We're having a big clean up at our place at the moment (exciting things are happening!), and I've been sorting through and culling stuff we haven't used in a while. The usual...clothes, shoes, books...then I came across a box of old CD's. They were in a dirty old cardboard box that had probably been the same box they were in when we moved to our last house. I haven't listened to a CD in forever. Even the old CD player was shoved over the back of the garage in a forgotten corner. Elton John, Pearl Jam, Chilli Peppers, Whitney, Keith Urban, Cold Chisel...I reminisced for a while, and made a mental note to add these to my playlists. It got me thinking, so much technology has come and gone during my lifetime. Cassette tapes, VHS, Floppy discs, CD's. Even DVD's have been made obsolete thanks to Netflix! Did you know they are even making laptops without USB drives now?
Being a professional photographer, of course technology is a huge part of what I do, particularly in this digital age. One of the first things potential clients ask when looking for a photographer is 'Do you sell the digital files?' In short the answer is yes, but I just want to give you a few reasons why digital files shouldn't be your first priority.
Don't get me wrong, I definitely think there is a place for digital files. I love sharing photos of my kids on social media so our family interstate can see how much they have grown! It's so easy and everyone gets to see them all at once. But this isn't forever. Can you imagine if Facebook or Instagram suddenly shut down? How many precious photos and memories would you stand to lose?
Print what you want to preserve!
It's just so important to get your images printed. What if you opened up your digital files on your computer and all you got was this...
Digital files can become corrupted at any time and for many unknown reasons. There is no guarantee that you will be able to view your images even in a few months let alone a few years.
If you don't think printed photographs are important, wait until they are all you have left!
Who remembers digging out old boxes of photos and listening to stories, or laughing at outdated haircuts and fashion choices. I know when we were looking for photos for Mum's funeral, the kids had a great laugh at our expense. There is just something special about picking up a photo and holding it in your hand that you just don't get from looking at a computer screen.
Recently I had a conversation with one of my returning clients about her daughter's newborn photos. Her daughter was about to turn two and she still hadn't got around to printing any of the photos off her USB. Basically she shared a few of her favourites on social media and then put the USB in her desk draw. With three kids in tow, printing photos just wasn't on her list of priorities. Hands up if this sounds like you!
I know you think you want the digital files so you can print many copies for a cheaper price, but let me explain why this is also not a great idea. Yes of course you are getting more for your money, but like anything, you only get what you pay for. Sure you can buy the Woolies brand chocolate and get twice as much for your money, but it definitely won't taste as good as Lindt!
Your images are hand edited using premium software and monitors that have been carefully calibrated to match my labs colour profiles. This means that what you get is prints that are exactly as I intended them to be. Mini labs for the most part offer cheap papers and inferior quality inks because they are driven by price rather than quality. My lab cares so much about the quality they produce that they even offer up to a 75 year guarantee on their products! Put simply, professionals care about what your images look like, Kmart doesn't!
As a family photographer there is no greater joy than placing a beautiful heirloom quality album or print in my clients hands at the end of their portrait experience.
As a full service newborn photography studio I pride myself on providing the best experience to you and your family, and that means beautiful tangible products ready to be shown and displayed in your home.
So do I sell the digital files? Yes. Every print you purchase comes with the matching digital file, and there are a number of ways you can receive the full set of digital files complimentary with your boutique products (you can view some examples here).
I ask you please, if you are going to invest your time in searching for and hiring a family photographer who's style and personality you love, coordinate your family, choosing outfits and getting hair cuts (and bribing your kids and husband to behave) do yourself a favour and honour that investment with a beautiful keepsake you can cherish forever!