Friday, January 19, 2007

I want my files!!

For those of you who don't know what "high resolution files" are, allow me to take a paragraph to explain. When a photographer shoots digitally the images are saved on a memory card and eventually end up on the hard drive of their computer. These files (or digital negatives) range in size but are usually quite large. When printing from the files copies can be made in various sizes, but the larger the file the bigger you can blow them up. Some photographers only include low resolution files (small files) which can only be printed up to 4x6. Others include the high res. version and you can make prints up to 40x60 inches or bigger!

Something that has been coming up lately on the forums, both photographic and bridal is the question about high resolution files. Some photographers give them away and some don't, but these days it seems that every couple wants them! So why is it so hard for the photographer to just include the files? Most people think it's only about the money. If we give away the files then we won't get any reorders therefore we will lose profit. This is sometimes true, but I can honestly tell you that that's not the main reason photographers have a hard time handing them over. Most photographers have their own "style" or artistic vision. We want complete control over how our images look because our name and reputation is connected with each and every image we create. If the files are given away and printed at a low quality lab (or home printer) they might not look the way we intend. It's difficult for a photographer to think of a couple showing low quality prints to their friends who will then associate the print quality with that photographer. If we keep the files it allows us to have control over what each and every print looks like.

If getting the files is important to you, talk to your photographer. Sometimes you can buy them and sometimes they are included in a package. If they are not for sale or are not included, you will most likely be able to order prints for many years from the photographer.

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