I think digital photography is great. It means that I can take ten photos a second of a kid running through a field without using six rolls of film. I can edit and sort and send and do all these fun things with photos that weren’t possible before. But there’s a reason why I believe it’s important to print family photos.
Bear with me for a moment.
It looks like the “Metaverse” might end up being a big thing. This is where people will strap on a VR headset and go shopping, hang out with friends, and decorate their virtual home. All without leaving their actual home.
Call me old fashioned, but this kind of makes me want to move my family to a remote part of Manitoba where we can farm and hunt for subsistence while the rest of the society collapses.
A more measured response, however, is that I’ve shifted my business in the opposite direction. I’m moving away from digital files and toward artwork that you can hold in your actual biological hands.
This decision was based less on a vision of a Zuckerbergian robo-zombie apocalypse and more on the fact that it is a better way to serve families. When I checked in with clients a year or two after their sessions, the story was usually that they had meant to do something with their images but life got in the way. So, a holiday card and/or Facebook post was as far as they got. Or grandma’s skin is green because they got prints at CVS.
As parents, it can be hard to find time to eat a meal while sitting down, let alone find a high quality print lab, then select which photos to print, create a design, then order, receive, inspect, and hang them up. And so creating a gallery wall or designing an album became yet another thing on their to-do list that never got done. And we all know that un-crossed-off list things are a total drag.
By sending them a link to a gallery and saying “good luck figuring out what to do with these,” I was short-changing people.
My service model is focused on creating artwork that you can enjoy and treasure here, in what we understand to be the physical universe. I learn what your style and preferences for printed creations are. Then I photograph your session with the final product in mind. I use AR software to show you exactly what different sized pieces would look like on your walls, then pre-design an album and a wall gallery, and help you choose the perfect images to print. When your order arrives, I inspect each piece to make sure it’s perfect. Delivery is included, and any wall art is professionally installed at no extra cost.
Computers and smart phones are incredible things that have created dramatic improvements in our quality of life. But they also capture our attention in a way that disconnects us from the present moment. A device that’s specifically designed to keep you distracted and wanting shouldn’t be the only place to enjoy your photos.
So why print family photos? The love within a family is arguably the most important thing there is. Your family photos encapsulate and symbolize that love. And they can serve as a powerful reminder of that love’s importance. However, the meaning gets diluted if they’re relegated to a screen.
If you’re someone who has felt a sort of emptiness and dissatisfaction with all your favorite memories confined to a world made of pixels, I might be the right photographer for you. I can turn that lonely, naked wall into a vibrant gallery featuring your favorite faces. Or create an heirloom album or memory box full of images that make your heart sing. And best of all, you just need to want it, tell me, then I take care of the rest.