Ahhhh… the ever challenging question for clients and photographers. I am sure that this question has been addressed in many blogs and articles over the years. But I am going to make a few blog posts over the next few weeks about prints vs digitals (and maybe some other things also) addressing many issues, good and bad. I want to chat about the costs of prints vs digital files, the technical side of purchasing digitals, ideas on what to do with your digitals (yes it will involve printing :)) and why you should or should not just purchase just the digital files. I will share pictures of my home and even other photographers ideas and posts on different things and thoughts and maybe even some clients’ homes that have some TGP art around their house. So I hope you follow me through this for a few weeks as I express some feelings, bring some things to “light” and explain some of the answers to questions that you may be thinking about. I am not organized enough to promise you a post on a certain day… you will just have to follow along as they come. I am going to be totally honest and I am not trying to sway you one way or the other. Just presenting the facts 🙂 as I see them at least!
So- back in the “old days” (really just a few short years ago) it was not even a question about digital files and printing rights. Photographers sold prints. That’s it. There was no question about which digital files to purchase. It was not even an option. However, as the world around us changes everyone wants digital images for many great reasons including preservation, sharing on the internet and social media, printing quantity prints yourself for lesser of a cost, etc…. These are all valid points and even I like to have the digital files from my sessions. HOWEVER, I think MANY of us (not all) still have those digital files sitting on the computer. They probably looked amazing on FB and you probably got the most comments EVER which is rewarding, I’ll admit BUT did you ever print them? Are they hanging on your walls? Are they framed sitting on shelves? Do you enjoy them around your home or office. I have a few large prints and canvases in my home and although not super current, every time I walk by a little smile sneaks out as I look at my “babies” and my family and my kids love looking at them as well. Here are couple iphone pics of some of the protraits I have hanging on my wall an on shelves. There are few more things as well but this is the majority. These are compliments of myself www.tracygabbard.com and one of my favorite photographers www.alycialalvarez.com (thank you Alycia, you will be happy to see some of your art work still hanging in my home! :))
But I am just as guilty as the next person… I have hard drives full of pictures of my kids and family that never get printed. It really does make me sad. I feel as overwhelmed as everyone else about what to do with the amazing pictures of my family. I will admit, it is easy to just buy the digitals. It is super easy, I don’t have to make any decisions right now. I can let them sit for years and never have to make any decisions about how to frame them, where to hang them, what size to print them in. I can put that off as LONG as I want to, forever even! That is a project I can put on hold and deal with later when I am not as busy (yea, right… not as busy! LOL!). But the consequences of just buying the digitals and not doing anything with them are real. We spend a lot of money to have our computers hold our pictures for us. We spend money on digitals that we hardly ever look at (well, maybe they pop up on our screen saver). We spend money on digitals that we will cherish forever but yet we never get to see them the way they were meant to be seen. I don’t know about you but I just don’t get the same feeling from the things that are actually hanging around my home and on the shelves. I mean, the plants on the shelves (fake of course) look nice but I don’t really ever get a warm feeling from them and the big screen TV on my wall, I like it and use it but it doesn’t make me smile each time I walk by. Even the “fine art” hanging above my fireplace (some abstract thing we picked up at a home show) looks nice but honestly, I don’t know the last time I even looked up at it and I certainly haven’t smiled at it… I don’t think ever. If I am true to myself I would definitely say that I wish I had some framed prints or canvases of my family in these places. Here are a couple pictures of the “cherished” (just kidding…. not really!) things I have around my home…..
I will forgive myself for this “crime against pictures” for now, but will I be able to forgive myself later? Not sure… I don’t know, those plants just don’t hold the same memories for me that my pictures do. So, I am not trying to convince you to purchase prints over digitals, I am not trying to tell you that you shouldn’t purchase the digitals and I am certainly not saying not to have plants or decorations in your home. I am simply saying that whether you purchase prints from your photographer or have your digitals printed and displayed, for your desk, for your shelves or for your walls is something you will NEVER regret! I have NEVER regretted the decision to hang portraits on my walls. I have regretted a few electronic devices that were not needed, clothing purchases that I ended up hating or never wearing, certain toys for my kiddos, the food purchases I make each week at the grocery store that ends up not eaten and thrown away and I am sure I could go on and on. I have made many regretful purchases in my life and probably will make more but I have never regretted spending money on pictures of my family and then actually hanging them up!!!
What will my next post be about?? Even I am not sure yet… but I have a list of things having to do with prints, digitals and custom photography to chat about and lots of thoughts to share. Feel free to share this with friends and family or anyone you think might be interested!!! See you soon….. 🙂