Once again it’s blog carousel time. This month our theme was to write something informational. I am writing about the current trend to choose digital files over high quality professionally printed albums and wall art.
Having started out in photography shooting film I have a hard time understanding this craze in the industry over files. It seems that so many people looking for portrait sessions these days are more concerned with obtaining files than quality photographic art. Back in the day (ha! now I sound old) of film no one asked the photographer to give over their negatives and photographers never offered to give them. It used to be, and still should be, that the main purpose of hiring a professional photographer was to create beautiful images that would become art for the walls or for albums. Heirlooms to be passed down for generations.
The reality of it is, most of us are far too busy to DO something with those files, they end up sitting on the computer and they wait. Wait until we have time to get to them…..and time slips away from us, it happens to me, and my own personal images all the time. I really believe that if you are investing in custom portraiture, (because a great photography experience is an investment) you should really consider what it is you want from that experience. What do you envision doing with those images. I am pretty sure most people don’t see themselves gathering around a computer to oooohh and ahhhh over the images a couple times each month.
This is one of the biggest reasons why in my business I do not sell files unaccompanied by prints. I feel that if someone is going to invest in my services they need to leave the experience with something to show for it. To me, that something should not be just a disk of files. I feel that if someone took time to choose me over the many other photographers out there they need to have something tangible and real in their hands to share and show off and especially to pass down. If they are investing in my art I want them to have ART when we are done. Art that I have quality control over, and can ensure is printed at the right place in the way I intended on the highest quality archival materials. I see no point in investing in professional photography and then having all the images printed at a sub par one hour lab. It would be kind of like paying an award winning chef for his gourmet recipes then having McDonald’s prepare them.
Professionally printed albums and prints are not going to become obsolete over time as eventually the Cd’s and DVDs we use now will, when new technology comes along (think floppy disks, cassette tapes, 8 tracks, vhs etc.). You are not likely to cuddle up on a couch with your children or grandchildren and flip through the family memories that are on a disk, you are not going to walk into a room and smile every time you see your family smiling down at you from a disk, like you would a framed print or collection of prints on the wall. I am not saying people should not ever have their images on disk, or saved to their computer, it is a very valid form of backing up…what I am saying, or asking you to consider is…
what would you rather pass down to your children?
(this mama chose a huge gallery wrapped canvas to hang above her bed)
or this….(excuse my shoddy product photography. I’ve never claimed to be good at that ;) )
(These images of my own family were taken by and are © Tara Morris.)
I can’t even tell you how much joy I get out of seeing these images above my fireplace. My kids love seeing them there too, especially my youngest who likes to point out who is who and talk about what we were doing. I have written each of my children a letter to attach to the back of their canvas. My husband will do the same and then one day they will each receive 2 canvas’ with a letter attached to the back from each of us. Because these are professionally printed I know they will last and one day make a wonderful one of a kind gift to each of them. I will always choose art.
Up next in the carousel is Julie Tauro, Kitchener Waterloo child and family photographer, women’s portraits. She is writing about light – studio and natural and what clients might want to consider about both options