5 Reasons Why You Really Don’t Want All The High Resolution Digital Files
(You will agree after reading this!)
Ok, I know you’re #triggered from the title. “5 Reasons Why You Really Don’t Want All The High Resolution Digital Files” suggests that you don’t know what you want and somehow I know better.
I don’t even know you!
But the reality is, you haven’t thought this through.
It’s not your fault!
There’s a lot of confusion about this topic and almost zero education from
most photographers to their clients to help.
(That’s why I’m writing this.)
If reading isn’t your thing, I’ve explained everything in this quick video:
Let me ask you, what do you WANT from your photography?
You might be getting married or expecting a newborn baby.
Perhaps it’s time for the annual family photo or a new professional headshot.
You might answer:
- I want to have beautiful prints around our home
- I want to have a photo album to look through the memories
- I want to post the images ALL OVER Facebook and Instagram!!!
- I want to update my LinkedIn with an eye-catching headshot
- I want images to use with my article posts or video thumbnails
Did you notice that none of your answers actually require you to possess the high resolution digital files?
If you don’t have time to read further, I hope you take away this one message:
High resolution digital files aren’t the final product you want. The desire for high resolution digital files is purely to enable you to create something else.
But you still want to have them don’t you?
Because then you can get your own prints done whenever you like and upload any image online whenever you like. PLUS you can shop around and get the printing done CHEAP!
Actually… that makes a lot of sense!
….or does it?
We’ve just outlined 3 main reasons you might want high resolution digital files:
- Ability to do your own printing, anytime
- Ability to upload any image for online content, anytime
- Cost savings (dodge the photographers print prices)
Let’s address the cost factor first.
#1 Save your dollarydoos
Image Credit: Huffington Post
It’s easy to forget that you will be spending money on the digital files.
Your photographer won’t include them for free.
(They might say the high resolution digital files are included for free, but you’ll be paying for them somehow. Remember, images are ultimately the only thing a photographer has to sell! The only way you’ll truly get free high resolution digital files is if the photographer is working for free.)
This means that getting your own prints done is going to cost the printing cost PLUS whatever you spent on the digital files.
Cost to purchase digital files + Cost to get your own prints done
= Actual cost of prints
Let’s say you spent $600 purchasing all the high resolution digital files.
But you’re going to save money by getting 10 x (8×10 inch) prints from Officeworks for only $2.90 each!
Including the $600 investment, those prints are actually costing you $62.90 each.
At time of writing, I sell a pack of 10 x (8×10 inch) prints for $495. (Which is $49.50 each).
Not much of a cost saving there.
Furthermore, if you make any mistakes, you’re likely going to have a painful experience trying to get a refund or reprints. These places simply don’t need to keep their customers happy – they’re going to keep coming back regardless.
Your photographer on the other hand will be dedicated and invested in you as a customer. They’re going to do much more to fix any problems, should they arise.
We just compared costs between Officeworks and professional print labs. But are we even comparing the same products?
Can we expect the same print quality from both?
Spoiler alert: Not even close.
#2 Officeworks is the McDonald’s of printing
Image Credit: Pinterest
Officworks (and similar cheap printing outlets) are not photographic industry standard print labs. The print quality will vary greatly. The staff aren’t trained to properly care for your images and you’ll have to manage all of this yourself with no helpful advice along the way.
I carefully edit each image before sending them to print. The prints are done by a professional photographic lab, by people who are invested in your images, and have years of professional experience.
Then I personally check every print and mount them in a mat presentation board, ready to go straight into a frame. And I make sure you’re 100% happy with your finished prints.
Perhaps you’ll get lucky and the colours, brightness, contrast and sharpness of your images will translate perfectly into your budget Officeworks prints.
But how long will those prints last?
Have you ever seen prints yellow over time? Perhaps you’ve seen prints deteriorate where the print starts cracking and peeling away from the paper. You might have seen prints go mouldy and gradually discoloured.
My printing and any professional print lab these days will guarantee your prints to last a LIFETIME. They can do this because they produce quality products with quality materials.
How long do you want your wedding or family photos to last?
5 years? 10 years?
No! You want a lifetime and future generations to enjoy your beautiful memories!
You’re not going to create that kind of lasting family heirloom at Officeworks.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Officworks. I shop there all the time. And I appreciate that sometimes cheap photographic prints are fantastic for certain projects.
But your wedding and family images deserve better.
Hiring a professional photographer (who’s work you adore) and printing it at Officeworks is like fine dining at McDonalds.
And as my example demonstrates, it’s not even much cheaper, if at all.
You might still be on the fence about this, because the convenience of making your own prints is just so appealing!
Then please, read on.
