It is really a matter of pride in the images I make. Handing a person a CD of images that are not processed is a disservice to both the client and me. They do not get the quality they deserve and for which they paid. They cannot get the images printed with the same quality as the professional labs that I use. Your local big box store or pharmacy cannot provide you the best images with proper color balance and they do not retouch the images. Do you really want that pimple on your forehead in the otherwise beautiful photo? I don't want it there either.
When I do a portrait shoot, I take a LOT of pictures. I want to make sure that I get the best looks, eyes open and in focus, with the most flattering light falling on your face. Then I cull through all those images and pick the cream of the crop to retouch, removing blemishes. balancing the color, making sure your blue/green eyes are exactly the natural color in your picture. I will also crop and add special effects (if it will enhance the image) to ensure that there are no background objects running "through" your head or body. All of that takes time using expensive processing software that I have studied for years so that I can use it to it's full potential. My goal is to have you look at your images and LOVE what you see. I want to see a huge smile on your face as we go through your photos because that let's me know I have done my job and made you feel good about yourself.
So, when you are deciding who you want to do your family portraits, senior pictures, engagement photos, or even shoot your wedding, please, do yourself a huge favor. Weigh the cost of using a professional that will take the time to make sure your memories are captured in a way that will be a part of your family's heritage for years. Yeah, it might be a few dollars more, but quality rarely comes with shortcuts or budget pricing. It most definitely won't come on a copyright released CD.