Me with my muse, Bailey!

About Allison Shamrell Photography:

Thanks for visiting my blog! My name is Allison, and I work in San Diego, CA, capturing the personalities of dogs and cats of all sizes & temperaments. I do photo sessions on location and in-studio, wherever my clients prefer! My photography style is natural, playful & soulful.

Here on my blog, I tell the stories of recent sessions and events. You might even find an insight or two into the behind-the-scenes side of my business! I hope you have fun looking around!

If you would like to receive a quick little email to let you know when I publish a new post, see the button at the bottom left of this page! Thanks! :)

619-357-6624  ~  ~  3251 Adams Avenue, Suite C, San Diego, CA 92116

Officially Voted the Best Pet Photographer in San Diego, 2014-2017, by the San Diego A-List.

Why I Sell Digital Photos.

floppy disc digital photos importance of physical prints

Let me begin this post (which I’ve been thinking about for a very long time) by illustrating a very popular point of view among photographers. Remember these? Floppy discs? I barely can; I think I last used them in the second grade. Didn’t they only hold about 2 MB of data? They were one of the very first forms of portable digital storage, and my point in bringing them up is to show just how quickly they’ve gone the way of the dinosaur. If I handed you one and said your images were on it, you’d probably laugh. Would you even be able to look at the photos?Among all the sophisticated computer equipment I own, I’d be at a dead end! I honestly think I’d be calling various imaging businesses around town, going through Google (not the phone book) page by page until I could find someone who has a floppy disc reader. And in ten years from now, I don’t think I’d have any success.

My point is, digital photos are risky business. Storage methods come and go, electronic devices crash and take data with them, and a rouge spill of water can destroy everything. It’s scary – and sad. In our digital age we rely on digital photos for so much, often without realizing that they’re so fragile.


What solves this problem? Physical photos, of course! I think prints and canvases (and my new Enhanced Print line, more to come on that very soon) are truly beautiful, in a way with which digital images just can’t compete. There’s something so wonderful and powerful about seeing a stunning enlargement of a favorite photo, and hanging it on your wall to see every day. Personally, for me, a beautiful photo, surrounded by a thick white mat, and finished with a classy black frame with just the right amount of detailing – gosh, it just does something to me inside. It’s timeless. I can’t get enough of it! In my ideal/future house, prints like that will be lining the walls! (Well, with a few exceptions of canvas gallery wraps. They’re my husband’s favorite, and I think they’re pretty great too.)


Of course you can argue that physical products are subject to fire/flood/any natural disaster, but the point is, you can look through your grandparents’ wedding album just as easily as you could have 50 years ago – and as you can in another 100 years. I think printed products are necessary, they’re arguably more important than their digital counterparts, and I’m not the only photographer/image-maker out there that’s concerned about an all-digital mindset. Will people be able to view the DVD of your wedding images in 50 years? Laptops (like the MacBook Air) are already being made without disc drives, and they’re getting more and more popular. USBs certainly aren’t guaranteed to stick around forever. So that’s why I encourage my clients to think about prints, canvases and books, and not just be content with the digital images.


Now, that being said – I still love digital photos. I really do. The up-side to this digital revolution is that storage methods are getting safer, sharing photos is getting easier, and there are plenty of fun ways that are emerging to use digital images (did you know you can make your own personalized stamps??). We recently had our photos taken by a fabulous photographer, and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have been nearly as interested in the session if she hadn’t made all the digital photos available for purchase. In fact, the images were included in the session fee! I knew I’d be getting them all! I was thrilled, and once we saw how great the photos all were, I wouldn’t have wanted to think about not having all the digital copies. We just don’t have the wall space to hang up every one, so that wouldn’t have made sense – but in some way, it just feels very satisfying to know that I have access to every single one of those images of me and my husband. That’s important to me! This is my family, and I want access to every one of those pictures! It’s as simple as that.


To take that one step forward, since I have creative control over my business, I want to run it in a way that makes sense to me. Therefore, I make sure to offer digital images, and I offer them at a price that (quite honestly) is well below the industry standard. I’m not ashamed to admit that (anymore). The price doesn’t mean that I value the photos less than other photographers value their work; I think they have all the value in the world, and my clients consistently tell me so. That’s not the reason behind my prices: more than anything, the reasoning is that I want my digital images to be accessible, to be attainable. I don’t want to price a DVD the same as a mortgage payment, or more (as some photographers do); simply because I value so highly giving my clients access to those images. Maybe that’s why the DVD has always been my most popular product. But for the above reasons, I don’t want it to be anyone’s ONLY purchase. I think there ought to be a balance between the digital and the physical! I don’t think they should be in some sort of fictional competition of “which is better” between them, because they’re SO different, and really, when you think about it, they serve altogether different purposes. At the end of the day, I want screensavers and backgrounds and Facebook photos, but I also want to physically see and touch my photos 50 years from now. Because if I know anything, it’s that I know I’ll still love photography then. And I’ll still love looking at photos of my family – and, of course, my dog.


I’d like to end this post with one of the images our photographer created, because for most of you, there’s no other way for you to see it!  :)


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Allison Shamrell Pet Photography
Call: 619.357.6624 // Email: // Visit: 3251 Adams Avenue, Suite C, San Diego, CA 92116
San Diego's Best Pet Photographer, voted by the San Diego A-List 2014-2016
© Allison Shamrell Photography, 2016

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4 Responses to “Why I Sell Digital Photos.”

  1. Thanks Nicole – I appreciate it!

  2. […] a professional photographer, I’m happy to provide my clients with the digital images from their session. We live in a digital age, so I know the files will get plenty of mileage as screen savers and […]

  3. […] fact is, the DVDs I sell are probably my most popular product, but if they’re even just beginning the trip downhill […]

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