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    Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I believe that producing the print is just as important as capturing the image.  How many on this forum provide prints to their customer and how man feel that CDs are good enough?




    I’m in between on that. I do see the importance of providing the prints. But, with the way the industry is going today, just about everybody wants the digital copies… I think of it for myself, if I were in the consumer shoes, I would want the option to have a disk of the digital edits as well as the option to purchase professional prints. I’d buy just a few prints, like large sizes for my wall, because I recognize the difference in quality, but want the digital images to be able to post online for others to see and have them as a keepsake for years to come. I offer both. I changed my pricing this year to by default include the disk, and the client then has the option to order professional prints through me or a print release for a small fee. I also put a disclaimer on their print release form that prints made at discount labs will not reflect accurate color and contrast like a professional lab will. I have heard a lot of clients say “absolutely not” to hiring a photographer who does not offer digital copies.


    Everyone wants digital copies so I do provide them for a price. I have a unique situation though. My family is in the printing business (have been for 25+ years) and my studio is in their shop so I think we provide a nice high quality one stop shop type of service. We can even print and bind our own photo albums (hard bound too) right in the studio! To make my CDs higher quality we also print images along with their name on the CDs.

    I think since all of the machines are all in the shop and my clients see that and they see the sample prints on the table along with the book that stears them more towards prints. I believe if they can see it and touch it they will want it more.


    Making a print is not much help if the image is for a web page.  I think it depends on the customer.  If the customer does not use technology and family and friends are all local then having a print, album or photobook may be exactly what they want.  We live in Toronto and have immediate family in BC, Florida and Hong Kong as well as friends spread over much of the world.  Having a physical print is not helpful when showing the latest photos, but digital images let everyone keep up to date on their own schedules.  We update our page and send an email to those we think might care.  I can imagine others, who are not into photography, could have friends and family in far flung places as well and would appreciate being able to use technology to share images immediately, even if they are not taking the images themselves.

    The down side of posting on a web page is sometimes people download your photos and print them at WalMart (or substitute any local low quality printing shop here).  My sister in law did that!  I would have given her high quality prints for free, but she is happy with 4 X 6 prints made from 1024 px files.  I think the prints could look a lot better, but if she is happy…

    Photographers offer many views.  I think it depends on their business model, are they getting paid for showing up, or for prints and other products, or a mix of both.


    I agree with cameraclicker in that web / digital proofing (different than delivery) is a good idea because then the images can be shared more easily. We also offer e-books with our albums hosted on my website so books can even be shared easily. Of corse everything has printing disabled and the proofing gallery is watermarked. Though in reality print IS the final product and always has been. They may want to go to walmart because they think its cheaper and that’s fine that’s why you price your digital files accordingly.

    Also I am speaking from a portrait / wedding photographers point of view. Im sure certain clients (like businesses) don’t care so much about prints and albums.


    The photog I used to work for had an in-home studio and viewing area for her clients to come for ordering sessions. (Unfortunately at this point I do not have that available to me.) She had on the walls and on a table many prints and print products to show the clients during the viewing sessions. And boy did they sell! She’d get $500 print orders on a regular basis. When I have a studio someday I will place more emphasis on the print products, and people will buy it when they can see the examples. I would continue to offer the disk and print release too though but probably at a higher premium once I get to that point. If I someday move into a larger house with a spare bedroom, I would turn it into my studio/office for sure.

    Funny you mention people still printing off low-res websites. I post photos to FB with my watermark for any of the client photos I do. Well since the last wedding I did was my bf’s sister, and his son was the ringbearer, his mom downloaded a bunch of cute photos off Facebook and made prints. She mailed us a totally pixelated (watermarked) photo of him to put on the fridge. I love her to death, but I was like “facepalm!” I could have just, uh, gotten prints made myself, from the full-res file. She did that awhile back with some other photos of him and put them all in a collage frame for his bedroom, lol. I just don’t say anything. If it were some random client though I’d point out to them my contract where it states that is not allowed, and that they need to purchase the disk and print release for the full-resolution images. There’s a reason for that; I don’t want a person who sees those prints to think I take pixelated photos!

