This saves at least $50 per shot in materials and processing alone. And digital shooting saves time since you don’t have to bracket shots for lighting.
Digital also is more environmentally sound. It doesn’t involve processing chemicals and plastic films.
Digital is good for stills, including small and highly detailed items such as jewelry. However, human models are better photographed with film.
Film may provide the flexibility needed if you’re passing along photographic prints to the media or other users of your shots. Check before you shoot to determine if those to whom you traditionally sent prints or transparencies can use digital shots instead.
As noted, there are some challenges to using digital photography. During the shoot, digital shots may not look as good as film, because the shots already are broken down into their pixels. So it may be a bit disconcerting during the actual shoot.
When using digital photography, ensure that the studio has a recently installed computer setup with substantial backup systems. You certainly don’t want to lose an entire catalog worth of photos to a faulty computer drive.
Digital photography can be a great boon to your catalog, as long as the photographer is an experienced professional. Keep in mind that many digital photographers haven’t had the training that a more traditional film photographer has had.
Always ask to see final printed samples of the photographer’s digital shots. Are they gray and lifeless, or do they sparkle like a film shot? Going digital doesn’t mean you must compromise on quality.
Carol Worthington Levy is creative director for MarketingBank, and has been providing catalog and direct marketing creative strategy, direction, copy and design for more than 20 years. She can be reached via e-mail at Carol@marketing-bank.com.