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Prints vs Digital Files – Wedding Photography

Prints vs Digital Files – Wedding Photography


Digital Files vs Prints: Why digitals are not enough, even though you think they are.

Now that I got your attention 🙂 , one of the first questions people ask when looking for a wedding photographer is if they offer all the high resolution digital files. In fact, many couples plan to purchase only the files and aren’t interested in professional prints.

By only purchasing the digital files, you’re putting yourself at a huge risk of losing your photos in just a few short years. You might think I am being self-serving here, but I really do care about each of my clients. You wouldn’t believe the stories I have heard about other’s misfortunes. 


Why are high res digital files not enough?

Why should you not ONLY want digital files from your wedding photographer? First, let us just say we totally understand why you’d want all the digital images from a photographer you hired to capture your wedding day; you should want those. We’re sure you want to have all those images preserved over time and you don’t want to worry about losing those memories.

TIP: We are always happy to suggest where you can get those files printed from a high quality photo lab, instead of your big box store or corner pharmacy. Don’t be afraid to ask! 😉

With only the digital files, you are responsible for transferring the images from one type of digital media to another as technology advances every few years. Every time a file is transferred, there’s a risk of file corruption. Not only that, but life gets crazy and if you fail to transfer it to the new media, you may end up with a beautiful usb of photos that you can’t see anymore because there’s no machine available to read it.

#1 Lesson: Print those photos sooner, rather than later. In whatever form you prefer: small prints, wall art, or albums.


Here are just a few reasons why digital files should NOT be the most important part of your photography investment:

  • Digital Files can corrupt over time. (I know this from experience. It’s not fun.) Every time you copy a file over to a new device, your chance of loss or corruption increases.
  • Digital Files can be easily lost. Computer crash, theft, fire or water damage. This is why we always suggest making copies and storing in at least one off-site location. TIP: Two great options are a cloud service and a duplicate drive stored at a parent’s house.
  • Storage technology is always changing. Do you think your grandkids will know what a DVD or USB used to be, let alone know how to pull files off of one? (Since originally writing this article technology has already changed. Now new computers are not including cd/dvd drives and usb capabilities are constantly evolving.) When I stared photographing weddings (2007)  clients would get a CD/DVD. Then we moved to USBs. Now, we are moving towards digital download only, even though USB are still sometimes use. We just don’t know what the next new digital storage capabilities will be.


Why should you invest in a Wedding Album or Prints?

Many well intentioned couples who only get the image files never print their images at all, or only print a few for gifts or one for display. We hate to admit it, but I am guilty of having a hard-drive full of photos of our kids and family that I simply haven’t taken the time to order prints of yet.

However, there’s a huge risk of losing the images and memories from them over time when you only have the digital files.

Why do we strongly advocate for wedding albums and other prints?

  • An album with all your favorite images is much easier to maintain and preserve.
  • Wall art will serve as a daily reminder of your love for one another.
  • Family history preservation in a beautiful, tangible form. No technology needed 🙂


Prints vs Digital Files – You can want both!

This is why we believe that a professional wedding album is of the utmost importance. Even if you never do anything except store it in a box on a shelf, you’ll still have images to look at and enjoy years from now with no additional work whatsoever. It will also serve as a family heirloom and history record.

We only offer professional, high quality albums made with professional photographic paper that are created to last for generations with proper care. We use Flush-mount albums from RedTree Albums located and completely handmade here in the USA. With about 75 different cover material options, you will be sure to find something to match your wedding theme or personal style. We want the memories of your wedding day to be seen and enjoyed by your family for years to come. Don’t risk losing your memories. Make a beautiful album one of your priorities. We promise you will not regret it.


Prints vs Digital Files – Final Note: Research shows that our brains receive a serotonin boost immediately after posting on social media, and with each new like. And that’s great, but that feeling quickly fades. Sharing digital files online is fun, but our feeds are constantly refreshing with the newest posts (and Ads).

I want you to think about the feeling you got the last time you held a printed photo. The last time you looked at childhood photos hung on your parents’ wall or held a photo album your grandmother put together. That feeling lasts a lot longer, and you can relive it whenever you want. Weddings are filled with emotion, and they deserve much more than to only be posted online.

You can view more real wedding client albums below. I also share videos of real client albums on my social media. Follow me there for more @audreycutler_photo. Check out my Album Investment tab for starting your own album with me today.

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What did you think of my wedding Prints vs Digital Files Guide? This is part of The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide you can find here.

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If you’re looking for a Worcester Massachusetts or New England wedding photographer, please get in touch via the contact form below.


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PO Box 474 Sterling, MA 01564



Serving Southern New England. Massachusetts, Rhode Island & Connecticut. Southern New Hampshire, Vermont & Maine

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