I Purchased Digital Image Files From My Photographer, Now What Do I Do With Them?

Jennifer Najvar Photography portrait reveal

We want to help you enjoy your photos in real life

Most new or expecting mothers that come in for a Maternity or Newborn session will leave their reveal session with a custom portrait collection including: (1) a beautiful fine art piece from our boutique product line and (2) a digital folio. As a portrait studio, we believe that helping clients move their photographs from their devices into real life — into something tangible — is the most important service we can provide. So in addition to the digital files, through the ordering process, we love to help families create a custom portrait collection so that everyone leaves the studio with something physical and archival that will become part of a cherished collection of portraits in their family and passed along to future generations.

As for the digital folio, here’s what you need to know to manage and protect your investment:

Use the ‘Download’ button to save your files:

Your files will be delivered via Dropbox. DO NOT right click on the image in Dropbox to save the files to your computer. Instead, use the ‘download’ button. Unless you download the original files, you will not get the full size versions that you purchased, which means when you try to print, you may not be able to do so.

Back up your images, back up the back-ups, and then back them up one more time:

  • Save your image files on multiple computers.
  • Back up the files to an external hard drive.
  • Back up the back-ups to an online storage location like Dropbox.
  • Print 8×10 copies, and store them in a safe, cool, dry place. You can always make a new digital negative from a good quality print, but you cannot make a print from a corrupt digital file.

Take note of the file size:

When clients purchase a high resolution folio, two versions of every image are provided; high resolution files and web optimized files. What does this mean?

High Resolution Files

High resolution images are very large, sometimes enormous images. They’re difficult to deal with in some cases simply because they’re giant. They take up a lot more space, which is why you don’t want them on your phone. If you’ve ever opened up an image in an email from someone and waited forever for the entire image to load up, only to be looking at a super zoomed in version of the photo, it’s because you were emailed a giant image. There’s no reason to burden someone with such a file if they’re not going to need to print it, which is almost always the case. These large print files will produce the highest print quality and should be used for all your printing needs. Use these every single time you:

  • order any print of any size
  • print Christmas cards, holiday cards, birth announcements, etc.
  • order albums or canvas prints
  • purchase any other product with a print on it
  • provide the image to anyone else who may eventually want to print it

Web Files

Web optimized image files are much smaller versions of the images. These are optimized for web use. These images should not be printed. If you try to print these, the quality will be very low, producing blurry and pixelated prints. I like to provide these because having them makes it much easier for my clients to do the thing they all want to do more than anything else – share them online with family and friends. Web files are ideal for:

  • sending via email
  • texting
  • posting on social media
  • viewing and saving on your phone

Purchasing digital image files is a significant investment, so it’s important for me to help my clients understand how to keep those files safe and use them properly to get the best possible results when printing or sharing. I’m always happy to provide guidance to make sure that your images are reproduced properly. 


Jennifer Najvar is a Newborn and Maternity photographer in Austin, Texas.  Newborn Sessions are scheduled during the first 14 days after your baby’s arrival. The best time to reserve your Newborn photography session is during your pregnancy before you reach 30 weeks.



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