Let me ask you . . . Do you print your photos?
I have been a newborn photographer in London for 6 years now. I have seen different trends and of course, I’ve seen the rise of digitals. I mean now it’s all about smartphones. Everyone is a “photographer” these days and it’s great how easy it is to capture a special moment.
One of the first and most popular questions I get asked when potential clients email me about a newborn or baby photo session is ‘How much is it for digital files on a disk?’ The cost, sometimes, scared a few away, as in this digital age, there are so many new photographers who charge very little for a photo session with all the images on a disk.
I know, we all want digitals.
But my question is this . . . Why do you want digitals?
I hear you. “I want to have them all”, “I just want to print what I want”, ” I want to be in control”, “I don’t want to decide now” . . .
I know why you want the files. Because you think it’s the “cheapest” option, right? After all, you can save them on a disk! Let me tell you, from a photographer point of view, digitals is surely not the cheapest option. Actually, it’s far from it, as it’s a profit loss for the business.
I read this quote a while ago and it will give you the perfect idea why it’s not.
Anyway, this is just boring stuff, that has to do with a photography business.
Going back to your point of view, having them all on a cd make things easier for you. Plus it will take you away from making a decision between which of your baby photos you want to buy. Bookshops have shelves of literature on procrastination.
So let’s say you have all your photos on a cd. What do you do then? At some point, you have to decide the one you want to print for a baby announcement card, or you have to choose a few if you want to make an album yourself. Or maybe you want to decorate your baby’s nursery with a canvas, you have to choose one, right?
How many of you at this point feel a bit guilty? Because you had a session where you received a cd and it’s still sitting somewhere in a drawer, untouched. Or maybe you don’t have necessarily had a professional session. You have a lot of phone photos in your computer, sitting in a folder.
And I am guilty myself of not printing enough! You are not the only one. Because it takes time to sort them out, to decide what to print, I just print the one I take with my work camera and unfortunately don’t print enough of the daily phone snaps. So as a parent I understand your pain 🙂
That’s why as a photographer I will take this pain out of you and take care of your beautiful album and prints.
Do you know that disk storage is going to disappear?
In fact, many new computers don’t even have disk drives! So what are you going to do when you go to print them and there is no way to get them off the disk, or even worse the disk is corrupt and unusable? Disks aren’t infallible and don’t last forever. Surely hanging the cd on the wall won’t help 😉
USB seems to be the best option at the moment. But then again in 5, 10 years down the line there will there a new technology that replaces USB. And USBs are guaranteed to retain files for a few years only.
This is how I deliver digitals to my clients. On a USB, with a printed copy and instructions on how to take care of those files. But remember if anything goes wrong you can always make a copy from a print. That is your best backup!
As a newborn photographer, I love products. I love seeing my work printed. That’s why a hard copy is provided when digital files are purchased. I want my parents to have an extra backup. I want my parents to see how great a print look like. And because I calibrate the screen colours with the lab, that is what you see.
Did you notice that if you take your photos to print as Boots, or Asda or Snappy Snaps they will look different? That’s because everyone is using a different colour profile and they are not specifically calibrated. And the difference, believe me, can be enormous!
So why will you want to invest in a photography session just to have some digitals?
I mean you spend a lot of money and then what? You have a cd sitting on a draw? Or you have photos printed in a high street store that don’t look like they should. That’s a shame.
You are probably asking yourself why I am selling digital files after all, right? Well in 2017, how could I not?
But the way I see them is as an add-on, not as the main product.
My most popular product is the album. It’s such a beautiful way to display all the photos of a session and create a story, the first legacy of your baby. My “parents” also love the frames to create a special wall in their baby’s room. Then all the files are added so they can share them with friends and family and they can give smaller prints to the grandparents.
An image framed or a canvas ready to be hung on your wall will be cheaper than files.
A beautiful album custom made for you will cost as much as 10 digital files.
So wouldn’t you love flicking through your baby’s album anytime you want, maybe with your child on your lap and commenting together those images? Rather than having a USB needing a computer and power? (I’ve been to someone’s home who wanted to show me something on the computer and battery was flat, and they couldn’t find the charger! Little inconveniences, right?)
Your baby will grow quickly and you can’t get that time back. But you will have your precious memories and funny stories along with your cherished photos. Make those photos available and accessible to yourself and to your children.
It’s sad that the most photographed generation in history one day will have no photos.
Just something to think about . . .
Keep calm and print your photos 🙂