What happens when you ONLY get digital files from your Littleton Senior Photographer?
These days in our digital world, many of our senior photography clients ask us, “will I get ALL the digital files?” This question is one we get frequently in our downtown Littleton senior photography studio. From our 17 years experience and surveying our happiest senior moms, we’ve found that combining a few select digital files along with PRO products (items such as framed artwork, trios and PRO prints) is the best approach.
Keep in mind you will only get PRO quality prints and products when working with a PRO photographer. And PRO labs are only accessible to PRO photographers, so you will be happiest if you allow us to handle the printing FOR you.
If all you get are digital files, you may be working with a hobbyist, not a PRO senior photographer
With digital cameras, there is a surge of new “senior photographers” who are entering the field because they have a “good camera”. Many do not have a senior photography studio, so it’s easier for them to just offer digital files as their deliverable items because they don’t want to have clients coming to their homes. Consider that when you work with this type of “all digital” model, there are some things to think about and questions to ask:
- Are you working with a PRO who has been in the business for more than 5 years and has a sales tax license? Why ask about the sales tax license? It shows commitment to the photography business and likely that they are not a hobbyist. Also, the sales tax license will insure that the photographer has access to PRO labs and can provide you with professional prints and products you could not get on your own.
- In addition to the digital files, does the photographer provide any PRINTED items that you could not get elsewhere or from a consumer lab?
- Is there any editing done on the images such as color balance, exposure adjustment, cropping, blemish removal or light retouch?
If there is little or no editing done on the images, it should be a deal breaker.
Any good PRO senior photographer should have a gallery, be sure to ask to see their senior gallery to help decide if the senior photographer matches the style you are looking for.
Are you someone who has the time and experience to work with the digital files?
If you are not in a creative field nor ever worked extensively with Photoshop, then the digital files you get may likely stay in your drawer. Senior photos are precious and time specific and if you don’t print them right away, it’s likely you never will, and you may lose that memory forever.
And by the way, Grandparents especially do not know what to do with digital files. So that means YOU have to print them and mail them. A PRO senior photographer can handle the task of printing gift prints AND mailing them for you.
Getting digital files (only) is going to be the same as “DIY” (do it yourself)
The other day, I spent HOURS on the phone trying to get caller ID to show up with my name and not just my phone number. I don’t want my clients having to do the same thing with a lab trying to print images of lower quality and not knowing the right questions to ask. Senior pictures are important and the investment is high, allow your Senior Photographer to handle the PRO printing for you. You and your senior deserve the best quality prints and service, especially in this memorable stage in their lives. Just because you CAN try and print the photos using digital files, doesn’t necessarily mean you should or would even want to. I’ve learned to let the experts handle my “expert needs” and getting senior portraits printed is one of those times.
Even if you are able get some decent quality prints from the digital files, you are likely to get frustrated with the process. And photos have memories. If there was some frustration in the process of getting these printed (on your own), you’re likely to look at the images negatively from now on, and who wants that?
Quality not Quantity
Do you really NEED, want or LOVE 100 of the poses? So why get digital files of all of those, especially if they are not all edited? The best way to go is to select ONLY the poses you love, and have those printed and share a few of those on social media.
Media is always changing, will that flash drive still be accessible in 20 years?
You may receive a beautiful “crystal flash drive” with your digital files on it, but will you be able to access that flash drive in this ever changing world of technology? It’s doubtful. And no one will be sitting around your computer to view them in 20 years if you can even access them.
People WILL however peruse printed items such as a senior album, wall portrait or a trio set on an end table. Again another reason to make sure and get SOME PRO prints of the senior photos you love NOW, so you have them later.
We believe Littleton senior pictures should be printed, or they will be lost forever
From our experience, if the senior pictures aren’t printed in some way or another (or placed into a PRO product such as a trio or album), it’s likely you will never see those senior pictures again and you could lose them forever. So, it’s our belief that EVERYONE should have a select few digital files as a keepsake (and in case of a fire or loss of the printed images). But they should never be placed in a drawer, only to be lost and never seen again. Odds are, if we don’t print them, neither will you.
These senior pictures are not only for now, they are for TWENTY years from now. Getting high quality prints NOW will help you in the years to come.
Consider what we call the “sweet spot” when it comes to deliverables for Littleton Senior Photography
Our happiest clients LOVE having items they could not get themselves, nor do they want to “go do it themselves” and try and work only with digital files. The “sweet spot” is to have a package that includes PRO products (like framed artwork and collages/trios), PRO prints (the quality of which is noticeably different), and a few select RETOUCHED smaller digital files to share on social media.
One of our favorite PRO Senior photography products is what we call our “Framed Gift/Office Trio” it comes with EVERY Senior photo package we offer, it’s a “client favorite” and something our clients cannot get on their own.
Still thinking about the full sized digital files in case of loss/damage?
Still thinking you want that set of full sized digital files because you are worried about loss/damage? We get it, especially since the images are permanently deleted after 3 months. Having these files would allow us to replace your prints in the future if something happens. In our studio, when you purchase the full set of digital files, we will also provide you with an album or custom print box with 20-25 of your favorite poses with light retouch.
Keep your photo box (with prints) or album, along with your digital files in a fire proof safe, and you will have wonderful peace of mind.