Its no secret that a lot of photographers don't like giving out digital images, in fact a lot of them will only sell digital images because that is where the demand is. I know a few Auckland Photographers, and even national/international Photographers who would prefer to sell prints, albums and canvases, why?
Its not because they are trying to squeeze more money out of you, there are a few reasons. Digital images are "unfinished", you can compare them to the old school film negatives. 20 years ago you wouldn't have appreciated your photographer handing you the negatives and saying "There you go, they are finished!", you most likely would have got an album, prints or both. Its for this reason a lot of photographers will call them Digital Negatives. I can guarantee everyone still has all of those albums and prints to this day, they may not be in fashion now, and you may not look over them as often, you may even laugh at the clothes you wear and think "what was I thinking with THAT?!?!" but you still pull them out on occasions and memories come flooding back, right?
Anything digital eventually gets lost. Your computer may fail you, you may lose that USB stick with your wedding photos on, most people don't back up their files and some photographers won't keep your digital negatives forever. So whats your backup? Having prints and albums is a great way to ensure your memories aren't lost. They also make a good talking point when people visit your home, I know of numerous people with stunning prints on their walls, or their treasured family albums and they tell me they have so many comments from people. If your house isn't big enough for prints then albums are perfect. People love to look through albums, children love to look through albums, its a no brainer that they are more of a social talking point, and staring at screens to sort through images is bad for your eyes.
But you can always print your images at a kiosk. Of course you can! But why would you want to invest in a beautiful photoshoot with your family, your wedding, or your babys first images and print them out only to get sub-par results? Kiosks and the like often have autocorrect features which put filters on your images and can sometimes leave a lot to be desired. Even if you do get lucky and your print looks nice; they can not be guaranteed to last, or will often fade over time. A professional photographer will have a print lab that the colours match their screen so you get beautiful images and colours are often more rich and vibrant than a standard kiosk, they are printed on high quality paper that will last for years and years to come. The albums are not your standard photobooks where software has randomly placed your images in any old order, most albums are hand crafted, first by the photographers album design, carefully selecting images for each page, and then often printed on flushmount pages with stunning covers. Even the photobooks are printed on high quality pages and have carefully tailored covers. Its also nice to physically have something in your hands at the end of your experience with your photographer.
If I could choose I would only offer prints and albums, but we live in a digital world, and people want digital images to keep. This is why I like to offer my clients low-resolution images with package deals. Most people will only put their images on Facebook, or email a few to your friends and family, people generally only ever look through once or twice, you may have the odd look every so often, but then what happens? They get lost in cyber space. There is no need to have high-resolution images if this is what your intended use is. Properly sized low-resolution images take up less space on your hard drive, they look nicer on your Social Media page because they have been sized accordingly, and usually much cheaper to purchase from your photographer, that way you can get digital files and beautiful prints or albums to enjoy as well!