One of the favorite things about owning my own business, is I get to call the shots. (pun intended!)

So, when I was setting up my business model, I made sure that my pricing was set up the way that I would want if I were looking for a photographer.  This means I would want to know up front, what it’s going to cost me.  So, I provide just that – my packages include the rights to your photos.  This means, once you buy a session from me, you can walk away and never pay me another dime … WITH your images.

However, that being said, I also offer professional printing services.  Why?  If I am releasing the rights to you, why would you pay me even more money to order your prints when in today’s world, you have a million and one options when it comes to buying photos?

There are many reasons, but here are a couple of my favorite reminders when people are debating which route to go:

What is your time worth?

I have already spent time calibrating my computer with the print houses that I use.  I know when I have photos on my screen exactly what they will look like when the prints arrive.  I also know that when you order a cluster of photos, the colors will be the same in each picture.  If they aren’t, I can send them back.

Will your online company do that for you?

How long does it take you to upload, rotate, crop, etc. your images when using online companies?  Just how well can you see your image after it’s been uploaded?  Can you make edits as you go, if you decide to order an 8 x 10 instead of an 8 x 12?  These are all things to think about when you take on the task of ordering photos.

Aren’t all prints equal?

No.  There are many variables when it comes to prints.  First, the quality.  Are the blues really blue?  How about your reds?  Do that have a vivid punch?

Can you get different paper finishes or are you stuck with glossy?  Changing up a finish can really make a project stand out!

What about paper weight?  Many chain retailers print your photos on the cheapest quality paper.  I love paper that has some weight to it, so I can be sure it will stand the test of time.

How about custom sizes?  Many of the lower end print companies offer certain sizes, but aren’t flexible.  Some don’t offer square cropping or only offer certain mounts with certain sizes.  Your photographer should either already have a print house on hand that can get you what you need, or they should be willing to find one!

What if you’d like a UV protection coat on the images, since they are going to displayed in a sunny area and you’d like to protect them against fading?

If you have paid a professional photographer to capture a special moment in time, do you want to risk the final step in the process?

If all of this is true, why do you sell me the rights?

Not all prints NEED professional printing.  If you are completing a scrapbook, for example, many times people will use outtakes, unedited photos, etc.  These photos have glue smeared all over the back and they are behind some sort of a sheet protector.  The weight of the paper isn’t as important in these situations, nor is the quality of the print.

Also, if you are printing smaller sized prints, and plan to frame them behind glass, many times I will recommend my clients order these prints online themselves if they are comfortable doing so.  Any paper imperfections, color variations, etc. will be lost behind the glass, so why pay me to do your dirty work?

Bottom line is this; if you are looking to create wall art from your images, really consider asking a pro for help … especially when it comes to alternatives to traditional prints and frames.  But you don’t need a pro every time.  There are a lot of resources online, and it’s fun to see all of what you can do with your images!  Go for it – I’ve given you the legal and artistic right to do so!  But please keep in mind, most of the time you really do get what you pay for, so be smart when making your decisions – there is a reason photographers charge what they charge, and it would be so not-cool to have to pay twice!  Not only do we have access to professional print houses, but our time and talent is invested into making your printed items perfect!