Do professional photographers sell their full picture files?

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Justen Hansen
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Do professional photographers sell their full picture files?
4 months ago

I bet this has been hashed out elsewhere, but I can't find it, so please help me understand here.

My family hired a professional photographer to capture us (something we only do about every five years). The main criteria we wanted was a photographer that would sell us the digital files. (I like to do my own photoshopping.)

This guy said he would if we bought so many of his prints. He only charged a $40 sitting fee so I was happy to do that. We happily paid $500 for 6 8x10s and 15-20 smaller prints and he gave us the disk. (not including the $40)

Well it was obvious upon first loading a picture that it was not reproducible. He reduced all the photos down to 2 megapixles. The file sizes range from 800KBs to 1900KBs. He used a Nikon D700 so I know they have to look a lot better than they do.

I've emailed him and called him asking what I can do to get the full files, but he will not respond.

So my question is:

when a professional sells his or her photos on a disk (if you do) do you reduce the files? This seems incredibly misleading to me. Do you at least tell your subjects exactly what comes on the disk before hand?

I am so invested in these pictures. Getting five families from three different states all in one studio and hours and hours of shopping so that each family has a color but we all cross-matched the styles (yah I know, super cliche but whatever.) Plus we haven't had family pictures in 6 years due to how hard it is to get us all together and the extreme costs.

I know that this is probably a sore topic for many professional artists in this new digital do-it-your-self age. But I want your candid honest opinions.

Thank you so much for your help!

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Nikon D700
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