What is a digital image file?
In this case (in my business) a digital image file is a single image that has been fully processed and ready for sale either in it's digital form or printed. Yes, I do sell my digital image files. Some photographers choose not to and will only sell printed product. Some photographers only sell digital. Some photographers will give the digital files away with the sale of a certain size or certain amount of printed product purchased. I personally choose to sell digital files to my clients.
Now it is important to talk a little bit about copyright here. Here's the thing folks. I own my photos, when you purchase a photo from any photographer anywhere you are purchasing the right to use that photo. The photographer can lay out terms on how you may or may not use a photo. You technically are not allowed to edit another person's photo without their permission. You technically are not suppose to reproduce (whether it's sharing online or having prints made) another person's photo without their permission. When you purchase a digital file from me you will receive a release for usage. This release will allow you to print your files as often as you wish and share them online as often as you wish. It will restrict usage to personal use only, which simply means that the client can not use the file in a way that that they may be able to profit from it, unless that is what what the client has hired me to do for them.
But why do they cost so much?
Here's the big question I get a lot. Why does a single digital image file cost so much? As of right now my single image files are priced at $35 per file. People balk at this price all the time. Those same people would probably be shocked to know that I have photographer friends who sell their single files for $50, $100, even $200 - $400 PER IMAGE.
Here's the thing, people wrongly assume that digital is free and that it shouldn't cost as much because they are not being printed. You guys, DIGITAL IS NOT FREE. Regardless of what the image is on (a digital file or a printed product) the work that went into making that image is the same. The value of the image is not based on the format that it is made on.
I love my clients, I love when my clients love their images so much that they truly have a hard time deciding on which ones to purchase. The soft hearted side of me feels really bad sometimes when that decision is so difficult and I am asked if I can just throw a few more digital files into a package and the business woman in me has to answer, "yes, but it will change the price of the package significantly". This confuses people because they think that digital images files don't cost me anything.
Digital image files actually cost me a lot. I am not even talking about the work that went into creating the image. One must remember that selling a digital file means no reorders. Let's think back a minute to the days of film. If someone wanted multiple copies of an image they had to purchase multiple copies of an image. The value still was the image and not the paper it was printed on, but the profits were built into that system. More copies meant more profit. Now when a client purchases a digital image file the chances of them ever purchasing another copy of that image in any form is slim to none. The purchase of that digital image file is the one and only sale for that image. I will not profit from the multiple sales of prints or wall art. If I am being honest here, I really should be charging more for my digital image files than what I do... Like way more. Like I should be charging what it costs to purchase my most expensive piece of printed product, which is $355.00. I SHOULD be charging $355 for a single digital image. Makes my $35 price tag not look so bad now, doesnt' it?
Ok, so now that you know the price of my single digital image files and why they are priced the way that they are I should tell you that I have some package collections that allow you to get amazing professional quality printed product as well as single digital image files at a crazy good deals!
If you're ready to get your session booked, CLICK HERE to contact me right now.
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Orange County Virginia Family & Senior Portrait Photography by Locust Grove Photographer, Katherine Weeks
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