Today, I would like to talk briefly about your memories, and what they are worth. I want to talk about the quality of your items instead of the quantity. These days, the consumer market is driven by price, and the need for companies to make prices lower has spawned an entire market of inferior quality goods. This isn't to say that ALL goods that are priced lower are of inferior quality, but it does mean there is now more need than ever to be careful when deciding what you spend your money on. The desire to have our cake and eat it too has opened up a world of possibilities, and as it relates to photography, it means you have plenty of choices now. You aren't restricted in where you go for portraits now. I remember as a child, THE option was a portrait at an Olan Mills studio. I am sure many of you had this same experience as a child. Also, now you aren't restricted to where you have your photographs printed. We live in a wonderful world where you can snap a shot with your mobile phone, and have it printed within an hour at the local Pharmacy.
I know this is getting long, so I would like to cut to the chase. Why would anyone go through the trouble of commissioning a professional artist to create photographic art for your family just to have your images printed at the Pharmacy? It may seem like "saving money" in the short term, but what was the initial goal behind the portrait session? I am sure nobody plans on going through the entire experience "just because"... There was/is a reason. Be truthful to yourself. You wanted to go to a professional to help you capture memories. You like their vision, and trust their artistic style to help portray you and your loved ones just the way they are at this exact moment in time. When you go outside of your professional to have prints made, there are any number of things that can and often do happen, the most impactful is having a print that is not true to what your commissioned artist envisioned.
I could talk all day about this, and spend hundreds of dollars printing inferior products to show you the difference in quality between a professional print and an economy print. Thankfully, I don't have to because there are many pioneers that came before me to try and enlighten the masses. To see the differences, take a quick peek at any/all of these blogposts.
I am sure you can see from those photos what happens, and it is not at all flattering. Detail and color are sacrificed as is a lot of your photographer's hard work (you know, the hard work you paid them for when they were enhancing your images to begin with).
At first glance you might think that they are the same, but.... would you rather have a quart of fool's gold, or an ounce of pure?