It’s not uncommon to see different opinions when it comes to the photography industry. The one thing we ALL have in common is our passion to create art, to see the beauty in people, to capture moments and create something special for our clients. That we can agree on. I wanted to write a little blog post about my personal thoughts on being a digital photographer. (someone who enjoys selling digitals vs only prints and products in person). And my digitals I mean a finished edited image in an online gallery. (I wouldn't sell my digital negatives because that wouldn't be a completed product).I realize there is a huge world of those that do in person sales, and sell only tangible items to clients and it’s often discussed that by not following this, you're business is set up to fail. That it is not possible to grow a business, find the dream clients, and that by choosing not to do just products or in person sales you are missing out on some HUGE profits. I’d like to disagree, and am proof that it is possible to grow a successful business, have dream clients, make great sales and run a business that is taking care of my family financially. I’m very proud of my business, it’s success and 95% of the time only sell my digital package (which I love). I’d like to go over a few points on why I love being a photographer who sells digitals. This post is in NO way putting down those that love doing in person sales (I myself think it's a beautiful thing) but I wrote it to shine a little light on why it's also great to sell online and my person thoughts on why I love doing it this way. I want people to do what they love and not let anyone put them down for their choices and decisions.
Doing what I love
If selling digitals is what you're happy with then do that! If doing in person sales is what you love then do that! Stop putting one or the other down and just put the focus on what YOU love. You will always hear both sides of the argument, which is better and the truth is, neither of them are right or wrong. Everything comes down to YOU, and what you enjoy. I personally LOVE being a photographer who sells digitals online and have no plans to change my business structure. I’m proud of it. I also think in person sales is a beautiful thing and a wonderful business structure for photographers to follow. Like I said before, there is no right or wrong here, just follow what you enjoy doing and what works for you. If you do that, success will follow.
One of the main reasons I love selling digital packages vs prints and products in person is because many of my clients from see me from 4+ hours away and there is no way I would feel right to ask them to come back and see me to pick up their images. Being able to deliver all their images online (via pixieset) is super convenient and they get their images instantly when i’m done editing them.
I price my work according to what I need to make per month and so far have not had any trouble making that happen with my prices, my clients and my work. I’ve never ever done in person sales so I can’t claim that I would make more or less with them. But what I do now works for me and my business. I know a lot of very well known photographers that sell digitals vs doing in person sales and just like me they are happy with their sales and business income.
They love it, I love it.
My clients absolutely love it. We do live in a digital world, and I can understand why someone would want to have digital files. I personally would rather hire a photographers who sells digitals because I have a lot of family that live pretty far away. I grew up in germany and my moms entire family still lives there and there is something really special about being able to share pictures with them, regardless of distance.
Time management is so important when running a business. If I was to do in person sales I would need to take one extra day to focus on a sales session per client. Would I make more sales? maybe? maybe not? I’m not sure but what I do know is that adding in person sales into my business, would require more time that doing it digitally and online. If it’s something I need to spend more time on I would also need to bring my prices up higher to accommodate the additional time it took away from my family.
Shoot and Burn
This term is something digital photographers hear a lot of. Shoot the session, burn it on a disk and deliver. This is sooo incredible far from what I do. My clients get a beautiful session experience, I spend hours, days, nights on editing each image in the gallery before presenting my clients final gallery. What they get is my completed work that took hours to create. Just because I love seeing digitals doesn’t mean that this is just thrown on a disk and delivered.
A big misconception is that because of digital images, people no longer get prints done and that the images just sit there collecting dust. My clients are so proud to print out my work, hang it up on the wall, hang up beautiful canvases at their work and display my work all over their home. I love going to a client's home and seeing all our past session displayed and that to me is really special. They often send me picture texts of their newest prints up on the wall and send me their holiday cards which features my work. Nothing is collecting dust. They can print their images and do it proudly.
Yes, I don’t get to see my clients face the first time they see images of their little newborn baby, but I have a great relationship with all my clients and always get special texts from them thanking me for what i’ve created, they tell me that my work brought tears to their eyes and that they value what I do so much. I couldn't ask for more. I love my clients and hearing that (even in a text) is really what brings me so much joy.
I’d love to hear - do you do in person sales or online/digital? What do you love most about it??