The photographer retains copyrights to the images. If the package you purchase includes a reproduction release, however, the images will be provided to you on a thumb drive or download. The reproduction release grants you the right to reproduce and utilize these images for creating reprints, websites, and personal use for an unlimited amount of time without copyright infringement. The reproduction release is specific to an individual or family. Those not listed on the reproduction release should contact the photographer for reprints and all other uses.
We use PayPal, Venmo, and ApplePay to securely process credit cards and electronic payments. Checks and cash are also accepted.
Payment is required at the end of your session. If prints are ordered, payment is due when the order is placed.
These days many customers want to have digital images from their session. We try to honor their request but warn that this practice has both advantages and disadvantages.
Advantage: It gives you complete control over your costs and you can use the images for a variety of purposes (reprints, social media, books, videos, etc.). For many, this works out very well.
Disadvantage: Some customers get their photos printed based on a low cost or convenient location rather than evaluating where to get the best product. Some will also try to do their own retouching or color balancing. As a result, many photographers refuse to allow non-professional reprints because it negatively impacts the quality of their work and harms their reputation. For a photographer, quality is critical to their ongoing business.
I try to reach some middle ground by providing images for customers to use but encouraging them towards professional prints for display on for your wall or desk. Here are a few things to consider:
1. Better color / Better Paper
Professional print labs use higher quality ink, better equipment, and better paper that gives them more control to accurately reproduce your photos. Better ink + Better equipment + Better paper = Better prints.
The print services offered by drug stores and retail stores don’t even come close. Their prints are typically not as sharp, they’re frequently dark, they may have erratic cropping, and they frequently have red or green color shifts. Many retailers also print on thin lightweight paper.
2. Sizes and Options
Professional labs offer many more sizes and printing options. As one example, all of my large professional prints are mounted on a foam core or mat board. This produces a rigid backing for easy framing and long term display without wrinkles. Large prints from drug stores and retail stores are typically rolled up like a cheap poster and secured with a rubber band!
3. Consistency and Quality
People who work at professional labs are true print specialists. They strive to produce the best looking results since that is their only business. At a professional lab, each image is reviewed and the printer is calibrated by an actual human being. They are trained to produce high quality prints every time. With drug store and retail store prints, the quality can largely depend on who’s working that day. Many know little more than how to turn the machine on.
Does it really make a difference?
Absolutely. Professional prints are sharper, the colors are more vibrant and accurate, and you can feel the difference in the paper. Because of the higher quality, professional prints will stand the test of time.
What’s the bottom line?
As most things in life, I believe you need a balance. Most customers do a combination of professional and consumer grade reprints. If you’re just storing pictures in an envelope or scrap book for occasional review, or handing out large quantities of small pictures to acquaintances, then going the less expensive route is perfectly fine. It can save you some money. But if you need long term display of a treasured image, especially large framed photos for your desk or wall, professional prints are the only way to go. They are well worth the additional cost because you will notice the difference.