ANSWER: NO! The idea that digital photography on the professional level is cheaper than conventional film and paper is a total myth. According to all of the stats published, doing a professional shoot digitally costs as much as one-third more than traditional methods. But, digital photography does have it’s advantages over film. The photographer is able to catch mistakes on the spot and make corrections early in the shoot by simply checking the camera screen,which makes adjustments and retouching post shoot easier. Also, the ability to create color and black and white images from the same shot cuts down on having to take multiple shots with color and b/w film.
Reasons for Increased Cost:
(1) FASTER TURNAROUND EXPECTATIONS:
Because clients know how quickly digital turnarounds can happen, they often expect the photographer to process and deliver much faster than with film. The marketplace has upped the ante on deadlines as well. So these added pressures also push up the costs.
(2) CONSTANTLY CHANGING HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE:
Today, digital equipment–cameras, computers, hardware, and software– is often obsolete in a few months, and rarely makes it to two or three years. Professional photographers and studios are constantly upgrading equipment and software programs which is an ongoing cost to stay competitive.
(3) THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S TIME:
When a photographer shoots digitally, the post-production work required after the shoot–including downloading, naming files, color corrections, various batch actions, backing up on external hard drives, burning CDs or DVDs, etc.– is infinitely more time consuming for the photographer, and sometimes most often takes longer than the shoot itself. Before all these resources were available, simple lab drop and pickup that was billed to the client. Today, it is the photographer or studio who is working at the computer perfecting and presenting your images, which is reflected in your bill.
In closing, the digital revolution is a wonderful thing and can be a real benefit to the professional and client. It is very important to realize that things are not always as they seem and that your professional photographer is doing lots of work behind the scene to make your portraits beautiful for you.