Many photographers, including us, include digital files in their offerings when creating and selling portrait and wedding packages to clients. There’s some debate amongst brides and grooms as to whether these files have any value to them and if they should have to pay for them.
My most memorable discussion on this happened with a groom who was outraged that I was charging him for the files that he would’ve received had he booked. (Spoiler alert: He didn’t.) He couldn’t comprehend that I was charging him for digital files that were created with a digital camera.
(The same gentleman, who was from Ohio, was also outraged that I didn’t know about the lighthouse in Emerald Isle, so… yeah. There’s that.)
(Side note for out-of-towners: There’s no lighthouse in or near Emerald Isle.)
Possessing your digital wedding photos is quite valuable. The value isn’t in the file itself, a grouping of ones and zeroes that magically come together to form a picture of you. The value isn’t in the flash drive itself that we deliver them on, even though we deliver our files on really cool custom engraved flash drives. The value is of a utilitarian nature. The value is about what you can do with the files.
Save them and open them up on your computer to quickly relive your wedding day one moment at a time. Design an album with them and save them as a traditional keepsake to pass down to your children and grandchildren. Print them and decorate your home with them to share your wedding day with anybody who comes for a visit. Heck, you can post them to social media to share with everybody you’ve ever met. (That last one isn’t as romantic of a concept as the rest but it’s still awfully useful.)
Possessing your digital photo files isn’t necessary, especially if you already plan to buy a high quality album and high quality wall art directly from your photographer. However, it’s really nice to have them.