Your archive is an expense. You are paying money to maintain it, no matter which method you’ve chosen. But is your archive expensive?
Buying hard drives, CD/DVD media, file servers, and software to keep track of your images is considered a legitimate cost-of-doing-business. We don’t think twice about buying a new external hard drive when you run out of space. After all, what else can you do? You need to store your images, right?
In the past few months, I’ve talked to a lot of people about PhotoShelter. One comment I hear from time-to-time is, “PhotoShelter sure is cool, but it just doesn’t make financial sense.” “Hard drives are cheaper.” It is “expensive.”
Think about this for a moment. Is something truly “expensive” if it pays for itself?
If you paid $7,000 for a 600mm f/4 lens, and then, because you have this lens, you make $14,000 in additional revenue through the use of it, is the lens “expensive?”
Would you even purchase a 600mm f/4 lens in the first place if you didn’t think you were going to make additional money with it? Of course not. You wouldn’t purchase this item unless it made good business sense.
If you spent $300 on a 24mm f/2.8 lens, and then you take the lens and put it into your closet and forget about it, and never make any additional money through the use of this lens, is the lens “expensive?”
Obviously, a purchase like that doesn’t make good business sense.
So why allow your archive to exist without the possibility of it paying for itself? This does not make good business sense. You’re already paying money for your archive. Most likely, you’ve got a stack of hard drives attached to your computer, and a closet/drawer full of DVDs. And, most likely, you paid good money for that stuff.
But, unlike PhotoShelter, that stuff isn’t capable of paying for itself.
Which makes a better business decision? Paying for hard drives and CD/DVD media, and putting that stuff in your closet, or paying for a PhotoShelter subscription, and allowing your archive to make money just for existing?
Don’t believe me? It costs $5.99/month to get started with 10GB of space. Why not start small? Put your best 10GB-worth of images into PhotoShelter and see if your archive can generate more than $5.99. If you can generate $6 in additional revenue per month through PhotoShelter, is it “expensive?”