March 19, 2019March 20, 2019PortraitsDigital Files | Olney Studios | Reno/Tahoe PhotographerWhy Digital Files Are Included At Olney Studios(y'all see that photo of little me up there^?)A ConversationRecently, a friend asked me why I include digital images with photo packages. “I think it’s a great idea,” she said, “but a lot of photographers today don’t include them – we [clients] have to buy them separately.”In thinking about it, I guess the answer can be found back in my childhood. When I was a kid, someone always was holding a camera, and we had the photos to prove it: Album after album filled with those 4×6 prints. Framed pictures on the walls of our home. Photos of family reunions, holidays, vacations, you name it.Had.My Family and Disaster…Our family — as so many families do — went through some changes. My parents divorced when I was 12 and my mom and I, along with my two brothers, adjusted to our new normal without my father in our little shoe-box size mobile home on the outskirts of town. In 2001, when I was 15, Mom met my stepdad and eventually moved us into town to live with him.One night, she got a call that would change everything. Some neighborhood kids had decided to set fire to our now-“vacant” mobile home. Everything we had left there … ruined. I tried to look at it like a Phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes situation, a chance to throw out everything that had been bad and start fresh. But it was hard.Everything we had was in that house. My life was in that house. And the photos were the most heartbreaking loss of all. We had boxes of photo albums, three to four in each box. My parents always got school pictures of us, and every year new ones hung on our walls. With each passing year after the fire, I realized just how precious those photos were.A Silver Lining…To this day, I get emotional thinking about it. And I guess that’s one big reason why providing a digital record of your images — shared with you via online gallery and also safeguarded in my records, both on my hard drive(s) and “in the cloud” — is so important to me.While technology has changed greatly over the past two decades, I realize there still are many professional “big-time” photographers trying to adhere to the old-school practice of getting clients to come back to their studio after the shoot and choose their prints. Some sell only prints and don’t even offer a digital option. But I just can’t do it.Why? Because that childhood fire shaped how I do business.When people pay for my time and my talent, they also pay for their memories … so, if some catastrophic event occurs, they never are lost. My clients will not go through what I did.I won’t let it happen.A Different ConversationRecently I observed another conversation between two colleagues about this very topic. It was interesting, because one colleague was touting: “print your photos if you wish to save them,” and I read a response by another colleague that stated printing does nothing to save photos, should disaster strike. If there is a fire, a flood, a tornado, odds are the printed photos are not going to survive. I can personally attest to that…I felt incredibly validated. So many photographers today still try to push printed images on people. Prints are amazing, I offer prints to my clients but I don’t make prints the only option. If you want to have even a chance to truly preserve your images, you must have the digital files. You can check out some of my work here: PortfolioMy most recent work and activity can be seen here: Facebook PageREADY TO BOOK A SESSION? Book NowLet Me Know Your Thoughts Below!