Selling Digital Images – Yay or Nay?

Do you feel like touching off a near riot on a forum or Facebook page for Photographers?   Ask whether or not they sell digital images and you will normally get some STRONG opinions.
And really there’s no right answer. You have to do what’s right for your business. But make no mistake that selling digital files can either be profitable, or the worst thing you could do. It’s all in how you price them. And there’s far too many photographers out there, whose business acumen (or lack thereof) means they’re giving away literally thousands of images and dollars a year by including a disc with their session fee, or charging next to nothing for it.

There are a lot of ways to skin this cat, but here’s some Verbiage below that you can use on your website/blog or Facebook photography page to let people know (in a very nice way) that digital images are for sale, but not cheaply.


“At _____________ photography, digital files are an option that we proudly offer, but it’s something that would only replace the high quality print options that we also offer. It’s your choice, but as we’re sure you understand, it’s not included in the price of your session fee. Ask us how you can obtain digital files for making your own prints. Our digital files are original one-of-a-kind creations, that are YOURS alone! Anything else on earth that is one-of-a-kind carries a premium. And we want you to appreciate the unbeatable value offered you by having unlimited ability to print anytime for your friends and family. Memories are meant to be shared, so let us help you share them with anyone you choose!”

If you’re wondering how to do save 8×10 sized jpegs in Lightroom, we included a handy screen capture for you. It shows the Lightroom 3 Export dialogue box and you can see that in the image sizing box we ticked “resize to fit” and made the dimensions 2400 x 3000 pixels @ 300 pixels per inch. That’s all you need to make printable 8×10 jpegs for your clients. Make them come back to you for anything bigger!One suggestion is to export or save your jpeg’s so they optimally print to 8×10 size. But tell your clients upfront that is what you are doing. And make sure they know they can purchase larger prints (canvas, etc.) from you.


Do you sell digital files? How do you keep it profitable? Let us know!

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