These days, it is extremely popular for clients to want a cd or dvd with the images taken at a session for them to print. This is a very sensitive topic for me personally.
I think purchasing all the files for a wedding can be a very valuable thing. It is the only way you will get full access to all of your images. This is an awesome thing to have that charts one of the most important days of your life that was available in past generations. I think it is an incredible tool, but should not be the only thing that makes up a wedding package. It is important to have high quality products to display in your new home with your significant other. There is an a lot of work that goes into creating a perfect file and having it produced at one of the best labs in the country that really blow people away when they see them.
While I think the disc is an awesome thing for weddings, I don’t have the same feelings toward it for family and high school senior sessions. These types of sessions are not documenting such an important day in your life. The point of these types of sessions is to capture personalities and relationships and to share these moments with friends and loved ones.
It is important to me to not only provide a service but provide quality products that my clients will be proud to display in their homes for years, whether it be prints, books, or fine art pieces.
People ask me all the time during a pre-session consultation if a disc is available for purchase. I always ask why they want the disc. I am still yet to get a real concrete answer. It is always, “I don’t know,” or “Just to have it.” I even know of clients coming back for sessions later on and not asking for the disc. Their reason – they never did anything with it and would rather spend their money for something they can be proud of and show off to visitors to their home.
All I want is for my clients to be happy, so if a disc is the best option, we can definitely discuss options, but I want my clients to be informed so they do not have any buyers remorse. I know social media is blowing up, and there are other cost effective options available that can still give you options to share the images digitally with low-res files and still helps people to be able to afford great products that can be displayed for years.
Honestly, I would be aware of photographers who only offer the disc. I think that is one thing that really separates the amateurs from the true professionals. If I were to just shoot and burn files, the images would not come out nearly as well as if I spend a few hours in the digital darkroom. Compare it to your favorite restaurant. You don’t try and pay for the recipe of the meal you want; because you trust the professional chefs to prepare it to the best it can be because of their experience and expertise.