Digital is far from dead; in fact it continues to grow by leaps and bounds almost daily. It was not too long ago Sara and I were capturing weddings and portraits on 6 megapixel cameras we were floored by how well they looked. Here we sit today staring at our iPhones that hail an amazing 12 megapixel and our wedding gear gives us 24 megapixels. Now before anyone gets offended, a megapixel does not make the photo, to quote Edward Steichen, “A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” This is one of my favorite photography quotes because it takes the equipment out of the picture….pun totally intended.
As the digital age soars and we continue to use this medium to preserve our precious moments we are losing out BIG TIME! I started in photography at an early age and I always loved to look at photos no matter where I was, whether it be a National Geographic magazine…(photographer porn), or photos on the wall. Some of my fondest memories of a child were looking through my parents volumes of photo books. Some of you more experienced (old) readers may remember the books I am talking about, the real cheesy covers with that peel and stick cover film.
Old School Album from http://allnorahsart.blogspot.com/2006/05/remember-old-peel-and-stick-albums.html
Don’t you remember going to friends’ houses as a kid and rifling through their family albums and looking at all the awkward photos from the past? Does everyone remember the “Wall of Uglies” you know those through the years photos….Like this one I found on Pintrest. Sara has one of these, and I will just end by saying my wife turned out beautiful as did this young lady!
Infamous "Wall of Uglies" source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/392376186258286662/
This is how I first remember getting to know my parents and extended family through these photos that spanned decades of time before I was even a thought.
I would never have got to meet my grandfathers if it were not for these photos since both have passed before I was born. Sifting through these photos with my mom and dad it was like I was there with both my grandpa’s. This is how I was introduced to my father’s sister who also passed before I was born, her name was Francis and I still remember the photo of her that sat atop my dad’s dresser. It was her in a sun dress with that classic 50/60’s style hair whip, with her hands on her hips looking very sassy. The photo was in an oval brass frame with a sturdy brass base.
I never met my aunt Francis, but through this photo I felt like I knew her and knew who she was. I imagine if my dad never printed that photo I would not know her, or know her story.
We all heard the adage a picture is worth a thousand words, as a photographer, I think this quote is off by a few thousand to a few hundred thousand. One photo can tell a whole story it can breathe life for someone who has left this earth and introduce you to someone you never had the opportunity to meet.
My parents STILL do this!! Sara sends my mom and dad 50-60 photos a week of our princess, and they STILL print them out and place them in photo books. They are not on any form of social media, so this is how they preserve those memories. They are so damn proud of those books though, anyone that walks into that house gets exposed to volume after volume of Sophia…..totally worth it, but I am a little biased!
About 90% of our photography is weddings and to me there is no more important day in the beginning of a couple’s life than their wedding day. There are so many moments and memories made on the wedding day that this can tell generations, upon generations of stories. From the great grandparents, to the newborn babies present at wedding these photos of multiple generations are PRICELESS and tell such an impactful story. Sara and I recently explored WHY we photograph weddings and here is what we discussed with each other:
We photograph weddings because we want to tell the love story of our clients. We want to document the precious moments that happen in fractions of a second for future generations to experience what it was like to be there, to get introduced to people they may never of had the opportunity to meet, and to learn about their families legacy.
This is what is so important about what we do and why we are dedicated to providing each of our wedding clients with a custom designed handmade Italian leather wedding album. We have switched the focus of our business to be print focused to deliver a finished product to our client to enjoy for the rest of their lives.
We deserve more for our memories and they do not belong on a DVD or Flash-Drive shoved in some drawer somewhere. We need to PRINT our legacy and display it for everyone to get to know who we are, and visually read our 1000+ words. We need to walk away from the flash in the pan posting photos on Facebook or other social media sites only to be forgotten a week later. Photos should not be about how many likes they get, but about what story they tell for you and your family at that moment at that spot in your life’s timeline.
Where you are having a wedding photo, newborn photo or high school senior photo taken, they should be printed and displayed, not buried on a phone; you deserve more than that! Tell your story through photos, display your legacy in an archival album.
Don’t get me wrong, we still want people to post their photos on social media, but the key photos and moment from your life’s story deserve to be printed and displayed either as wall art or in an album.
I urge you to talk with your photographers and change your mindset around digital images. I won’t go through the dangers of keeping digital files because as a photographer with hundreds of thousands of digital files on multiple hard-drives this is something that keeps me awake at night, but if you want to do more research on the subject here are a few sources:
So PRINT YOUR MOST PRECIOUS PHOTOS!!