6 ways to care for your Digital Files

“Handle your prints with care”

Have you seen this on a photographers website before or heard someone say it? Have you at some point in your past, made careful attempt NOT to touch a printed photo in an effort to avoid fingerprints?

Handling prints with care is something that is second nature. They are valuable to us. We don’t want them smudged, torn or faded. We spend (sometimes a ridiculous amount of) money on beautiful frames to put them in. They hang on our walls and can be passed down generation to generation. They remind us of emotions, stages of life and good times.

The more I am learning about photography and running my own business, I am convinced we need to start thinking about digital images the same way.

Handle your prints AND digital files with care.

Living in the digital age that we do, I am seeing a gradual trend towards thinking about digital files as expendable, replaceable and inconsequential. We are constantly surrounded by .xmp, .xls, .pdf, .mp3 and .jpg files almost to the point that they have the potential to just become icons on a screen to us and not much more.

Photographers think very differently about the digital files they produce. When digital files are turned over to my client, they are my final art pieces. Time, energy, study, practice, focus and determination went into every single one of those .JPG files that now sits on your computers hard drive.

There are a few ways that you as a client receiving High Resolution digital images from your photographer can “handle your images with care.”

Have a good storage system

Storage= where you store the images. Your hard drive, an external hard drive, “the cloud”. Save your images in multiple places to reduce the risk of feeling the sinking feeling in your stomach when you see the “blue screen of death” on your computer!

System= the organizational method you use. Create folders. Utilize dates or event names in order to easily find files. There is nothing more frustrating than searching an hour to find one specific photo that “you know you have somewhere.” Spending the initial time to create an organized system will save you so much time down the road!

Back up your hard drive

No doubt you have heard many horror stories from others who have lost everything on their hard drive. Don’t be that guy. Back up and do it now.

Print and print quality

Get those images OUT of your computer and up on your walls or put in albums. Images seem to take on a different life when they are tangible and not just clicked on in a computer screen.

And regarding quality, I didn't believe it. Until I printed comparisons. I have seen with my own two eyes the difference printing professionally makes. I want my images represented how they should be and not altered drastically during the process. Even if it costs a little bit more, the result is well worth it.

Share your images

Again, get them out of the computer and show them off! Send them to loved ones. Create a family blog. Share on facebook or Instagram. The great advantage to digital over prints is the fact that you can share them so easily with friends and loved ones!

Make albums

I am a huge proponent of making photo albums. I do all of mine digitally and I have them all over the house. Taking an event and putting all of those images into an album that can be shared and enjoyed for years to come is just so fantastic.

DO NOT alter or Photoshop the images

I mention this because I feel there are many people out there who honestly don’t realize how disheartening this can be to a photographer. You have paid them good money for their experience, expertise, vision and art. Do NOT take their final images and change them. If you hired them because you love their final product then respect their work by loving their final pieces as is. Play around with Photoshop or other image editing software on your OWN photographs, but please do not alter your photographer’s images. Again, I think the majority of clients out there may not actually realize the importance of this, so my aim is to educate and inform.

And there you have it! Enjoy your digital images and handle with care!