Digital images vs. prints: why so expensive? Professional photographers Perth.

These days there is a level of semi-professional and professional photographers available at just about any price point.  The biggest names charge particularly high prices for digital images, and many of our first-time customers often wonder why it is more expensive in comparison to someone else.

Let’s put the elephant on the table!  Professional photography is not for everyone. Most see it as a real luxury: something you splurge on every now and then.  There is no doubt it requires an investment of time, resources and energy in the planning stages of any family photo shoot.

And once your session is over  you are anxiously waiting to see the results.  Did your photographer capture those natural expression you were hoping for?  Did the outfit selection work with your chosen location?  Will the final images be something you’d proudly want to display at home and share with friends & family?  You are also wondering, somewhat doubtful and nervous, how much you will be expected to pay for the artwork.  Will it be worth it in the end?

Family portraits with 3 children at Coogee beach in perth

The photos that your photographer hands over to you are part of their life’s work. They have carefully selected and retouched your family portraits.  They kept in mind that to some these photos will become a priceless legacy.  Their name & branding is behind every image.  So naturally there are a few important restrictions to note when it comes to the professional digital images that you receive.

1) Copyright. When you purchase digital images they have a copyright, which means the photographer has the option to use those photos to market their work and services anytime in the future. Your photographer should be open to discuss and respect your desire to keep it private (please mention it BEFORE your session).

2) Image type. Professional photographer will not provide you with the original files or raw images. All photos given to the client are typically cropped and have been edited for the final presentation.

3) Image altering. While most photographers welcome the sharing of the photos on social media platforms, it is industry standard to ask that the images are not altered in any way as this is against  copyright policies.

       What constitutes image altering?
  • Adding filters (Instagram or similar applications) or editing photos in Photoshop
  • Removing logo or studio name
  • Color correcting or including transitions from color to black and white
  • Clipping people or objects out of the original shot

So what’s the big deal?  Why do photographers have such strict rules about what seems like insignificant changes?   Your precious photos are a representation of the work done by your chosen professional photographer. When presented, your portraits have already been through the editing process and don’t require further alterations.  If those photos are altered, the results are not reflective of the original work and can then be misrepresented in the industry and the wider community.  This very negatively and significantly impacts the name and brand of your photographer.

       The most important thing to remember:

Digital files are not archival. They will not last forever (and you won’t look at them nearly as often as you hope). Technology changes and evolves quickly. It’s a huge part of our life, and a necessary one. Backing up your digital family portraits on a hard drive and keeping them on a USB is a must. However please keep in mind that digital media will fail eventually. In fact most hard drives are not designed to last longer than 5 years. This is one of the reasons why we care about printed art. Professional quality prints will last 100 years or longer – a true heirloom!

Onesies & Co Portrait Photography is a hybrid studio: we offer both digital and printed products through out most popular “Create your own collection” purchasing system (you can find the details and price guide here).  This gives you creative control over the way you’d like to display your images in two simple steps (while honoring your budget and any special requirements).

One of the most thrilling outcomes from our time together is for your family to enjoy the portraits we create on a daily basis – whether you’ll walk past them or flip the pages of the album while re-living the joyful (and often funny) moments you shared during the session.  This hands-on experience of your recorded heritage will provide many content moments, much needed perspective & reflection and ultimately an “I am so glad we did!” mindset.

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