"...BUT I ONLY WANT DIGITAL FILES..."
I hear this about 95% of the time. I am guilty of this as well. As a photographer, I take thousands of pictures of my own children. Most of them are digital files, and most of them are on a hard drive somewhere, never to see the light of day again. One time, my dog knocked the hard drive over, and...GASP...EVERYTHING WAS GONE!!! Photographers are not responsible to hold your files after delivery after an agreed upon time, so what would you do?! CRY! That is what I did anyway...
WHY ARE PHYSICAL PRODUCTS IMPORTANT?
This is your legacy. This is your family. This is you! This is your family's record. By printing your photos and ordering tangible products, you are preserving your family's record and ensuring that your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have your record. You want it in your hands. You want it displayed. You should be proud of what you have created! I practice what I preach. I have walls and walls of framed photos, StoryBlocks, gallery wraps, and metal prints proudly displayed in my home. My children love seeing them! They tell people who visit about their photos. It boosts their self-esteem to see themselves on the walls of their home and see how proud we are of them. At family gatherings, we remember the days together when we took our photos. These are our memories. These are your heirlooms! It is your art. You want to own it.
"BUT OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS DO DIGITAL FILES ONLY...ALL I NEED IS A USB OR DVD..."
Photographs stand the test of time. It was not that long ago that we had VHS, large camcorders...no cell phones!! Wow! USB drives didn't even exist that long ago! The digital age is upon us, and its future evolution is unknown. Things are being stored on smaller and smaller devices. We have countless logins to cloud storage, social media...these things actually make our photos less accessible in the future. Will you give your children and grandchildren passwords and logins to cloud-based storage when you are old and gray? Are we going to gather our grandchildren around in a circle and pass around a laptop or tablet? (Do we even know if laptops will exist in the future?) One thing is certain in our technology-based world - physical prints, gallery wraps, albums...these things will continue to exist, and it is so important to preserve your history.
LET YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER DO THE WORK FOR YOU!
I am not talking about using local labs in the grocery store and the online retailers that like to hand out coupons for free things with every random purchase you make. (Please explain to me why I am receiving a free photo book coupon with my online clothing order?! Back up off me, unnamed company! #youknowwhoyouare). These places are great for Xmas cards, invitations, etc., but NOT for the art in your home. (Don't get me started on how their discolor the images and basically undo all of the hard work your photographer has done for you!) I work with professional labs that ONLY work with photographers, and I am very serious about the quality of products that I deliver to my clients. I have spent hours upon hours researching labs, comparing products, color matching, and ensuring that the quality is there for you so that you don't have to worry about it. When you are hiring a photographer, you should let the pro do the work that he/she is trained to do.
Some of the photos on the wall to be attributed to Emily Jayne Photography & Where the Heart Is (Audrey Schultz)!