Why are digitals so much?
May 01, 2016
By L&L Photography
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Probably my biggest sticker shock is the pricing I have for my digitals. Some seem to get it and some are like SAY WHAT!?!?! Well, us photographers get it but you probably are having a hard time wrapping your heads around why am I paying $100 for one photo?! It doesn't cost anything at all to just dropbox a digital image to me!? You feel because it's not an actual print that it should not cost that much right?! Well you are not alone feeling this way. Im sure a lot of my clients have thought this to themselves at one point. Well, I am here to explain to you why digitals are priced higher and why us photographers who really care about what you end up cherishing cringe when you want them.

Why do we cringe when selling digitals?

First off, let me tell you this: we get it. You want the digitals to feel that they are safe and secure; you want the digitals just to have them or because you plan to make fun calendars, christmas cards and maybe even an album for half the cost then what we charge you. You're probably nodding your heads but wait, let me stop you right there.... It's okay, no judging, but how many of you still have those digitals in your desk drawer from 2 years ago of the kids? Who has actually been happy with those albums you took WAY to long trying to design yourself? Did you not almost throw your computer though the window trying to download that annoying software in order to make that album?! Oh and forget trying to put those photos in an order that they all flow nicely together- that alone is enough to drive you insane! You think to your self "Self, I am not cut out for this. I do not have the eye for this." 2 hours later "...Maybe I should've left this up to my photographer." Then you receive 50 emails a week because you had to make an account with them to create your album or calendar. When you finally receive your products they look okay but not professional. The colors are off and oops you totally cropped off your husbands head! Then you realize it wasn't really that cheap considering the time you put into it and the actual cost, those annoying emails and at the end of the day it does not look processional!

So let me tell you why us photographers cringe when we are asked do you sell digitalis. Why even go to a professional to take your professional photos? Your photographer will professional edit your images to perfection and then have them printed at a unprofessional lab? Yes, I have heard it all, "Well, I had mine printed at "xxxx" and they were ok. OKAY." No, no, no said any photographer ever! OKAY is not acceptable to us! Let me ask you something, how many times are you really going to print that same photo? So you're sending them out to family maybe inside a card and you want to print 25 photos. What good is it if the colors are off and now that photo you're sending to your loved ones looks ok and sometimes awful. It is really hard getting people to realize that quality is far more important then quantity. I can tell you that I quickly printed up some photos at a local pharmacy for convenience (for my daughters school project that she told me about the day before it was due) and OH MY WORD! TERRIBLE! I left in tears not because of her photos turing into a photo that looked as if a cell phone captured it, but because of the countless digitals I have sold to my clients! I felt guilty for even allowing this to happen! I put my heart and soul into ever session and to see how it could possible turn out put a big knot in my stomach.

It is heart wrenching to know that after we have put so much effort into making your portraits out of this world, that they can potentially be ruined.

So why are digitals so expensive?

Digitals are priced to encourage clients to buy professional prints through me instead. So much time and effort has to in to calibrating my prints with my lab to ensure that colors, contrast, brightness and longevity of the product are spot on and top notch. When you take a CD to any other lab, none of that will be accurate and I cannot guarantee that photo will be in great shape to pass on to your children. Can you get that guarantee at your online store or local photo lab?

When a digital file is sold, we all lose. You lose quality and we lose the opportunity to hand over amazing professional products to you. Once digitals are purchased, we realize you will more then likely not be purchasing anything else from us. I promise you that I care what your photos look like once they are finally printed and lots of other photographers feel this way about digitals. We so do not simply slap on a big sticker price because in all reality they aren't that expensive. The problem is you don't realize what you are getting, and most importantly, the poor quality you will be getting if you even ever print them.

So next time you contact a full service photographer we want you to keep these things in mind!

1. The possibility of your cd sitting in your desk makes us photographers very, very sad.

2. We all lose when you purchase digitals. You lose quality we lose the joy of handing over quality professional products.

3. It is not just ONE digital file you ares purchasing it takes hours of meticulous editing and retouching each image!

4. Because you're buying the whole cow.

5. Because we care about handing over products that all art work is backed by an archival value of 100 years from our vendors.This means that in 100 years the colors and quality will still impress you and warm your heart like it did the first time you hung on your wall!

What will you pass down to generations? 


Leave a comment:
Heather - I loved this article! Where did you find a image conceptualization generator for your gallery wraps? I love it!!

Thanks so much!
Sharanda Thompson - :)