Digital vs Prints and why...

A popular question I would like to address. "Do you offer a CD or download option?" To fit the needs of the client and my business model I have a few options for digital files.

 I offer high resolution digital files for images purchased in print of 8x10 or larger. I do sell a CD with (lightly) watermarked, web ready images of your entire selection for $50. Web ready means the files are smaller and more optimized to use for social media and email. Faster upload time and less data loss from compression.  A CD with all high resolution images is not always the most economical option, but I do offer them with a print release priced per image. However, a high resolution digital will never look exactly as intended unless properly sized and sharpened for the specific size to be printed.  This is why buying the size print you want from me will result in the best quality print as opposed to uploading a file to a consumer print company. It may look good, but it will not be the best it could be.

  Remember, when you are buying prints or digital images you are not just buying the paper or plastic the image is on. You are buying a custom finished piece.  You are paying your photographer for their skill, training, creative eye and time spent on each image.

Custom photography is a luxury purchase. You are investing in an heirloom product to pass down for years to come.  If we step in to the past we can see why prints are a better option and hold a higher value.

The 8inch floppy was used in the mid 1970s.

The 3 1/2 inch floppy was introduced in the 1980's and used largely up through the late 90s. I remember putting book reports on them in school.

Though the CD has been around since the 80s for music albums, using them as storage for photos
wasn't common practice until the late 90s and early 2000s. It has started to fade away. Some computer companies (very popular companies I might add) are even selling computers with out a CD drive.

USB drives have been popular through out the 2000s and are still used frequently.

In recent years cloud services have sprung up offering enormous amounts of space for free or for a monthly fee to store files.

So, looking back, we can see that if you had images stored on a floppy disk you would find it hard to find a computer that still has a drive for it.  As computer companies do away with CD drives it will be harder and harder to use CDs to view your images or upload them to your new computer or laptop.  I feel it's safe to say that one day USB drives will also become obsolete.

That leaves Cloud Storage. This one may last a while. However, remember Myspace? It's still around, but it was "THE" social media site to have. I still have photos stored on my account there. How often do I log in to view them? I think I looked once last year and maybe the year before that. So if you store your images in a place you don't see every day they will more than likely fade away from your mind and view them less and less. When your grandchildren ask to see photos of their parents when they were young, you may not be able to retrieve them. Especially if cloud services have changed policies, closed shop and stopped hosting, or you forget your entire log in information, email address that was used, and answers to security questions.

This leaves us with prints. They are still around and you don't need anything special to view them. People find images from the early 1900s in old attics and storage areas all the time. If the images were stored on some electronic storage device it would prove hard to find the equipment in order to view them.

Leave a legacy, leave heirloom pieces for future generations. Technology will change and the ability to view images on such devices will become difficult. A print needs not to be inserted in to a drive. All you have to do is pick it up, open your eyes, and look in wonder and amazement of the differences of today and yesterday.

I may hold a high value for the art of photography, but we can all hold a high value of moments we can't get back. So, before you opt for a digital file, ask yourself "Will I be able to enjoy this investment for generations to come?"

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