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Prints Vs Digital Files | Technology Changes

I’ve been writing this post in my head for a long time. I cannot tell you how many inquiries I lose because I am not a shoot and burn photographer. That is not to say that I do not sell digital files, I do, and they are affordable. But I truly believe that prints are better.

Let me ask you a question. Do you still have important information on one of these?

Now, for those of you younger than 25, those are floppy disks. You laugh, but really, there are people that do not know what they are.

Now, let’s fast forward a few years. Do you still have important information on these?

I’m sure a lot of you will say yes. In fact, I do too! But let me tell you. CDs are a thing of the past. Did you know that a lot of computers do not come with CD Roms now? So what’s the alternative?

I’m positive 97% of you said USB!! (With enthusiasm most likely.)

But what about in 10 years? 20 years? Do you think USBs will still be the *it* form of data storage then? Probably not.

So let me ask you a very important question.

When you get family pictures taken, how quick are you to print your photos? Sure you may hurry to MPix and print a few larger prints to get on the wall, but if you’re anything like most people you have the intention of making a book with the entire album, or getting smaller prints for around the house, maybe the office. That favorite photo of the youngest giving her sister a bear hug while the oldest makes a grimace that makes you giggle every time you look at it goes unprinted and then forgotten.

So fast forward a few years, the kids are independent, off doing their own thing with school and work and dates (Lord help us, my kids will never date!! I know you’re saying it too.)

You think, hey with all of this free time, I’m going to go back and organize all of our photos from over the years. Make a few coffee table books, fill the albums on the shelves that sit empty.

But wait. Are your photos saved on something that you can access them?

In 10 years they probably won’t be.

Then what?

Nothing. You’re out of luck.

They’re gone.

Now, I’m being a bit dramatic. You can probably talk to your crazy Uncle George who still have every computer he’s ever owned and will let you use his for a small fee. But you know your Uncle George, it’s never that simple. It turns into this huge task and you end up just saying screw it and tell yourself you’ll get around to it later, it’s just too time consuming.

So let me ask you, why not just buy prints the first time around?

They’re too expensive. I want ALLLLLLL of the photos. I don’t have the place to hang them right now.

Those are the top three reasons people want digital over prints.

Ok, let’s talk about that.

They’re too expensive.

This is what a client got from me, just last week, for the same price as my digital package.

Look at all of those prints! And framing. And birth announcements. And accordians! They even upgraded to mounted 5x7s on some of their photos. This family got everything they wanted all for the same price as if they had just gotten a USB.

I want ALLLLLLL the photos.

I offer an incentive at the end of all of my ordering sessions. Oh, you want all of the photos? Great, order the proofs! At Little Fawn ordering sessions clients are able to hold their actual photos, see what their true colors are, feel the texture of quality print. And at the end of the session I offer the proofs for a nominal fee depending on your order total. You will have the photos in hand to show coworkers, family, and friends. No huddling around the computer anymore!

I don’t have anywhere to hang them.

I get it. I lived in a home that didn’t have anymore wall space left to hang photos. But I kept buying. I either replaced framed photos or I stored them. Because I knew that it was going to be less of a shock to the husband to buy one 20×30 canvas at a time than buy 7 to hang on the staircase all at once.

When you come into my home, you will see 10 years worth of my life on my walls. From Tim + my first vacation together in 2002 mounted on the nightstand, our first dance framed on the bookshelf, to the girls’ valentines on canvas on the staircase. I want guests to feel like they are seeing our lives when they come inside. I don’t want to have to power up the computer or squint at my phone to show them my love.

I realize that not everyone feels the way I do about their photos, and that is a-ok. There is nothing wrong with digital files (again, I sell them myself! If you come to me and want files, they are yours to buy.), but I feel I owe it to you and your gorgeous family, to get those photos up on your walls!

Don’t let your memories sit unseen for years while you wait for the time to get them printed, let your photographer do it for you now!

Siobhan Wolf - February 18, 2013 - 6:52 pm

This is excellent. Thank you so much for putting it out there.

(Reminds me of a Family Circle cartoon I saw years ago where the little girl was talking to her friend, holding an old photo album, and saying, Dad doesn’t keep photos any more he hides them in his computer.)

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