I'm going to address the elephant in the room...I think I can speak on behalf of most professional photographers when I say we have all had an enquiry that goes something like this:
"Can I please have a price for digital files only, no prints."
If you have no plans on printing these beautiful images then why are you having these images taken? Or are you hoping to save $40 and print them cheaply yourself? Whatever your reasoning I would like to give you a little bit of an insight into digital files and the reason why they're awesome if delivered and used correctly. We all love them, they're convenient and make sharing your images with family and friends a breeze. Yes, I offer digital files in my packages because I understand your needs but I also offer a print credit in every single package to ensure that every client walks away with something beautiful to hang on their wall. This is the reason why...
The longevity of digital formats
Just like the film negatives your parents have from many years ago, the digital file of your image could be difficult to view as digital technology progresses. CDs are on the way out, USBs could be next. The other thing to consider is that ALL digital storage devices have a limited lifespan. CDs as an example have a 5 year usable life, after this time the internal material deteriorates and so do the images stored on the disc. Once this has occurred you often cannot retrieve the digital images loaded on the disc so it is a sad farewell to those images unless you have backed them up somewhere. Print what you would like to preserve is the key here.
Cheap online canvas or print deal? It sounds appealing right? I will just print my own and save $40.
Truth be told, often the quality of these online print deals isn’t great, they are mass produced and have zero quality control. If you have digital files from a professional photographer these have often been processed by hand, colour corrected on a calibrated screen to perfection which is part of the reason they look so awesome. Printing at a cheap lab isn’t going to render a high quality result nor will the colours print correctly which brings me back to why would you pay for beautiful portraits then print them as cheaply as possible? Wouldn't you much prefer a nicely finished image on your wall with the crisp detail and a colour palette that doesn't look off? I know of people that opted for cheap prints only to have them de-laminate after a short time which is just a waste. Sometimes it is best to go with quality, you get what you pay for in most cases.
The reason photographers offer professional products is that they want you to enjoy the images you have paid for with lovely products. I promise that it is that simple. We source products that we know you will love, you get to choose something that suits your personal taste to display in your home. We know the different mediums, the sizes and layouts so can help you make choices that will suit your images and the space you are planning to display them. Photographers have been providing framed artwork for decades, just like a builder finishes the job instead of giving you the nails leaving you to do it yourself. It is part of the service.
Just like any industry, a professional photographer has wholesale suppliers. They get the frames for a slightly reduced rate than the average public which means that if you are thinking of sourcing a professional lab and framer that deals with the public (many I know only deal with wholesale clients) then the price you will pay is often the same as if you just went through your professional photographer in the first place. In the long run, you have just made it much harder for yourself than it needed to be. Simplify it for yourself an utilise the expertise your photographer has and their buying power. You will enjoy your images so much more when you haven't spent hours on end trying to do it all yourself. I know parents are superheroes but honestly, your time is valuable and those beautiful children love having your attention.
30 years from now when your children are grown up and want to show their children photos of when they were young how do you picture them doing this? For me personally, I have a baby album that my parents bought of my younger years. I have the framed portrait of when I was very small. I have the pixifoto prints they purchased through the years. They did not hand me a box of negatives and ask that I find a way to view these images. This is what I am preaching.
Digital images are awesome for right now. They serve a fantastic purpose right now. They are for 'right now'. They are not for memory preservation and in 30 years from now a hard drive or box of USBs probably won't be of much use to your children. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. The prints, the framed art and the albums are what you will wish you had to show them. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I can honestly (hand on heart) say that I want to help tell your family's story. I want you to have something amazing to show them when they are older. I want you to be able to relive these early days when your children have grown up and left home. I want you to hold something tangible and be able to love your portraits more 30 years later than the day you chose them in my studio.
The clothes will be outgrown, the toys will break, that fancy stroller will likely be rotting in landfill.
Your prints, your artwork and your albums will still be there.
They become prized possessions.
Even more so if tragedy strikes your family.
If that's not enough to convince you then my plea has failed. I love offering flexibility to my clients and with that means digital files however they come alongside a print credit so you get the best of both worlds.
Please do enjoy the image I had tucked away of me as a 4 year old!
Multi Award Winning Photographer
Also one that has your best interests at heart