Digital V Prints

Nov 10th 2014

I often get enquiries about purchasing digital files or discs rather than prints and products. As many of you know, I like to offer a finished product rather than giving you the disc that enables you to go and print your own photographs. Clients believe that way is easier and less expensive. The truth is, that is incorrect. It is only because of these requests that I have started to offer digital files to my clients... but I will always encourage you to purchase the prints and products rather than the disc. Why? I'll tell you..

Some people will search for a local photographer who can photograph them, their family, their children or pet and after the session, hand over the disc of images at a bargain price. They tell themselves it's cheaper and all round better if they print those images themselves. They believe that digital files/discs are the best option, when infact they are not. Lets face it - when you get that cd or usb, 99% of the time, it's put aside, hidden in a drawer until you have the time to look through those images. After some time, those images may be looked at once, maybe twice a year. What will you do with 30 images or more? Print them all? I doubt it. So time passes and you forget to print from that disc. Now your newborn, your children, your pet or family are older and you want to look at that disc to remind you of how they use to be. Only to find those images are gone. Data from these discs are wiped with time, damage, etc. It may even get misplaced. It might be faulty. Discs/USB's are a temporary means of storage. So many things can go wrong with digital media. Technology moves on. Remember those casettes that you use to play when you were younger? The floppy discs you used in the computer? The walkman? Those videos you use to play on your betamax? (Perhaps I am showing my age here :)) The point is, they are no more. You can't play those any longer, and in time, you won't be able to play those discs or USBs. Something will inevitably take its place. If those images are wiped on that disc, if you lose it or break it and you ask your photographer if he/she still has them 5 years later - the answer will be no, and that's it. All of those memories have completely disappeared. Memories you wished you had printed. And what about future Generations. In 50 years from now, when other generations want to look through those discs, they won't be able to. Prints, Framed photographs, wall art, can be kept forever. So lets say you do print some images from that disc, chances are that you will use somewhere on the high street for printing or somewhere you found on the internet, or even worse, ebay. You will NEVER reproduce images like a professional printer can. Paper and colours will never be the same. You will end up with a cheap print or canvas that would look 100 times better if it was printed professionally. These prints will be poor quality and in time will fade. Photographers go to great lengths to find the perfect printer, one that can print your images exactly how it appears on their computer screen. That image will appear different on your computer, and different again when you use a cheap printer. Some photographers do not sell digital images at all, or they sell them at a premium price.

Until now, I haven't offered digitals for all of these reasons. As they are proving popular in this day and age, I have now started to. However, they are the most expensive product on my price list, and yes, they are more expensive than the prints.. and as I am recommending prints and products to you over digital files, you will know that this isn't a sales pitch, it has nothing to do with money.. It is about capturing memories that you can cherish forever. I care about the service I provide. I am dedicated to offering you a professional service. I am an artist, and as an artist, my work does not stop at taking your pictures. I spend time perfecting your images. I take time composing and creating the best shots at the photo shoot, deciding on the best surroundings, colours, lighting and poses - it isn't the case of pointing the camera and pressing the button. I spend time editing them, individually, not as a batch, choosing the best images from your session, compiling your gallery, visiting you to show you my products, resizing your choices and finishing them to professional standard. Dedication. It's all about the quality for me, not the quantity. I want you to look at the memories I captured for you every day. I want you to hang those memories on the wall, put them in your wallet, on your mantlepiece. I don't want those images to be hidden away collecting dust. I am all about the finished product.

Why are the digitals so expensive? Because you are buying everything. You are taking away my control of that image, my art. You can print them however many times you like, on whatever you like. I want consistent quality, and if you go and print an image on the high street and it becomes cropped or too saturated, someone will ask you where you had that taken - they won't blame the printers, they will believe that is how the photographer presented that image to you. Word of mouth goes a long way. And although you are not given permission to alter my images in any way, it doesn't stop people 'playing' with images on their computers or mobile phones, turning them black and white, cropping them etc. without my knowledge. Making them look unprofessional. What is the point in me offering professional products when you will go and order them from ebay at a fraction of the cost, at a fraction of the quality. I will never sell those products and people would never get to see how amazing they look. Ok, so another 'photographer' may offer you a photo shoot and every single image from that shoot on a disc for £100. Sounds good doesn't it. But not all photographers are 'Professional' Photographers. You get what you pay for. If you want a top of the range car, you wouldn't buy a cheap one. It works the same way. :) Selling digital images is easy. For a photographer offering prints/products, a lot more work is involved. I will custom create those prints and products for you, delivering a finished product. I will be writing a blog soon about what you pay for when you hire a professional. In the meanwhile, Next time you look for a 'cheap' photographer, just remember that high quality and professionalism doesn't come cheap, and those printed photographs, as opposed to digital files, are priceless as well as timeless.

Print everything. Don't hide it away.

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