At first glance, the cost of a digital file may seem a bit pricey. You probably think you aren’t getting “anything”, just the digital file. The thing is though, they really aren’t expensive at all, once you realize what you’re getting.
The cost of prints don’t just include ink and paper, it covers all of the work and tools that went into creating it.
Prints and products such as greeting cards can be purchased pretty much anywhere - with the exception of wedding albums, which are only available to professional photographers. The one thing photographers do have that can’t be purchased elsewhere is the actual image.
Photographers have to consider that once a digital files leaves their hands, a client may not purchase prints. In other words, when purchasing a digital file, you are buying limitless reproductions rights forever. You are granted the ability to go to the lab of your choice and print out unlimited copies of a variety of sizes that image - for the rest of your life. In order to sustain a profitable business, photographers need to account for that.
Sure, there are photographers who offer sessions, including all digital files, for only $xx. It’s extremely difficult to make a living when giving it all away for rock-bottom prices, so it’s often safe to assume that it is not a legit tax-paying insured business and/or the quality isn’t top notch.
Still don’t completely understand the cost of digital files? Consider this analogy: a dozen eggs are cheaper to purchase than a live chicken : )