Digital Vs. Prints

Nov 7, 2020Photography Products

by Candace Miller Photography Montrose, CO

Can I purchase all my digital images?

This is a question with a lot of answers so hang tight and read to the very end. First let me start this post by saying that I  completely understand that we are living in a digital age. And while I feel that this is a good and bad thing, we have to take it in stride. So let me also assure you that there are several options for digitals available for purchase when you are thinking of scheduling a session with Candace Miller Photography. BUT, what I have to say, may come as a shock to some of you, or if you’ve read some of my previous posts, maybe not so much.

There are a number of reasons that I feel that prints are the better options and I’m going to gently lay them out for you below. Selling prints and products has been my business model for several (if not all) of the years that I have been in business because I want my clients to leave me feeling excited, giddy even, about the new, large piece of wall art that they have to decorate their home or the new beautiful album they will be showing to all of their friends. You don’t get excited when you go to the car dealership to get your oil changed or put new tires on your car (ok, maybe some of you do). You get excited when you buy a NEW CAR!

So what’s the big deal about digitals? Why should you care if we buy digitals vs. the prints?

Well, there are a few reasons I would rather you purchase prints. As an artist, I retain the copyrights to all the images of  my child and senior sessions for my business. Another reason is that, studies have shown that in general when a client buys digital images, 3 images *might* get printed at the very most! So you, the client, have just gone to all the trouble to get your kids matching outfits, figured out your spouse’s schedule, hair and makeup, gotten yourself looking fabulous, paid the $300 (or more) session fee and now these photos that were going to be beautifully displayed all over your home are sitting in a drawer on a disc. And no, it’s not your fault!! I do it all the time. I have thousands of photos of my own kids that I have taken…just sitting there waiting. We get busy. Life happens and we move on to the next thing, and the next thing, and then we just…forget.

What really is the cost benefit?

Everyone always thinks that digitals should be cheaper right? I’ll just see if I can get the cheapest option and do everything myself so I can save some money…because saving money is always a good thing, until it’s not. But what you don’t realize is that, I at least, still do all the editing on these digital images. So if I’m going to keep my business alive $5 a digital won’t do it. I’m also losing money by not selling prints that I could have sold on that session so digitals should be the highest priced item on the menu. Prints and products are what keep me in business.

Let’s look at the cost (time and monetarily) for you if you purchase all your digital images. You spend $300 (or more) for the session. You decide that each set of grandparents should probably have one too. Aunties and Uncles will need something as well. By the time you have finished you are a ball of stress because figuring out sizes and cropping and products, where to get them printed at the best rates, what products you actually like the best, who will get what, how many of each item you will need, and will they get here by the holidays!? AHHHHH!!!!. And your cost? Anywhere from $600-800. The color of the photos will not be what it should be and they definitely won’t last  as long as you would like, they will be damaged by sun and environment, and all that money and energy you had spend on those beautiful photos is wasted. So all in all, there is a cost benefit, monetarily speaking. You will save some money by doing things yourself. But, your time is precious. Your sanity and your legacy are worth more than the amount of money you would be saving. Especially when there is a professional, right here just waiting to help you every step of your way.

Side note: Do you have any idea how many people I have had come to me over the years, just asking me to make an album for them because they had only purchased the digital images from their session or their wedding or their special event!? Did you also know that I can’t do this without permission from the photographer that actually took the photos!? But all because they thought they would do their own things with their photos and they NEVER DID!

When you find a photographer that loves to turn moments in time into beautiful works of art, the choice seems simple. This is what I specialize in at Candace Miller Photography and have for the last 17 years. I take the work and stress of it all, and help you decide what is best for you and your family. You choose what products and photos are your favorite and I help you figure out the best way to incorporate those into your home. Decorating in a style that suits you and your family with something meaningful, that will have a lasting impression on your children, and will last for generations. And the products that I choose are not just everyday products. These products have been chosen because I deeply trust the companies that make them.

Why are prints such a big deal?

Our media is ever changing, right? How many people remember the days of projectors and film? What about cassettes and floppy discs, vcr? My laptop doesn’t even have a USB port anymore and did you know that hard drives can be damaged and you can lose all of your data if it’s not saved in another location. What happens when you lose all of your files? Yes, cloud services are available and that’s great but what happens when their servers go down? How many people actually make 3-5 copies of all of their files? Really? In different places just in case these wonderful digital machines fail us…

One of my absolute favorite things is sitting and looking at photos with my kids. They love looking at photos of me and their dad as kids and babies. They love seeing their aunts and uncles while we were all growing up and I did the same thing when I was young. One of these days, photos are the only things that will be left of us. We need to make sure we have the correct methods of preservation.

So yes, I’m a pretty big stickler about print vs. digitals. I feel like there is a digital curse to go along with the digital age we are living in. It’s great for communicating with others, the technology is amazing, and how would we live without it!? But it really makes us lose touch with the personal aspect of life. I’m pro prints all the way. I have several shelves of albums lined up on my bookshelf of hundreds of photos that I have taken over the years. Just so when my kids decide they want to see where their dad and I have been or remember where they lived as babies, they can see and touch those photos. Remember, we are living our legacy…and photos are part of that legacy. Now let’s go tell some more of your story.

P.S. The answer to your question is “Yes, digitals are available for purchase in several different ways at Candace Miller Photography. Most of those ways include gorgeous products that you will be so excited to leave the studio with!”

P.P.S. If you’ve read this entire post, you deserve some sort of medal! Thanks for being part of my story and my journey. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

your friendly neighborhood montrose child and senior photographer,

1 Comment

  1. Michelle Robertson

    This is all so true!!! Our job is to save our clients time and stress by taking care of all these things for them. Digitals are a backup, nothing more. Consumer labs just don’t offer the same quality and consistency that our professional labs do, so yes, it’s more expensive, but the value is also much greater! It’s worth it to actually have the prints and artwork done for you without all the added stress!


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