I was chatting with a friend the other day who was asking why professional photography in general is so expensive. The conversation went like this:
“I was looking into all the photographer's pricing in town and they are all so expensive! Why does it cost so much to buy digital image files from a professional photographer? Surely a USB doesn't cost that much?!"
“Well, firstly you are not paying for the actual USB stick, you are paying for the time, experience, skill, professional equipment and most importantly, the art of the professional photographer in creating each digital image.”
By the end of our conversation, my friend had her mind set at ease and came away with a much better understanding of what you are really buying when you invest in digital images from your professional photographer.
Let me explain more fully why prices seem to be so 'high' for digital files.
When you are presented with your online gallery, each image has been meticulously retouched as a work of art. It has been enhanced to display the natural beauty of the subjects in the photograph. The digital files you purchase are ready to be printed as large or as small as you want through a professional lab specifically for photographers. They are checked for sharpness, contrast, color density, composition and exposure so that they are ready for the finest of printing... a beautiful canvas of your baby hung on the nursery wall, or a beautiful large framed family photo above the fireplace, but did you know that they are professionally edited to also be hung in an art gallery?
When you invest in these digital files, you are investing in an art piece that you can print as many times as you would like for yourself, for family, for friends, etc. Share on social media. As well as print canvases, make albums, large prints, small prints, make announcements, cards, your opportunities are endless. They are “expensive” because of all the above and the fact that you have them forever in the digital format.
But please keep this in mind once you've purchased your digital files...
When printing with your own printing company, no two companies print the same. Your images may appear too dark, or come out looking blue or green. This is because they use programs that make adjustments to the light and coloring through auto-settings. The printing lab I use allows me to calibrate my computer to their printer's settings. Thus, printing through Halley Ann Photography ensures every one of your photos comes out exactly as it was intended to be... beautifully colored, exposed, and composed.
Digital files are the one of the highest priced items because once I sell you the files, I have lost control of the product outcome. And unfortunately for you, you loose your guarantee on quality when printing with your own printing company.
I love nothing more than beautifully printed images which can be admired without the use of a computer or smart phone. Not only do prints stand the test of time but they give joy each time you walk past them in your home; a window back to a moment in time that you will never have again. It is also important for me and my brand that my work is displayed as it is designed to be, professionally printed with the colors correctly reproduced and the composition intact. That is why I offer digital and wall art collections in which your digital images cost you less because you are also purchasing a beautiful piece of wall art.
But what about those other photographers that give me a great deal on Digital Files??
If a photographer is charging you $200 (excluding specials) for the session including some or all digital files, chances are they have not been in the field long, are quite possibly cutting corners to save money, and unfortunately, probably do not have the best quality in equipment, experience or knowledge to offer you the quality of a true professional photo session you may end up disappointed in the end.
After doing your research with new eyes (staying away from those photographers offering you that too good to be true deal), you will soon realize not many photographers sell digital files, let alone the whole gallery. However, when they do, you will see that they are usually priced A LOT higher than the fine art prints…etc. The digital is the original piece of art, it belongs to the photographer.
Simply stated... Professional Photography is an investment. An investment worth a lot more than any other bought possession. You are receiving works of art created especially for you. Works of art that will be a family heirloom for your (and your child's!) life time. For that reason, most clients book months in advance to save up for their session.
“cheap photography isn’t good and good photography isn’t cheap”.
Good photography is worth the investment.