Clients sometimes ask me if they can get a digital image rather than a print in order to save money. They think there is more value in a print and the digital image should be almost free. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You see the paper is free. There is very little cost involved in the physical print. The paper is worth pennies. It is the photographer’s artistic vision and their cost of doing business that you are paying for, whether you get a digital image or a print.
Would you even think of asking an artist who is a painter to send you a digital image of their work? Before the start of digital, did clients ask photographers for their negatives? I would say almost never. And yet, people think the digital negative should be almost free.
I am transitioning to a new business model in which selling products will be the main focus. That is because I want clients to have a finished product and I want control over where that product is printed. I value my artistry. I take pride in my work. I want it to look good. I don’t want clients changing my images and posting them on Facebook (this has happened). I don’t want clients to print my images at Walmart. I want the final product to reflect the hours of work I have put into the creation of their image.
And I also want to cover my cost of doing business. People often don’t realize the costs involved in running a photography business. Then there is the cost of equipment: cameras, lenses, computers, lighting, backdrops, programs and supplies; not to mention heat, light and security and much, much more.
I love photography. I love getting to know my clients, photographing small children and getting a newborn into a beautiful pose. But because I love it, doesn’t mean I should do it for nothing and give away my work.
The paper is always free. It’s what is on the paper that costs money.
plus all of this and more