The dark-side of digital files…
We do offer a la carte digital files to all of our clientele, and it’s becoming a massive trend across the industry of professional portrait and wedding photography that the clients want the digital files.
We get this! We love the world of digital: sharing on Facebook, ease of use, inexpensive printing through any of the numerous consumer sites and labs out there…
… but that’s the dark-side. Chances are, because consumer labs are so inexpensive, you won’t get the kind of quality print you will get through a professional lab, i.e. Trystan Photography’s lab. But to get that quality, you have to pay the higher prices (in many cases, quite a lot higher!).
But that’s a choice each of our clients have to make. We try to make the pros and cons clear to our clients, and we do try and steer people away from a “purely digital” purchase, however, that is the momentum in our industry, and it’s what clients want today! We don’t fault anyone for wanting the digital files, but there is always a chance for dissappointment if printed elsewhere.
One of our awesome long-time clients just wrote me this morning with this tale of consumer lab woe:
“I do regret having someone else (I think it was Snapfish) print my favorite photo (file) from their session with you, even though I bought the rights to it…But it was not nearly as good quality printing as the other photos I got from you a la carte. I want you to keep our files, as I will likely want to order a high quality print of that pic from you in the future. If you’d please just not delete it, I hope I can buy it later on. Feel free to post my comments on your website about how your print quality is superior. THANKS. – Linda”
Thanks, Linda, for your praise of our print quality. However, I do think the trend is moving away from high quality prints. It’s a paradigm shift for photography, and we just need to figure out how we’re going to adapt!
I’m thinking we’re going to make portraits a one-time (high$) flat-fee and include all the finished digital files, combined with a monumental lowering of the print prices through our lab. That way everybody wins: we make profit and the our amazing clients can still have files and affordable pro-quality prints? Thoughts?
Anyone else have a tale of “printing digital files” woe?