Digital files, a thorny issue indeed. Having the experience of a few decades in this industry I am often asked to speak to groups of photographers at Conventions across Canada regarding our business and this topic keeps coming up.
There are two schools of thought…photographers that simply shoot a wedding and let the clients print their own…and photographers who insist on total control.
We actually don`t fall into either camp…since our policies allow for both.
What do I think about the idea of having clients create their own prints and albums?…My opinion is that in 90% of all cases it is a bad choice for the client to try to make their own wedding albums unless they have top level skills and lots of free time. I can`t tell you how many people walk up to me at weddings and bemoan the fact they have no wedding prints…its really sad.
The image above shows what a great Photoshop artist can do in half an hour with retouching, skin tone and effects. What you see on this screen is exactly what our printer actually prints and what our client actually recieves. This is called a color managed system, which has taken us years to perfect and a lot of coordination with our lab. The combined experience at my studio is roughly 60 years in total time that my staff and I have been dealing with photography and digital. We have won over 100 awards for our work. Yes, there is a difference.
Occasionally we find one of our clients is a digital whiz kid and hey….we are open to discuss rates for including the files. As well, some of our clients simply want to make up some 4 by 6’s for the inlaws and are not as concerned about these as their final album.
One thing I do caution against is selecting a photographer who will notmake you prints. This is no bargain…I get emails all the time from brides asking if we will correct these “bargain” photographers digital files and make them prints. Sometimes I feel like Mike Holmes (you know,the guy from Holmes on Homes), but not quite as cranky. Yes, we have provided this service…but as they say..you can pay me now…or pay me a lot more later.
One final thought….. woe be the groom, who promises to make up a wedding album for his new bride and not deliver on that promise. Its a formidable task and to my mind, best left to a professional.