, constructed, corrected, .psd file be sent?
I am aware that any other designer would appreciate having as editable a file as possible. I mean, I certainly wouldn't turn down someone sending me a fully layered, editable, .psd image. I'm more considering the client request. The contract stated they aren't paying for assets, only final deliverables. So by providing a single, edited, asset I am technically breeching the contract, am I not?
I primarily wonder if it is merely good practice to send the original image I was sent.
What's the best practice when asked to send client-owned resources which have considerable work in them to another office?
Current Practice: Traditionally, I don't "hoard" this type of thing and don't really do anything to make life hard on others. I'd merely save the image as a jpg if there's no transparency, or a png if there is, and forward that image. So, things are merged but not necessarily flattened removing transparency. For some images, having the PNG allows for easy access to the defined outline of the photo and then subsequent text wraps or other editing possibilities while saving the new office the time it would take to remove the background the way I did. I've really never seen that as an issue.