The "D" Word & Why I HATE it!

by Kris Phillips

You know what I’m talking about? No, not that D-word, the other one- “Digitals”. They come in a variety of forms and live in a variety of places. We exist in a digital era, if it’s not posted on Facebook or Instagram it probably didn’t happen. So it’s not surprising that at least once a week I chat with clients about “the digitals.”

I’m going to let you in on an industry secret. The world of photography is quickly being divided into two camps.

  1. The Boutique-style* photographers. These togs are all about service, service, service! They’ll help you with everything from picking an outfit to designing custom wall collections for your home. They are not just your photographer, but also your interior designer & personal shopper.
  2. The Shoot-n-Burn photographers who show up, take a bunch of pictures, hand you a USB at the end & wish you luck on figuring out what to do with your images. I’ve even heard of photographers just handing people the card out of their camera…unprocessed, un-culled, unedited.

* These terms have nothing to do with whether someone shoots indoors or out. It’s all about the level of service they offer.

Before you decide which photographer is right for you. Let’s talk about those digitals again. Let me ask you a couple quick questions.

  1. How many great photos do you have sprawled across various digital formats? (Your phone, your computer, USBs, cds, Facebook, Instagram)

Ok, now take a quick look around your home.

2. How many of those beautiful photos have you actually printed?

It’s ok, you don’t have to tell me. And by the way, you’re not alone!

And, I’ll bet at least once every few months you sit down with the intention of putting some of that great stuff on your bare walls. But then the decisions start rolling in…

  1. Where should you print your precious photos?
  2. Do you want prints to frame, canvases to hang….oh and what’s this about metal and acrylic?
  3. What size should it be? 20×30…that sounds crazy big
  4. How big is my wall?
  5. Should I do one big picture or a bunch of little ones like they show in the magazines?
  6. Do I want matte, pearl, metallic, or glossy? Why are there so many kinds of paper?
  7. And what’s all this about “image resolution’?!

Before you know it you’re staring at a computer screen with glazed eyes and decision paralysis, and you really don’t have time for this…you’ll do it next weekend!


It happens to the best of us! It’s also why I cringe when people tell me they “just want the digitals”.

This is the reason boutique photographers will curate a small collection of amazing products and meet with you personally to guide you to the perfect way to display your photos. They’ll explain the difference between canvas and acrylic. And help you decide what will fit in best with your style. They’ll even help you pick the right size for your wallspace. This sounds easy but can be trickier than expected.

Moment of truth: Yes, all that one-on-one attention will cost you more upfront. But at the end of the day…how much are you enjoying all those pictures sitting on a drive in your office drawer? If you’re going to pay for someone to take your pictures, shouldn’t you at least get to enjoy them?

*stock room used for privacy

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