In the January 2012 issue of Professional Photographer there is an excellent article written by Kalen Henderson, M. Photog, titled Starting Over: Memories of a Lost Generation. In this article, Kalen questions a practice so many photographers do nowadays… sell (or give) clients the digital images of their photographs. She fully advocates selling (or giving) the digital images to clients but she worries that the images are not being printed. Kalen also worries that as our technology continues to develop and our current methods of digitally archiving our photographs may become obsolete, how do we retrieve those priceless pieces of our memories and history. Kalen says, “We are photographers by choice; historians by default.” Though I have never thought of myself as a historian, I believe she is 100% correct. This really got me thinking… am I doing my clients a disservice by not also giving you a set of printed proofs?
I am guilty of what Kalen is discussing. Whether it is my personal wedding photos or pictures from vacation, they are just sitting on my computer – only a handful of them actually printed. And don’t even get me started about the pictures I’ve taken with my phone! The thought of having pictures sitting in a box collecting dust sounds like clutter to me. I like the thought of my images not taking up physical space but what happens if someday our computers become obsolete! Don’t laugh – it could happen! And yes, I know there are ways to archive digital images and preserve printed images but that is a separate discussion (I use such digital archival services to keep your photos from sessions). I guess what I am trying to find out is if you are being your own personal historian?
If you went to a photography studio and they gave you a printed proof of every photograph from your session, what would do with them? Would you care? I encourage you to take a moment and leave a comment because your input will help me decide whether or not to also include printed proofs in my packages. Thanks for your input!