How do you use "free digitals" in your business model?

  • 14 May 2020
  • 3 replies

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Let’s talk about free digitals!  Do you include any digital downloads in your session fees? Are you all-inclusive? Do you find that allowing clients to download digitals takes away from your print sales, or do you have a unique way to ensure that your clients still buy prints?

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3 replies

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Hi @Karen, It really depends on my client; however, the most typical use for digital downloads are providing my client with X amount of digital files from the session along with whatever prints are included.

For example; I will charge my clients a session fee and give them 10 digital files included. I limit those files to 8x10 size. They can also purchase prints directly through their gallery and/or additional digital files and I’ve setup specific digital rules for social media downloads as well.

I don’t think I’ve lost print sales when providing digital because most clients want prints and I sell them on the higher quality prints through my lab than they could get from Wal-Greens, etc. I inform them of the quality prints, canvases, etc. available for purchase and let them know they can purchase as few or as many as they would like. (You gotta put on the Salesperson cap sometimes 🙂 )

The one things I’ve avoided is providing packages. I’ve found it easier to just include some in the session fee, or provide a few digitals and let them purchase prints. That being said, I don’t shoot weddings, if I did, I would most definitely setup packages.


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Interesting! I think putting on the salesperson hat is hard for some people, but the way I think about it, I’m not selling prints, I’m selling memories 🙂 Being comfortable communicating that is key!

@Matt Specht How do you sell them on the higher quality prints from the lab? Do you show them examples side-by-side? I’ve seen some studios include a jpeg in their gallery that shows prints from different consumer labs, and an example of a pro lab print. I think visuals definitely help! 

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@Karen, the side-by-side would be a good idea. How I usually sell it, I explain that as such:

“If cost is a factor, your welcome to order your prints from someplace yourself; however, places that express print your photos (such as Walgreens), are not trained to provide high-quality prints, they are trained to provide the least expensive option. Even though the prints prices in your gallery may be a bit higher, the quality is far superior and completely worth the additional cost.”

If you leave the door open, they usually jump through unless the cost is that much of a factor. I’ve actually noticed an increase in print sales since I’ve raised my rates, I am pulling in a different audience which helps as well.


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