Should you get digital files or prints? It’s actually not a simple question.. Many people [and photographers] go back and forth as to the best way to do this photography thing. Times are changin too, so we learn more and more about the digital world as we go. Here’s what I tell my clients, “it depends.” It actually depends on you and how responsible you are;) Here’s why:
Think about WHY you want digital files.
If you are afraid your house will burn down and you want the files “just in case,” just don’t worry. Get your electrical work up to code, turn off the stove when you’re done and don’t use space heaters. Your house probably won’t burn down, and if it does, your computer will burn too and you will loose all your files in addition to your prints. Unless you are very responsible and you have backed up all your files in the cloud or on an off site hard drive. I keep your files as long as possible as another back up for you.
You might think it’s cheaper to get digital files and that depends too. It might be cheaper, however, you have to think about quality here. I have had many, many clients come back to me and ask me to print something for them that they couldn’t get to look beautiful at a cheap consumer printer. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. It makes me sad when I make a beautiful black and white picture and it gets printed at a local drugstore and it ends up green and grey. You want to look at your photos and feel warm and fuzzy, not frustrated because they didn’t print it right. I recommend mpix.com first. If you are in a hurry, use Costco.
You might want to share them on the internet so your friends and family can see your beautiful family. I love doing this too, so I put them online for you (print orders and digital orders) so you can share away. Don’t let this be your only reason for going digital. This reason doesn’t make it very cost effective.
You might be under the impression that you will “own” the files. You will sort of “own” them but you won’t be the only one. It’s standard practice that when you get your files, you will get limited copyrights. This means that you can publish them and print them for personal use only and you can’t make any money from them. The photographer retains the right to use them and make money off of them.
You must be a self motivated DIY kinda person that is tech savvy and knows how to back those files up in several places. After you have backed them up, PRINT THEM. If you leave them on your hard drive, what’s the point? Read this article on Petapixel. It does a great job of explaining why we should print our files. I’m going to write a whole post based on that article, it’s so good. It basically says that we are entering into another possible Dark Ages because we aren’t printing things and we don’t know how long digital data will exist. It gets lost all the time and we may not even realize how much is disappearing. Poof!
If you know you want a digital package, the process is easy. I will put your proofs in an online gallery and you will choose your favorites. I will then touch them up in photoshop and dropbox them to you.
A case for print:
With a print session, you have lots of help so that you are sure to get exactly what you need. Before your shoot, we will have a pre-session consultation on the phone or in the studio. During this time, we can discuss, in more detail, your needs and goals. We will decide on a location and get a clothing strategy. You can come to the studio to see and touch the products that you may wish to purchase. When I have a general idea of what items you want to display in your home, I can be more prepared during our session and make sure we get the shots you want.
After your photoshoot, you will come to the studio for your ordering session. Clients find this very helpful because I can help you choose your photos and make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. The best part is that I can import a photo of your wall and we can plug in your new pictures to decide on exact sizes and arrangements. How cool is that? I get big hugs for this. Especially from those that have tried to do it on their own.
I have to mention the quality issue again. It’s better. There’s no way around it. I use the best printers in the country and you are guaranteed to get gorgeous prints of your family that you will love.
If you are still on the fence, call me and we’ll figure it out.