Some people still shoot film, so these scenarios might still exist. We have made the transition to digital so for us, it is the history.
Back in the days of film, the processing for your wedding images was done completely different. During the wedding (this happened at ours), the photographer would shoot completely on film, and processing was done the following week. Proof images were produced based on the film size of every shot taken at the wedding. Now, truth be told, not nearly as many images were taken, and ultimately delivered to the wedding couple, as is done now.
After the album was completed (which is no where as elegant as they are now) and the images were selected to be part of the album (the images would slide into a little pocket on each page). The remaining “proofs” could be purchased from the photographer for some nominal amount of money. Due to the extreme care required for the actual negatives, they were never provided to the end customer, only the proofs. Generally speaking, who ever had possession of the negatives, held the copyright (although legally inaccurate, it is tough to dispute ownership when you have the actual negative).
In today’s digital world, the RAW image file (or JPEG if you don’t shoot RAW) is the equivalent of the negative and the Digital Negatives are the equivalent of the proofs(although unlike a printed proof, you can print these in larger sizes). While some of our packages do offer the digital proofs, it is important to understand a couple of important details:
1) Our digital negatives are exactly what came out of the camera (just like the old days of the negatives). We have been shooting weddings long enough that our color and exposure is fine and the post processing we apply is minimal, if anything.
2) The digital negatives are sized to 1200 x 1800 pixels at 300DPI which is perfectly suitable for printing an 8X12 or smaller. Any images that we print larger than that will need special attention (based on the requested output size) and cannot be guaranteed to be adequate from a digital negative. In other words, we obsess over the details when printing larger than that, so come to us for those prints. After all, those are generally the prints which are artwork and we specialize in creating and printing your artwork.
3) If you are wanting to print an 8X10 for your grandparents, or put them on one of those nifty digital picture frames, the digital negatives are perfect for that application. If you want to upload them to facebook or send them via twitter, they might even be too large (but both facebook and twitter will resize them for you). But regardless, a perfect use for your digital negatives.
Most people have a sense of security by having their images, and we understand that. However, asking most couples after their wedding is over, what they did with their images, you will find that most, of not all of them have them on a bookshelf and don’t look at the disc. That is why we focus on creating the art and producing it so you can go home and hang it on your wall, or display it on your coffee table and not have a disc of images that is not possible to enjoy daily.