One of the most common things I hear when speaking with a prospective client:
"We don't really need prints. We just want the digitals."
I know, it's 2022 and it's a fast paced, high tech world we live in. We order McDonalds on an app and its brought to our car for us. We order our groceries online so we don't even have to go into the store. We rarely buy magazines, newspapers, and books, because they are in the palm of our hands. Amazing right?
Why wouldn't photography services fall in line with our other day-to-day things?
This was answered for me twice fairly recently. At the time of writing this blog post, we've been in business for about eight years. Like many photographers, we started off in what's known as the "shoot & burn" method - meaning we took photos, edited them, and turned over all the digital images. Job done. Or was it?
A couple of years ago, I was speaking with a past Bride. At the time that I photographed their wedding, their digital images were delivered on a flash drive. In conversation, it turned out, she didn't even know where that drive was any more. They went though their gallery, posted their favorite images on social media, then threw it in a drawer never to be seen again. They never printed any images or saw them anywhere other than on the screens of their personal devices. I must say, that threw me off a bit.
I was later contacted by another Bride. This Bride wrote to say that she went to use her thumb drive, but received an error message saying that the drive was corrupted! Luckily, I still had their gallery and I was able to provide her with a link to a new, downloadable online gallery. This is how we currently deliver our client galleries.
What did I learn from this? Two things:
Don't Trust Digitals
Print Your Photos
Before you close this out thinking that I'm out of my mind, hear me out. Of course I love digital images. I'm a social media junkie. My phone, my computer, and external hard drives are loaded with digital images. I've purchased new devices just to be able to handle the capacity of images that I keep available at a moment's notice.
When we started our business, we delivered our images on CD. Those were phased out and thumb drives became the new thing. If you haven't noticed, those are also starting to disappear. In fact, this computer that I'm typing this blog
post on doesn't even have USB ports on it!
Today, I don't feel like our job is done until we deliver printed work over to our clients.
Currently all of our packages DO come with digital images, but they also come with some form of printed images. We offer paper prints, large ready-to-hang metal prints, and custom designed albums.
To me, there's just something about being able to hold a photograph. There's something about walking down the stairs and passing by a large piece of wall art displaying the happiest day of your life. It serves as a pleasant interruption to the daily hustle and bustle that is LIFE. There's something about leaving a storybook album on a shelf or coffee table for your guests to see. Consider the conversations that would spark!
Photographs don't go out of style. If you don't agree, ask your parents. Ask your grandparents. Consider those photos that you may have seen in their homes throughout your life. Those images mean something to them and they always will.
Whether you're looking for photography services for your upcoming wedding, portraits for a high school senior graduate, or an empowering boudoir session, choose a photographer who can help you select a blended package of printed works of art and shareable digital images.
You'll be happy you did.