Prints vs. Digitals

Oh the unending debate! I receive so many inquiries that start with, “I’m just looking for pricing.” Or, “I really want to own all the digital files.” Challenge accepted!

As a photographer in 2019, I find the desire to own all of the images that have ever been taken of my own face completely acceptable. Trust me, I get it! I want to know that they are there at the click of a button for me to share, email, print, decoupage, and post time and time again on social media for years to come. You know what? I don’t do ANY of those things with pictures of me from the past. You might be asking, what the heck does she do with her pictures? I look at them, ON MY WALLS! Yes, I print and hang my own family pictures to enjoy multiple times a day as I walk around the house looking for a snack or avoiding the laundry. To be fair, most of them were hanging in Nashville and are now in transition back to Appleton as I renovate and settle into my mom’s upstairs. I can’t wait to get them back where they belong, on my walls, because THAT is where they make me the happiest.

As for all of the pictures I haven’t printed. Sure, I still take a peek once in a while.  They can come in handy if I have a random photo project that pops up, but seriously, they live on a hard drive in a drawer in my desk. That’s it.

When a new client comes to me and says, “I really want to own all the digitals.” I ask, “Why?” I want to know YOUR reason, because I already know mine. I KNOW more joy comes from printed pictures on a daily basis than digital files. I KNOW that you’ll smile as you page through albums and boxes of prints. And I KNOW you’ll almost always get more out of your investment when you buy a print instead of a digital file.

To be fair, there is a time and a place for digital files, which I point out below in the FAQ on this topic, and if a client’s needs lineup with digital files being the best investment of their time and money, I will not lead them away from it. However, I would hate to leave anyone hanging by handing them a USB of files, and no idea of where to turn to next.

Listed below are a few questions I’m regularly asked and a bullet point list of why I feel in-person ordering sessions are best for my clients. If you think of any great additional points on this topic, I’d love to hear!

Prints vs Digitals


You talk about printing pictures quite often, do you offer digital files at all?

YES – of course! I would never take away the opportunity for a client to have access to their sessions in a digital format. Every session is different and every client has different needs. I’m here to listen and deliver appropriately.

Why are digital files so expensive? It doesn’t cost you much to sell them.

When I sell a digital file, I’m selling more than space on a USB or hard drive. I’m factoring in the equipment, time and skill that went into creating your final image. Once purchased, you have the chance to print it as many times as you would like, and use it for all of your personal adventures for years to come! I don’t believe it would be fair to either of us to devalue the product in question simply because it doesn’t take up much space in our digital world.

What if I don’t buy the digital files and want to order more pictures at a later date?

You are always welcome to email me with a fresh order request – I NEVER delete files. Since starting my company in 2014, I knew it would be important to share this news time and time again. Backing up files is something I do regularly and on multiple drives. Heaven forbid anything ever happened to your prints. I am here to reassure you they are always safe in my possession for you to obtain another copy.

Prints vs Digitals

Points to consider when choosing which route is best for you.

  • Having an in-person ordering session makes your life easier. I walk you through ordering correct types and sizes of artwork as well as the unknown technical side of ordering.
  • You will be able to view tangible sample products vs pixels on a screen when deciding what products are the best fit.
  • Ordering your prints holds me responsible for the quality of your final products. I have your best interest in mind when selecting print labs and hold them to high standards. You will never have to worry about misprints or low quality pieces because I inspect everything that my clients order before it goes home with them.
  • Most clients will never print ALL the pictures from their session, so why buy them all?

Prints vs Digitals

Still hung up on wanting to share your favorites on social media? You can! Any images that are ordered as prints/products will also be received as web images. We might not be able (or want) to invite everyone over to our homes to see our new pictures, so sharing web images is a way to spread a little more joy to friends and family!

I hope these thinking points help you decide upon your next session investment with confidence!

Inquire about YOUR session TODAY!