One of the top questions I get is "can I get the digitals?". The short answer is yes. I do sell digitals. As a mom, I want some digitals of my family photos as well, so I get it. But I would argue that digitals may not be the best product for you. Check out this post as to why.
However, for those who are curious as to why they cost more (it is just a digital file after all) I want to help you understand. First of all, it's important to remember that your photographer (whoever it is) is trying to make a living. As a society we have placed greater value on certain services/products over others. Unfortunately, the arts is one area that has more of a subjective value and therefore is not always understood when a price is put on it.
Would you try to negotiate with your doctor's prices? Or with school tuition? Or with the cost of your groceries (coupons don't count!)? The main reason that digitals are (or rather should be) priced a little higher is because as a photographer, we are basically giving up all rights & future chances of making any money off of that image. Once you own it, the chances of you ordering a print, canvas, or any other product from us is extremely unlikely. And if I'm being totally honest, you get what you pay for. Everybody starts somewhere and I don't fault the photographer at the beginning of their journey trying to make their way (Lord knows I've been there!), but if you are looking for a cheap, purchase all the digitals option, you're probably not dealing with a more experienced photographer. Please hear me, if that's what your budget can afford, I TOTALLY get that. But if you value quality images, personalized service, and exceptional products, then you may consider investing with a more seasoned photographer. Most have payment plans, I know I do!
So next time you have portraits made and are considering what products to invest in, please remember that the free use of a digital image to make whatever personal products that you would like (please check your contract &/or copyright release) is not an arbitrary number. It carries the significance of the money invested into equipment, education, time, skill, and artistry that your photographer has thoughtfully placed into creating that image. And remember, you're memories deserve to be seen!