The Truth about Digital

A great post by a photographer friend Meggan Jacks at 

Over the past few years, digital files have become a “must have” product for many of my clients. While this product is so incredibly popular, I do find in my conversations with prospective clients that there is a lingering misconception about digital files and their value. I hope the following information will shed some light on this highly desirable and valuable product.

It’s just a disk!

The misnomer is that digital files are “cheap” to produce. I mean, come on! It’s just a plastic CD/DVD! While it is true that the physical disk is just a few dollars in materials, the true “expense” of the files is the time and talent of the photographer/digital artist to transform the raw images captured at your session into a stunning, print-ready digital file.

Canvas and prints and albums? Oh My!

Once the magic has been completed (and trust me, it’s not as easy as just waiving a magic wand!), the file then has the potential to become nearly anything your heart desires of a portrait – a stunning 20×24 inch wall canvas, a treasured memento in a table top frame or one in a series of prints in an beautiful portrait album. And you aren’t limited to just one product for your favorite pose – that single image file can become many, many things, such as:

  • 20×24 canvas over your fireplace
  • 11×14 wall print hanging in Grandma’s hallway
  • 8×10 on your desk at your workplace
  • multiple 5×7 gift prints shared with your siblings and other extended family
  • image on a greeting card send to family and friends during the holidays

All that from just one file – imagine what you can do with your favorite 6, 12 or 24 images! The potential of your portraits as digital files is truly limitless, and therefore, PRICELESS.

The Perfect Product?

While nearly every new client inquiry I have is interested in the digital files from their session, files may not be the perfect product for everyone. If you have a hard drive full of personal portraits that you’ve never had printed, there is a high chance that you may not take the time to have your beautiful MJP portraits printed as well. And this would be a shame!

Digital files are a great option for clients who want to be able to print multiple copies of their portraits to give to family and friends. Typically it is someone who is familiar with a computer and ordering images from online vendors (or in-person at local print shops.) I do give suggestions on where (and where not!) to have your MJP portraits printed.

If you are mainly interested in digital files to share online (via email, social media or a personal blog), you do not necessarily need to invest in the full-resolution digital files themselves. For any image ordered as an 5×7 or larger you will receive a complimentary web-ready version of that portrait. These web-ready images are perfect for sharing online, but are not meant to be printed. If you want to have printing rights of these portraits, you will need to invest in the full-resolution option for those images.

Best of both worlds?

Many of my clients elect to invest in both traditional print products AND digital files. One of the most popular print products I offer is a 16×20 or 20×20 wall collage. Each one is custom designed and comes framed, ready to hang. A wall collage, or wall portrait, paired with a digital file collection of their favorite images, gives the client the convenience of professionally printed show piece for their wall along with the flexibility of having their favorite poses in digital form for printing and sharing with family and friends.

Bottom line – My goal as your photographer is to create stunning portraits that you will treasure for years. My talent and experience is not the cheapest in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, but whether you prefer the modern convenience of digital files or the classic tradition of professionally printed pieces, I promise that you will come away with a quality custom portrait experience!