Avoiding the Digital Dark Age

As I move forward with the merger and eventual buying of Dutton's Valley Gallery, I have had to consider the model of my photography business. When I first started Professionally (i.e being paid for my services) two years ago, the "shoot and burn" model worked well for me. I shot, edited, and released the digital images to the client to print as they wished.  But, as I grew and improved and my work got better, I began to realize that I wanted to see these images through to the final step.  I was spending a lot of time in editing the images and really wanted to know that the time and talent was appreciated and displayed by my clients.  To put it bluntly, I was spending too much time and passion to have the images lay on a USB drive in a drawer, and may someday be obsolete technology.

same image with two very different end results

same image with two very different end results

The need to have control over the final image became very clear to me upon printing some of my personal work.  I had taken this (obviously adorable because they aren't pounding the tar out of each other) photo of my kids and wanted it in a large print. I think it was 16x20.  When I received the top image I was dismayed. I knew the colors had not been that muddy and muted. I sent the same file off to a different print lab and the results were very different!


We were having supper with some old friends the other night, and Megan, curator and archivist at the Wells Fargo Museum in Minneapolis, spoke about how we are heading into a digital dark age.  "Many years from now, they won't know anything about us, because there is so little recorded on paper."


Look Familiar??

over 5,000 images on my phone and not any printed....

As a busy mom, I am guilty of folders and folders of images that have not been printed.  It was so much easier in film days, when the photos only came in denominations of 12! 


Recently at a family reunion, a matted and framed collage of harvest photos from the 1930's brought the fiercest competition and highest amount on the silent auction. 

THIS just doesn't

 have the


same appeal.

Choosing to work with a photographer who prints images is truly a win-win situation.  As a client, the "to do" list is one less item by not having to figure out where to print, how the photographer really wanted the image to be cropped, and remembering to actually upload and send the images.  The photographer sees the image to the final step in terms of cropping and lab quality, and all the client has to do is pick them up!  The client's precious memories are more than a file laying in a drawer somewhere, but rather end up being beautiful works of art hanging in their home or office. 

Photos on Wood in the work place.


On display, in the home.

Sleek Metal Print in a client's home.

Personalized Photo Book, on display in client's home.

Personalized Photo Book, on display in client's home.

Ok, if you still are not convinced there is value in professional printing services, take the word of Engineering and Technology Magazine:

E&T writes:

"Comparing the future knowledge about the 21st century to the post-Roman period in Western Europe of which relatively little is known due to the lack of written records, Cerf said the future generations may as well 'wonder about us' while having great difficulty to understand due to the interpretable bits of information we leave behind.

"In our zeal to get excited about digitizing we digitize photographs thinking it's going to make them last longer, and we might turn out to be wrong," he said. "I would say if there are photos you are really concerned about create a physical instance of them. Print them out."

I hope you will understand my process in changing to print sales. If you don't do it for yourself, do it for the future generations that will need something to fight over at the family reunion silent auctions.