Digital Files versus printed images. Food for thought.

I was watching a live webinar last night. Its part of a program I tune into at times when the presenter is of interest . Last nights topic was running a photo studio and business. Yeah, go figure, eh? 

So one of the things that came up was the presenter mentioning something they do as part of their Senior sessions. This studio (in a small town, out west near mid sized urban centers) books over 500 senior engagements a year along with about 60 weddings. Pretty sweet numbers. Anyway, this studio asks their clients (high school seniors) to bring in past photos of them growing up. They take these photos and copy/scan them into a large page collage showing the older photos with their photos of the booked session. Nice idea. 

What he said next was very telling. Most kids can produce images of them as youngsters up to the age of 5-8 years old. There aren't any printed images, for the most part, beyond that. There are pictures for sure, but they are digital, they were never printed. They were put on a disc or squirreled away on a hard drive. In many cases the disc/drive can't be found since in those 10 or so years since the digital image was taken seems Mom and Dad or the Grand parents can't remember where they put it. Once the kids got a camera or phone and started taking pictures nothing was really kept. 

Interesting. This presenter said that after finding this out, he himself spent weekends finding old discs and took them to Costco and had 4x6 prints made from all he could find. He couldn't find all of them though. There were gaps. Said he spent like $700 but he has prints now of his kids and family. 

Did you make prints or stash them on a disc? A big part of my studio's business moving forward has to do with printing photos from sessions. I'm often asked why since most people think its  just a ploy to make them spend more. I have structured my printing packages to be as cheap as possible while still using a quality printer and they include shipping. You can't get the same quality form Walgreens. Or Costco. The real reason are prints last. They will last longer than a digital file when good paper and inks are used. And they are stored properly. I got to thinking and as a photographer, I need to offer a product thats very different from the uncle, friend, or acquaitance that charges $50 for a half hour and delivers all the digital files. Personally, thats something you can do yourself. Offering printed images is one way I'm different. There are other ways I can show value but this is one that is becoming extinct. Make sure you print those special photos. Whether I take them or not, I'd be glad to help you get them printed. Its just important you have them.