I remember when it became popular to purchase the digital files from a portrait session: to have that need to “own” all the images created by the photographer. It has become common to hire students, relatives, or another talented individual for a minimal fee and receive all images on a CD or thumb drive. When you do this, you lose so much and you might not even realize it.
What we don’t realize is that this is not the first time customers have felt the need to own everything created at a portrait session. Prior to digital it was common for customers to inquire about purchasing the negatives, and often they were turned down. Owning the negative meant the photographer was able to protect the quality of the final product before it left the studio.
Today we see the desire to own the digital files and often as photographers we feel pressured to comply. Many times a customer is intent on owning the digital files because it has become so commonplace and they don’t know of an alternative. Many of my clients who have come to me, have at one point or another purchased digital files from someone. When I ask them if they have printed any or shared them they have often (about 75%) admitted that not only have they done nothing with the files, but they are not sure where they are.
As an artist I want to give you Art to cherish. I do not sell photo paper and so my prices will reflect that, but like any boutique you visit or art piece you purchase there is an experience to be had, a sense of ownership in a completed piece, and an heirloom to carry on your memories to your children. What I have often found with my clients is that while they may initially feel they need the digital files, after we explain that all that we offer in our products – color correcting, editing, and quality – are so easily discarded when a client walks out with a file instead of art. I am no longer in control of where my image is printed or what quality the end result will be and the client loses all of those services.
At Visual Impressions I create custom pieces of work for my clients including canvas wraps, albums, and so much more. These heirlooms are meant to last for many generations and to be shared and passed down through your family. They are worth so much more on your walls and coffee tables, bookshelves and nightstands than images on a CD relegated to a dark box at the bottom of a closed closet.
Together at Visual Impressions we make a lasting piece of art that does not deserve to languish on a CD. It deserves to live on your walls where you and your family will love it for generations.