i purchased digital image files from my photographer, now what do i do with them?

first and foremost, the overwhelming majority of my clients walk away with much more than digital files.


Nearly every family or expecting parents that come for a Family, Maternity or Newborn session will leave with a customized portrait collection including: (1) at least one beautiful fine art piece from our boutique product line and (2) a digital folio.  As a photographer, I believe that helping clients move their photographs from their devices into real life, tangible form, is the most important service I can provide.  So in addition to the digital files, through the ordering process, I will help families create a customized portrait collection so that everyone leaves our final consulation meeting with something physical and archival that will be cherished in the home through the years and passed along to future generations.

As for the digital folio, here’s what you need to know to manage and protect your investment:

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Back up your images!

Back up your images, back up the back-ups, and then back them up one more time:

Save your image files on multiple computers.
Back up the files to an external hard drive.
Back up the back-ups to an online storage location like Dropbox.
Print 8×10 copies, and store them in a safe, cool, dry place. You can always make a new digital negative from a good quality print, but you cannot make a print from a corrupt digital file.

Take note of the file size:

When clients purchase a high resolution folio, two versions of every image are provided; high resolution files and web optimized files. What does this mean?

High Resolution Files

High resolution images are very large, sometimes enormous images. They’re difficult to deal with in some cases, simply because they’re giant. They take up a lot more space, which is why you don’t want them on your phone. If you’ve ever opened up an image in an email from someone and waited forever for the entire image to load up, only to be looking at a super zoomed in version of the photo, it’s because you were emailed a giant image. There’s no reason to burden someone with such a file if they’re not going to need to print it, which is almost always the case. These large print files will produce the highest print quality and should be used for all your printing needs. Use these every single time you:

order any print of any size
print Christmas cards, holiday cards, birth announcements, etc.
order albums or canvas prints
purchase any other product with a print on it
provide the image to anyone else who may eventually want to print it

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Web Files

Web optimized image files are much smaller versions of the images. These are optimized for web use. These images should not be printed. If you try to print these, the quality will be very low, producing blurry and pixelated prints. I like to provide these because having them makes it much easier for my clients to do the thing they all want to do more than anything else – share them online with family and friends. Web files are ideal for:

sending via email
posting on social media
viewing and saving on your phone

Purchasing digital image files is a significant investment, so it’s important for me to help my clients understand how to keep those files safe and use them properly to get the best possible results when printing or sharing. I’m always happy to provide guidance to make sure that your images are reproduced properly. 

If you have any questions about your files don't hesitate to get in touch, I'm always here to help!