One of the questions I deal with most often is whether or not clients will receive a disc with all of their images on it (I’ll spare you the suspense: my clients are into tangible prints; they don’t ever get a disc without also getting prints or an album).

Here’s the deal with discs and digital files:

1) CDs are to the 90s generation what VHS was to the 70s and 80s. There’s a very real risk of obsolescence if you put your faith in that piece of plastic. If you get a disc (or digital download link) from your photographer, PLEASE back the images up to Cloud storage, as well as transferring them onto your computer because there will come a day (hint: it’s happening already) where your computer won’t come with a disc drive and you’ll no longer have access to those images. Computers crash, discs get scratched… Protect yourself.

2) A disc without a tangible product attached is a circular piece of plastic that represents more work. You’ll need to set aside the time to choose images, find an album company, and design a book. You’ll need to source a canvas producer, a print lab, and any one of a multitude of other suppliers to produce what you’re wanting, as well as choosing and cropping your images. If you’re into that, no big deal (other than the fact that you beat all of the statistics and I applaud you). But if you’ve got young children or are planning a family, or maintain a busy work/social schedule, this is going to become one more thing on your to-do list. Keep that in mind. It might save you money with some photographers, but it’s going to cost you a lot of your spare time.

3) Here’s the big one: Digital files represent an artist’s expertise, talent, and time. Despite them not being tangible objects, digital files possess a great deal of value. Please keep that in mind if you’re hoping to get digitals on the cheap from a photographer. Value the artist; value their time.


To read about the most important element of any wedding, click here.

I’m Ang – a Cornwall, Ontario-based photographer with a passion for finding light and documenting real life for couples and families in Cornwall, Ottawa, Montreal, and around the world.