How many times have you looked through your family’s old photo Albums? How much do you enjoy looking at yourself as a child and even going back as far as seeing your parents and grandparents in black and white. It’s really amazing. And beautiful. I love to see the resemblance between family members and my own children now, I love seeing the old cars that transported us as babies and houses the way they used to be before the trees grew tall.
But what about family photos today? What if you decide not to print photos? What if you decide it's too much hassel and opt for the Digital files instead? How many images do you really think you’ll print this year?
In 40 years, how many pictures do you think your children will have to look at? How many pictures will they have even seen that tells a story of their childhood?
Today, a lot of people think just getting the disc of images is "good enough." Here's the problem with that thinking: it's not true. Not by a long shot.
Don't get me wrong, I think that getting digital files when you hire a professional portrait sitting is great. Today's clients probably get up to 40 images from their session, WAY more images than our parents did if they hired a professional photographer. They probably could only afford to buy a couple.
However, even with that option, it won't mean that today's clients will necessarily be better off. My fear is that today, people will actually end up with LESS than what our parent's got in 1970’s.
Think about it, will the computers of 2055 even have DVD drives? USB ports? Will they even have hard drives at all? If the past is any indication, the answer is no. You know what the big technological advancement was when my parents got married? Eight-track players. What if their images were stored on the equivalent of that? How in the world would I see those images today?
But you know what never becomes obsolete? What never goes out of style? Photographs. And not just any photographs. Not photos printed at Kmart. Professional photographs, printed by a professional lab. Those are the photos you find in an attic. It could be a 100-year-old photo, but it still looks good. Because back then, the paper photographs were printed on was high quality and developing them was an art form. There were no machines that spit out pictures onto cheap paper with inexpensive ink. I actually have to stop myself from intervening when I see people at those automated machines at Kmart. Whatever they're charging, it's too much. Because those prints aren't worth the paper they're printed on. They will fade. They will curl. They will not stand the test of time.
Your memories are worth more than that. And your family portraits? They are worth TONS more than that. You cared enough about these moments in time to hire a professional to photograph them. Follow that through by having a professional print them. Have that professional print the pictures you put into frames and that you will cherish for decades.
Don't just do it for you. Do it for your children. Do it for your grandchildren. Because when they root around in your attic in 2075, they will have no idea what do with a USB key anymore than they would with a laser disc player.