Including digital files as part of portrait sessions is becoming more and more popular. Clients want to know that they’re getting every beautiful image of their family. While I completely understand why clients want the digital files, I also want clients to understand why prints are so much more important.
Digital Files have the possibility of being lost forever every day; computers crash, DVDs are becoming more and more obsolete, and flash drives fail. All technology has an expiration date, and once your computer crashes those files are gone. If you have the digital files on a DVD, once you purchase a new computer it may not even have a DVD drive at all. Flash drives can fail at any time, and are small enough to be easily misplaced.
While I am happy to include digital files as an option for my clients, I encourage all my clients to order prints. Prints have so many benefits over digital products, and I want my clients to understand why.
Prints are produced on archival paper. The professional lab I order all my prints from uses Fuji Crystal Archive Paper. Depending on the conditions where the prints are displayed, this paper is rated to last over 100 years. I can almost certainly guarantee that the digital files either won’t last that long, or the technology will be obsolete.
Prints are much more likely to be enjoyed regularly than digital files. Clients who order beautiful prints to hang in their homes get to enjoy their images every day. If digital files are the only thing that a client orders, chances are they’ll look at them a few times and that’s all. The flash drive will be put away in a drawer, never to be seen again, or the files will sit on a computer.
I want to make sure that every client at SMB Photography enjoys the images of their family every day. Knowing that I’m helping my clients tell the story of their life, and the people who matter most in that story, is what makes my job awesome.