Crystal Lee 


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Can I Just Buy The Digital Files?

Sep 13, 2023

Did you know? Before the digital phenomenon in the early 2000s, photographs were always delivered in print format. (Yeah, I’m showing my age here…) If you really wanted to splurge you could purchase the negatives, but those had to be stored carefully and they didn’t really do a whole lot… until they were printed.

This meant that you had to purchase your photographs with purpose. You didn’t just receive a folder of digital files to be posted on social media and dropped on a lonely hard drive. Families had to think about what purpose their portraits would serve and where they would be displayed:

🔸 What size wall portrait do we need?

🔸 How many 5x7s do we need to send to the grandparents?

🔸 Where can we display an heirloom album?

🔸 Do we need birth announcements or Christmas cards?

When someone inquired about portraits in that time, the top question we were asked was “How much is an 8×10?”

In today’s world, the first thing most photographers hear is “How much are the digital files?”

I get it. I really do.

Digital images are a highly in-demand product and I fully understand that. As a consumer, I want digital images for myself so that I can archive them and share my favorites on social media for family and friends around the world to see.

But what do you do with them after that?

This year I’ve received messages from multiple clients asking for me to retrieve their digital images because they never saved their downloads, they lost their online gallery information, or the files were on a device they could no longer access. Some of these requests were from galleries that were over 10 years old!

Much like film negatives, digital files need special care to remain usable over time. They can easily become corrupted, devices can fail, and technology is currently changing at a rate where backups can be outdated within just a few years. (I’m looking at you, floppy disks and CDs…)


You can always create a new digital file from a print.
But you can never create a print from a corrupted or lost digital file.

Honest question here… when was the last time you printed your professional images? Are they hanging on your wall? Are they displayed in an album that you can pass down to your children when they’re grown?

So to answer your question, yes you can absolutely purchase digital files from my studio. But I highly encourage you to also leave with something professionally printed. Maybe it will be a beautiful wall display, an heirloom album, or just something simple like a print box or tabletop frame. Big or small, you should have at least one piece of tangible art from your portrait experience with me.

You’re hiring a professional photographer… you should leave with a professional product.

So today I encourage you to make a plan for your photos. Whether it’s a professional photo session or the hundreds of photos in your cell phone camera roll… make a plan to have them printed.

Don’t spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on a professional photography experience to only see those photos when they pop up in your Facebook memories once a year. Don’t let the only joy you feel come from someone “liking” your photo on Instagram.

Social media posts are forgettable. Print is forever.

Put your most precious moments in albums and on your walls, so that you can enjoy them in your home every single day.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Any affiliate links you see (Amazon or otherwise) are for products and services that I have used and loved. I may earn a small discount or commission to fund my coffee obsession if you use them to make a purchase.

My studio is typically one of the very first places that parents bring their newborn. I fully understand the gravity of that decision and I want you to know that you’re bringing your little one to a safe space that has been designed (and cleaned!) with you in mind. I am fully stocked with a variety of backdrops, swaddles, props and decor to help personalize your baby’s first portrait session. 

They're only this little

for a little while

Your little one is going to grow and change so much in their first year! One day you're coming home from the hospital and the next you're looking at a walking, talking, energetic little person standing where your newborn once laid. 

Here we do FUN. We do COLOR.
And we CELEBRATE like no one else.

no year is faster

than the first

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