Digital or Film for the Professional

Are you still based in film, or have you made the switch to digital?

I’m amazed almost daily at the number of photographers that are still film based. Digital has been such a big part of the consumer market for years, yet photographers still love their film.

We even have a niece who has taken a few courses in photography in college, and she’s still taught through film-based classes.

Yet the types of film that were once available are now quickly disappearing. Why? Because you can do so much more with digital. And it’s the way of the future.

If you are a professional, your whole goal should be to make money with your photography. (If not, there is no reason to start a business.) And one of the best ways to sell your photographs – at least fromdirection a portrait standpoint – is to sell immediately on the emotion.

If a client comes in, has their photograph taken, they are excited about their portraits. With digital, you can sell immediately with projection (find out how) and double – even triple your sales. With film, you have to spend days developing and putting together your sales presentation before the customer comes back in for viewing. That’s a lot of time for something else to happen in her life – making her portrait not the most exciting thing in her life.

When we used film, we knew every click of the shutter meant we were spending about $1. With digital, there’s no cost. It makes you a more liberal shooter – getting many more saleable images. When we decided to convert to digital, we decided to run parallel for the first year. After the first month, we had several issues with film (lost in mail, ruined by lab, etc) and converted 100 percent over to digital, and have never looked back. 

Because of technology, digital is here to stay. To run your business, you need to have a website and blog, and know about online marketing. And to continue competing with professionals you must learn the ins and outs of digital photography.

Agree … or disagree? I’d love to have your comments.

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  1. the statement ‘the types of film that were once available are now quickly disappearing. Why? Because you can do so much more with digital. And it’s the way of the future.’ is 100% INCORRECT. Film has been disappearing because the billion dollar digital beast has done such an amazing job at marketing digital as the only way to go that the millions of people entering the field (due to digital being less intimidating to an inexperienced person) buy digital instead of film because that’s what they SEE. They don’t know any better yet. I’ve chosen to make my own mind up rather than being a follower of the masses and the marketing. Hopefully others will question it as well. I don’t know that being a ‘liberal shooter’ is something to brag about. I think a good photographer knows how and when to click the shutter. My sales have gone up as has the quality of my work since I went back to film. Not to mention loving my craft again. After all, I became a photographer because I love beauty and art, not because I love technology.