The Days of Negatives
I began my training as a Professional Photographer back in the days of film. Those were the days of negative strips, not a chance of seeing what you just shot in the back of the camera, and being so professional that you had no choice but to get it right the first time because you couldn't burn through all of your film. Your negatives were everything to your business and your art! Without them you wouldn't have a single photograph because those negatives were used to generate your prints.
When the first digital DSLR came out, I was one of the first to add this to my camera bag: the Nikon D70. It was clunky and not at all the performer of its film based predecessor. Needless to say, I wasn't much of a fan. As the years flew by, so did technology, with more and more DSLR advances happening daily. I finally broke down and made the full switch. Digital cameras were all the rage, and thanks to a little setting called "auto", anyone could hang a shingle and be a photographer who charges money. Without realizing it, these untrained professionals began to saturate the market and they were giving away their "negatives" at a very low cost. That's right... their negatives! After all, that is what the digital image is in comparison to film. The full resolution image, used to create enormous prints with utter clarity, are the photographer's negatives... so why were they giving them away with every session?
Everyone's a Photographer
This question is relatively simple to answer: everyone with a digital camera set to auto with a dream of taking photos for a living was now planting themselves in the professional realm without any training and giving away the very thing that mattered most. Clients began to demand digitals with their session fee with the good intention of printing them at a local drugstore later, only to be forgotten. Technology fails, smartphones are lost or damaged, and what are you left with for memories... your mental recollection of what those photos looked like. This is NOT professional photography!
the sitting fee
The sitting fee, which is now commonly referred to as a session fee, is the cost of the photographer's time and talent. This is where the magic happens! It's the consultations that occur before the session to ensure the resulting photographs are just perfect: The ever important discussion about what to wear, and the even more important discussion about the intended use of the photographs. This fee is for time, which though may only seem like an hour you're actually there having your photos taken, several hours are factored in for creative time and editing. If a photographer is including digital images with their session fee, they don't have a true understanding of the value of the service they are providing, and may not be the best fit for you.
getting back to our roots
So why don't you want digital images with your session? Simply stated, no one can do a better job printing your photos than the artist who created them... period! A professional lab can render the colors, highlights and shadows exactly as they were intended. Have you ever printed a photo at Walmart and noticed it was darker than it looked on your screen? That's because they don't have the color calibration settings that the photographer had when they created your images. A professional lab does!
the lost generation
Today's young people are being coined "the lost generation". Why? It's because too many families have put all of their memories into lost digital files. Those cherub cheeks, butterfly kisses, tween moments, and teen explorations are lost... forever... unless you turned them into cherished keepsakes that will stand the test of time. Our labs print heirloom quality that will withstand well over 100 years, and some print styles up to 200 years, before showing any signs of aging. Don't you want to pass along your family's legacy to future generations? Of course you do... and we can make it happen. Choose prints!