#3 Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Image Credit: Imgflip
I hope by now we both agree that doing your own prints isn’t going to save much money, if at all.
Furthermore, you’re not going to get professional print quality outside of a professional print lab.
The only thing left is convenience.
It seems obvious that it’s far more convenient to order your own prints than order them through your photographer.
Not only do I disagree, I’m going to argue that statement is completely backwards.
Have you ever used any of those “Do-it Yourself Printing Stations”?
They’re so clunky, slow and confusing!
Not to mention that you have to drive to the shop, battle the crowds for a spot then listen to the sound of screaming children, disgruntled customers and dismissive staff while you try to enjoy the experience of choosing your favourite wedding memories.
Professional photographers these days have access to many amazing online image gallery platforms that include shopping carts for ordering your own printed products.
These platforms are built so much better than the clunky self-ordering print machines at shops. The appeal of self-ordering print machines is cheap prints – that’s all they’re built for. Photographers select online image gallery platforms for an amazing customer experience for their clients.
This means your photographer can give you an online images gallery, with a wonderful user experience, that presents your images beautifully and is easy to use from the comfort of your own home.
This means that getting prints through your photographer is going to cost the same, for a better product, with a better ordering experience.
Instead of a hard drive or USB with high resolution digital files sitting in a drawer doing nothing, you will have beautiful prints around your home or a beautiful album to flick through.
#4 What if cats have their own internet and it’s full of pictures of us?
Image Credit: Quick Meme
Aside from cat pictures and videos, next in the order of priorities for uploading are your wedding photos, family photos and for those in business, profile images and images for marketing content.
You don’t need high resolution files for this.
In fact, you actually want screen optimised images.
Optimised images for online use are:
- Smaller in size (easier to upload and load faster when viewed online)
- Compressed in a way that balances load times with appearance
- Sharpened appropriately to look crisp on screen
- Correct profile applied for correct colours online (typically sRGB)
- Appropriate pixel dimensions for each social media platform or to suit your website requirements
Full resolution digital files from professional photographers are BIG. You’re going to have a difficult time trying to load them online – it’s going to be slooooooow.
If you’re trying to load them to a webpage, platforms like wordpress won’t let you upload such big files. You will have to work out how to resize them yourself.
When you load a big image to social media platforms, those platforms are going to resize and compress large images automatically. Typically, they do this heavy-handedly and it’s noticeable in the images. It’s much better to have them sized correctly first.
It would be a shame to have professional photos taken and then not display them to their full potential online. I for one am always delighted to provide web optimised versions of any purchased images, sized to suit the intended use, so I know they will look great!
#5 It’s not hoarding if it’s camera equipment
Image credit: Pinterest
That’s my excuse when buying more camera gear.
What’s your excuse for wanting to hoard all of your high resolution digital images?
Security could be an answer.
You want to make sure nothing happens to your images and you can always access them.
It sounds like you don’t trust your photographer with your images.
I would suggest that it’s not a wise idea to employ a photographer that you don’t trust with your images. Especially in the case of wedding photography.
I’m writing a blog about my backup procedures and I’ll link to it here when it’s ready.
But in the meantime, know that I have extensive backups to ensure my clients images are always safe. I even have off-site backups of every image I take for every client. This means my entire office can burn down and I’ll still have access to every one of my client’s images like nothing happened.
Brides and Grooms hire me because they trust me with their images.
Although, I would argue it’s more important to trust that your photographer will get the shot in the first place. That’s why my motto is “There Are No Retakes”.
Losing images afterwards is more difficult to do, but equally devastating.
What do you really want?
Image credit: Memes for Lifee
Do you really want the high resolution digital files?
You want prints, you want images to upload, you want value, you want convenience and you want to keep your images safe.
You don’t need the high resolution digital files for any of those things!
But here’s the final, most important point.
What’s the difference between having all of your digital files locked away on a drive in a drawer, versus your photographer missing or losing all of your images?
There is no difference.
Images are made to be printed, displayed and treasured.
Please make that your priority, not a USB in a drawer or cheap, nasty prints.
I hope these 5 Reasons Why You Really Don’t Want All The High Resolution Digital Files has helped you make better booking decisions!
Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed anything or if you want to share some thoughts of your own.
More from William Gordon Photography
Check out more of my work! Like this stunning Moreton Bay engagement shoot with Kelly and Simon.
Or this Christmas Engagement at Nudgee Beach with Leigh + Dan.
If you’re more into weddings, you’ve got to see what Brittany + Riley put together for their Adventurous Somerset Village Wedding.
And you simply have to see Micheal + Amy’s Beautiful Bribie Island Beach Wedding with a stunning sunset over the Glasshouse Mountains!