In this high-tech, digital world we live in, we have the ability to capture every bit of this crazy, silly, fun, mundane and precious life. Not a moment escapes without someone pulling out their iPhone or camera. It’s convenient and easy, and I L-O-V-E it! I have no shame. I recently attended the high school’s theater production, and I took 100 pictures with my phone. Literally! I am THAT mom! Can anyone relate?
But are you guilty of letting those photographs die with the phone or live out its numbered days on a hard drive that will crash or be replaced within a few short years? Do you enjoy looking at the photographs you cherish days, months and years after you’ve taken them? Do you reminisce with friends and family at gatherings, enjoying a belly laugh at those ridiculous moments caught by the camera? I hope you do!
In the days when film was the only option, it wasn’t a thought to not get your film printed. That was what you did. Now, people seem to think that it is strange to have a photograph printed. As a photographer, one would expect that I would take this viewpoint. But honestly, I have always felt this way.
I have always had photo albums. In fact, in high school, I carried my photo albums around with me in my car. My best friend and I had a fire escape plan should my car catch on fire so that the albums wouldn’t be left behind to burn. I’m not sure why we thought my car might catch fire, but the photo albums meant so much that we didn’t want to be caught unprepared!
Then scrapbooking came along and I was all about that! I started scrapbooking when my daughter was a baby. We still have them and she still looks through them. She appreciates being able to sit and flip through some of those pages. It brings to memory some of the fun things we did together and opens up dialogue about life: hers, mine, ours.
More and more in my business, prospective clients ask me to sell them just the digital files. That is all they think they want or need. They intend to post them on Facebook or Instagram and that is enough. But I believe in the beauty of a printed portrait, which is why I provide the digitals at no cost to my clients with their print orders. I believe in the irreplaceable value it holds. It represents a moment in a person’s life. It captures their physical traits, but more often it captures the connection between people. A photograph evokes the emotion of that moment. Printed photographs, whether stuffed in a drawer or organized in an album or hung on a wall or taped to a desk monitor, remind us of the things we hold dear.
For every news report I have watched about someone who has endured the tragedy of fire, hurricanes and tornadoes, they all reflect on how they wish they had their pictures.
Small children have fun looking at mommy and daddy when they got married. It is the beginning of their life’s story. Adult children are thankful for those same photographs when their elders pass. These photographs get pulled out at birthday parties and anniversary parties and bring extended family together in circles of laughter and tears.
If you are guilty of taking pictures and letting them die a slow death in the digital realm, I hope that you begin to have a new appreciation for the printed portrait and take the effort to upload some to a printing service like Mpix.com and have them printed.
The pictures below are of father and son. One living in Florida; the other living in Tennessee. On a recent one day visit, they spent the entire day building… and I spent the whole day shooting with my film camera and testing out some new film. I know these moments together, particularly being able to work on a project together, are precious to them and don’t come along very often. I had as much fun taking pictures as they did having fun together.
Shot with Nikon N65 | 70-300mm | Kodak BW 400CN and Portra 400