    Pro Photo Edits

    Please Print People!!  Our induystry is giving in to the digital image, because many photographers are afraid to include prints at rates that are profitable.  I’ve taken this and ran with it.  I offer books or albums with EVERY session.  Yes it is a huge cost, but it sets me apart from all the soccer moms offering discs.  I make people realize that prints are few and far between, and how a disc of images does no good in a filing cabinet.  Once they realize that, they see the value in professional prints.  not to mention, everyone in the world can find a photog who offers a disc of images, but who can find a photog that offers a disc AND pro quality prints?  Funny how that has become a niche market 🙂  Good for me though!

    I also believe photogs these days don’t know how to properly deliver.  Display Calibration, ICC Profiles and Lab Standards, proper resolution, and so much more….  not to mention getting a digital image ready for a professional edit…..  shameless plug:


    Let somebody else finalize your images so you can focus on SELLING them!!



    I think CD’s are the bane of digital cheapness.. Especially an unprinted disc you just pull off a spool and sharpie on your name and what it is.. We order inscribed/printed/carved custom USB drives if we hand over digital medium; otherwise it’s all print here too.. Although, the random photo want here or there crosses the table–but a simple image or 10 can be done in e-mail

    as far as post goes; I’ll usually go through every image first and get rid of the bad ones or less than standard; or funky looking ones and edit everything else to whatever it requires.. Whether it be exposure, highlights, shadows, whites, contrast, noise, spot removal, color correction, white balance, etc.

    I typically take one or two images and do some crazy edits with just for fun and turn an image into a ‘fantastical’ one.


    There’s a reason for that; I don’t want a person who sees those prints to think I take pixelated photos!

    Browneyedgirl89, you could add “low resolution sample” or some variation of that to your watermark.


    I don’t have any desire to go portrait/event tog, but I have entertained the idea for quite some time, and here’s how I think I’d handle it.

    I think its important that the client gets what they want as easily as possible, with as less confusion as possible.  At the same time, prints are very important to me, and important to the client, wether they know or not.  Much more important than high res files.  So if I were to do this, shareable web files would be a given, included in the fee (watermarked or not, but most likely not).  They must be able to share their pictures easily and freely.  Also included in the price would be an album or book of some sort of all the fully edited images.  I would present the files and book in person while we went through their photos and ordered prints and finished pieces together.  If prints weren’t ordered no high res is offered, but if they insisted, they would be priced accordingly.  High res images would be given with print orders of $$$ or more (Priced to be more appealing than just buying the high res files out right)  Storage would be discussed at this time as well.  Id deliver all files on thumb drives, not disk, but that’s just me.  To me this plan of mine is just clean and clear cut.  No one goes without prints or a way to share their images, and I get paid.


    If I go pro, I plan on offering print packages. I think it’s invaluable, because I am one of the guilty ones that has a disc sitting somewhere collecting dust. A photog friend traveled two states, shot my wedding and burned them on a disc for me before returning home. And as much as I adore the photos, I have yet to get off my ass and get them printed. They certainly don’t deserve to be lost in a plastic sleeve somewhere in a dusty cupboard. To go that extra step to ensure clients have their beautiful work physically in hand is, I believe, important.

    I have print samples displayed of my work in my home, so when family and friends visit, they spot them and can examine the quality of the paper and my work. I also have little paper samples in my camera bag that I take with me.

    These days I get a lot of family and friends asking me for prints after I do a shoot at gatherings. I’ve told them I can send them the file and they can get it printed at Wal-Mart or whatever, but I warn them the quality is terrible and it’s on them. If they want good quality prints and can afford to spend a couple of bucks, I’d be happy to order it for them through the printers I have.


    Online proofing works great, as long as you include a calibration chart as your first photo.


    However, online proofing is crap for selling prints. I believe prints are good, but unless you spend the time to pull people into your studio to view them, you won’t make many print sales.


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