We know from the number of professional wedding photographers we supply with printed and customised USB flash drives that there is a real move in the sector towards offering Wedding Portfolios on a USB flash drive.
Whilst we’re a long way from portfolios and shoots being supplied exclusively on flash drives it is interesting to see how quickly wedding photographers have grasped this particular storage medium. For many the printed flash drives are offered as an “optional extra”, something that sits alongside the traditional album and is a way of providing clients with photographs in a format that they can use to email to friends and family that couldn’t make the big day, to post onto their Facebook account or just to print off on their home printer.
A good quality, good looking USB flash drive that is provided in a smart gift box looks so much better than a CD or DVD and they enhance the image of the professional photographers offering them â CD’s and DVD’s are pretty “old hat” and don’t exactly convey a great image these days!
If you’re a professional wedding photographer and you’re considering using USB flash drives then choosing a supplier is arguably more important than choosing the style and type of flash drive you order. It’s a common misconception that a flash drives are all the same so if you’re buying a 4GB flash drive from one supplier it’ll be the same as 4GB flash drives from another supplier â this is not only wrong but it’s dangerous to think this because if you leave yourself open to buying flash drives that will damage your business and harm your relationship with your clients.
It’s a bit like buying a decent lens for your camera â outwardly two lens from two different manufacturers might look the same, have broadly the same specification but the results can be massively different.
Some suppliers of USB flash drives (we know because we often have to pick up the pieces) offer what they claim to be Grade A, Hynix or Samsung flash drives only to then supply flash drives that are assembled using recycled or Grade B flash memory chips, sometimes they’ll have cheap flash controllers and increasingly some will supply “masked” USB drives where rejected flash chip of say 600MB has been “masked” to look like a 1GB!
Unfortunately when you look at these flash drives they’ll look great, it’s only when you use the flash drives that you’ll notice how slow they are, how many failures you get and how data seems to magically “disappear” after its been loaded (this is common on masked flash drives). They also have a nasty habit of failing after just a couple of months.
Suppliers get away with sending out these flash drives because they know in lots of cases they’ll be given away at trade shows and publicity events and people won’t care if a few fail (ironically it can be a very high percentage that fail but because they’re given away free no real data is collected).
But, when you’re dealing with the memories of peoples wedding and an event, that for many, will be the most important day in their life you need to take care that you’re buying good quality, high speed flash drives that are not going to fail. The best way to do this is to work with a company that has a proven track record of delivery that understands the demands of the wedding photography business and values their reputation as much as you value yours.
Don’t buy on price and price alone unless you have no interest in the underlying quality of what you’re buying and please don’t buy from “Chinese suppliers” operating on sites like Alibaba.