It’s the question of the day for any photographer. As soon as anyone becomes even slightly interested in booking a session these five little words usually flow right out…”Do you offer a CD?”
Get ready for a completely no holds barred view of this topic.
I offered CDs in the very beginning like any other newbie with a camera. “You want to hire me?” OMG! “You’ll pay me $50 for the entire session plus images on a CD?” WOW I’m rolling in the dough!! “You mean I can spend only a few hours from session to basic editing to delivering the disk and get paid?” Call me a photographer because here I come with my DSLR! (How this has become a standard practice in becoming a photographer is beyond me and I wish it would stop)
When I became a legit photographer, meaning I set up a business, and began running it as a business not just someone taking photos, I quit selling CDs. I researched professional photography labs and ordered samples. I studied how images looked on my monitor vs what they sent me. I signed up.
There are several reasons why I don’t offer digitals.
1) Once I hand over that hi-res digital my earnings stop. That little tiny digital image caps my sale. It’s over after that. Unless you realize drug store prints suck and then you’ll BEG me to order for you. Therefore, my price will have to be high enough to make me okay with never seeing another penny from you until the next session.
2) Chances are very high those digitals will sit on that CD or flash drive in your purse, desk, junk drawer, wherever and not get printed. Oh your intentions are good, but life happens and well all that money you paid me to take your newborn, family, senior’s portraits is pretty well wasted.
3) Loss of professional control. I can hoot and holler and give clients all the information about copyright laws, but there is no way I can ever know when someone does something they’re not supposed to. I’m talking down to cropping an image that I shot with a specific composition or changing a color image to a horrid interpretation of B&W thanks to some free software. When someone sees my work and it’s been changed it stills reflects ME and dangit I want my work to look awesome!
4) Touching on what I mentioned in reason #1…drug store print labs (Walgreen, Walmart, CVS, etc) are NOT going to print your images the way I edited them. You are going to be 100% happier with images ordered from my professional lab. Don’t believe me check out this link or this one. I don’t want your time and money wasted on this issue.
When people ask about the CDs I try and figure out why they want it and offer a solution without offering the disk.
– “I want to share online” Great! Your photos are fabulous and I don’t blame you for wanting to share with friends and family. LinnyJo Photography gives you social media sized, watermarked images of the files you purchased to upload and share. We also offer a personalized App for all your devices with your entire gallery of images. The app can be downloaded to an unlimited amount of devices so everyone in the family can have it if they want!
– “I want to print cards/books/etc” LinnyJo Photography offers many products including books, announcements, cards, framed prints.
– “I want to print my images cheaper somewhere else” Oooh, well see my reason #4 above. Also, my services are not for deal seekers. Plain and simple. I offer more of a service to my clients than just a cd of images.
With all this said I still understand the “want” for digitals and am currently trying to find a compromise to satisfy my clients and keep me in business.
You might be thinking “Geez this lady doesn’t want a lot of clients if she’s picky about offering digitals.” Well, I don’t need a lot of clients I just need the right clients. I love photography but I don’t want 30 sessions a month. This year I’m focusing on quality not quantity. I also value my time…a lot actually. My husband is gone a lot with work and I love to have an easy schedule where when he’s home we can spend time together.
Anyhow, I hope this sheds some light on my business and how I think. I love all my clients and look forward to this year!!! Please leave me any kind of feedback in the comment section.