I have a confession to make, but it probably won’t surprise you. The truth is, I have a love/hate relationship with digital files. I WANT my clients to have them. I want you to be able to share those files on social media and to have a copy of your images in case your prints were to get damaged.
But I also know that once I sell you those digital files, I will most likely never sell another print from your session. Then, chances are you are going to take them to a one hour photo lab and quite honestly, they don’t provide the best print quality and that’s IF the images get printed at all. (Just a little FYI-I don’t even print my personal snapshots at Walmart’s 1 hour lab.)
Why pay for the digital files just to have lackluster prints hanging on your walls?
If I could choose, EVERY SINGLE CLIENT of mine would receive both the digital files AND professional prints. I’m almost willing to BEG you to buy both.
But I know not everyone wants both, so there are some things you NEED to know about your purchase of digital files…and I promise this isn’t me trying to talk you out of buying them.
1. Your images are editied on a computer monitor calibrated for my professional print labs. I cannot guarantee what they will look like when you take them elsewhere. Can you imagine hanging up a 16×20 that makes you look like a smurf and has ugly streaks running through it? Yeah, it could happen. Just know that’s a risk you are taking.
2. Digital files deteriorate and it doesn’t take long. Every time you open the files, they lose some of their quality. Prints on the other hand, will last a lifetime when displayed properly.
3. Who says you can view them in a couple years? Apple is already making iMacs WITHOUT disc drives. Which is why I have moved to offering USB’s instead of discs. If you’re saying, “Well I use a PC,” netbooks and the like already don’t have disc drives. And I’m going to say PC’s will probably follow Apples’s lead, if they haven’t already.
4. On the plus side, you do receive some serious eye candy with your purchase of a USB. The image above is a dvd case with a dvd and your images will now come on a USB, but the case will be just like the one pictured above…only USB size.
*Quick disclaimer: Mini-sessions will receive digital downloads or a custom printed CD. Weddings and Portrait sessions will receive USB’s with a custom printed case.
And just because I want to address the pros and cons of only purchasing prints….
1. They last a lifetime when properly displayed (out of direct sunlight, behind glass, moisture controlled, etc…)
2. You receive professional quality luster or metallic prints. No streaks. No smurf colors. No odd distracting high gloss.
3. Being able to glance up or flip through an album and see the prints you cherish. No hoping your computer doesn’t crash or you don’t lose the disc/usb before you get your prints made.
1. You don’t have a back-up if your print gets destroyed. However, if your house burns down, I will replace your prints if I still have them. I back everything up multiple times but there will likely come a day when I simply run out of storage and have to clear some older things to make room for the new.
2. You can’t make multiple copies if you need more. So grandma loves the photo you cherish most but you only bought the one copy-YOURS. Sorry, all images are copyrighted by law and you may not make copies, not even on your home scanner, without risking legal prosecution. I know it sucks. But photographers are artists too and well, we do have to make a living off these sales.
I encourage you to buy both, so that you get the best both has to offer. But at the end of the day you have to decide what best suits your needs. I just hope you choose not to leave them sitting on your computer.