There is a lot of debate among professional photographers about whether or not to sell their digital files to clients. I can see both sides of this debate.
To me, the most persuasive argument on the side of not selling digital files is that the photographer loses control of the image and how it will be printed. Nobody wants their name attached to a print that doesn’t represent their work well and companies that make prints are not all the same calibre. There are ranges in services for prints in Winnipeg. Costco does a great job and I use Costco for a lot of my personal work. I use Don’s Photo for my client prints. Don’s is a professional lab and has people there who know what they’re doing. Compare that to a place like Wal-Mart or your local drugstore, that just push the prints through with no regard to the quality. You can take your printing up another notch by visiting Joe at Pixels 2.1, or Photo Central and get a fine art prints made.
My point is that as a photographer I don’t want my work represented by prints that you are less than the best. If I sell you the digital images they are yours to print as you please.
But what if I don’t sell the digital files? The truth is that clients will scan them and that even the worst printing job will look better than most prints made from scans. We can copyright our work all we want. Scanning has become so easy that clients will scan images and upload them to Facebook or other online sites.
We live in a consumer driven market place. We also live in a digital age. Consumers want to be able to share their images on-line as well as having prints made. They will do this whether or not we sell them our high-resolution files. To my way of thinking, we should at least make sure that the digital images they get are the best they can be. And hope that they get them printed at a high quality printing lab.
What do you think? Do you want your photographer to sell digital files to you or are you happy to purchase prints?