In 2005 I made the momentous decision to go Digital, that changed my business model overnight . All of a sudden I had to employ someone full time to retouch my photos instead of sending them to the lab, some people suggested I could charge less because now I was paying per print for hand printing, well that wasn't even a possibility because now I had to pay another wage and buy more computers and then work out a new storage system and not long after buy a server and pay a $800 monthly fee to my IT guy .
When we first started backing up to the server, we also did it manually so we had a second back up system ( you know just in case ) We saved everything to CDs to then realised that they weren't big enough for each shoot and so moved to DVDs. We saved and back up for a few years and then discovered that technology was telling us that actually, they might only last 3 years so really you should back it all up again. The change in saving everything would become a headache with every improvement in technology, and I felt I and to reinvent the wheel every year.
As time went on and technology improved I upgraded my camera equipment approx every two - three years, which inevitably meant upgrading all my computers to be able to work with the bigger files in the new camera's. the quality of what we were producing was beautiful and sharp, stunning and of course by now we were able to offer a range of photographic finishes, which included canvas , a new product called brushed aluminium and art mounts ( which we would discontinued when we discovered years later that some edges may not stay glued down forever)
I would spend enormous amounts of time researching and testing suppliers ensuring we would only provide the best to our customers. I want this on your walls forever.
I loved all the new products , like Wall metallics which is a photo printed onto metallic paper and then mounted between two sheets of acrylic , a real WOW finish.
In this wonderful digital world nothing actually lasts forever, I was accustomed to saying that my black and white prints would last 100 years, it was a challenge to say that the Metal would only last 30 years. Now in the scheme of things 30 years is fabulous and we should be very proud of that. Its just that traditional hand black and white printing did last 100 years and the quality was outstanding , this was the very reason it took me so long to change my business from film to digital because I wasn't convinced of the digital quality. I was slow to change then, however, it was the right decision for me going digital meant no more black and white traditional paper. All digital printing is on colour paper and if not done perfectly may have a magenta or green hue to it, again this is why my quality control in my printing and finishes has always been so strict.
I wasn't prepared to change unless the quality met with my standards!