Can I get a CD with a print release…..

Many photographers give a CD with a print release, many do not.

There are many reasons on both sides of the argument.  Let’s start with why many don’t offer a CD.

  • Quality: When you go through the photographer to purchase prints they use a professional print lab that provides a consistent color corrected product. That perfect photo also comes at a premium cost.  Your photographer can order a print today and then 3 years from now and the color is still the same.When a customer goes to a place that does 1-hr photo you never know if the color is calibrated in their machine… that perfect skin tone that you see on screen may come out to look like an umpa loompa.   When people see that print, they think that it is the photographer’s work – when it is not.  This makes the photographer look bad and lessens their work. Note: most 1hr photo labs do not offer matte finish (e-surface, luster , pearl) only a high gloss finished -because their machines can only do glossy.
  • Income stream: Let’s admit it.  If you have a CD with all the images, you can get prints at a quick lab for less than what the photographer charges….. but is cheaper better??  These images will be the ones you hang on your walls, pass out to family, and cherish for years to come.
  •  I am more than happy to make available a digital download of any photo that you purchase prints of.  They will have my studio watermark on them in the corner, and they will be suitable for posting on Facebook and on your phone.  For senior portraits we will transmit an image suitable for the yearbook (no watermark) directly to the yearbook teacher and only the image you choose.

If you want full resolution edited files burnt to a CD, I now offer to put high-res images to a CD.  The cost for a portrait image is $75.00 per file, which allows you a limited license to print the image for Personal Use.


So why would a photographer just give you a CD?

I don’t really understand why exactly some photographers don’t sell prints and products.  If they have already taken the time to edit the photos in the computer, they have the time to sell prints.

1. Don’t have a computer or the software to edit – seriously I’ve met some “professional photographers” who don’t own a working computer (say what !). Some don’t have photo software either. If you are charging people for your work, you need to invest in a computer you can edit on, and the software needed to do so.  Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom is $9.99 (plus tax) a month…. Yes it is every month until you cancel, but you always get the latest version.  You can also get a laptop or PC that can run both for under $500

2. Don’t want to take the time to edit – seriously there are some who don’t edit their photos at all.  While I may take good photos, they will never look great straight out of the camera, they still need edited.

3. Don’t want to take time to place orders and fulfill them – It’s just a few more steps.  Using Adobe Lightroom you crop the image to the ratio/print size you need.  Create a export that saves to TIFF.  Next upload to the labs software, sit back and wait for the prints to be delivered. Typically it takes me at the most an hour to put an order in.

4. I can’t afford to float that cost for people’s orders – really somebody told me this.  Try asking for the client to pay for half their order up front, or build in print credits to your session pricing.  Also most labs can get your orders back to you within 2 business days.

I guess it all boils down to laziness, do you want to have a lazy photographer who is content to not deliver the total photographic package to you.

For my photographers, WHY ARE YOU GIVING AWAY YOUR IMAGES?   It is NOT that hard to get a good working relationship with a professional lab, there are no upfont costs, and they get the prints back to you really quick; like put the order in on Monday morning and you have them Tuesday afternoon quick.  If you need a recommendation for a good lab – contact me!