“A photograph doesn’t feel real until it is a tangible physical object I can hold in my hand.” – Stephen Johnson
When you think about memories to share with your children and family. Do you think about tangible photos? A photo album? Or do you think about going through your phone?
Just imagine, your sweet child at the age of 9 or 10 comes to you asking: "Mom, how did I look when I was little? How did you look when you were little?" Of course, immediately you say: "Oh, I can show you that! Let me scroll through the 500,00, photos I have on my phone. You see, I've been taking thousand of photos since you were born"
Once you find the photos, (and this is in the lucky event that in 10 years your phone, computer or USB survived all those years) you hand your child a phone or you let them stare at a screen to see them. To me, this doesn't sound at all like a real heirloom, a piece of memory that brings you back to the moment it happened and makes you smile. You can't hang your phone on the wall!
Photos are meant to be printed, They are meant to be tangible and they are meant to be shown or maybe kept somewhere to come back later to look again. Do you remember how fun it was to open an album with tons of old photos of your parents and maybe with you as a child? Ahhhhh great memories.... I bet you are smiling just thinking about it.
Can you picture in the future, schools just giving their students a website address for you to check your yearbook from high school? Can anybody guarantee that website, that memory or that social media platform will be there forever? I don't think so.
I am one of those moms that received my digital negatives for my twins' newborn photos and just waited to print... well 4 years later, being a photographer now, I am ashamed to say I didn't print my babies' photos!!! I messaged my photographer to see if she still had them! I totally regret not having anything to hang on my wall to show off. Sorry Maricela! I know...I know... shame on me!
Kids feel this sense of belonging when they see their photos, printed photos! I am sure I can tell that probably 30% of my past clients, that chose to receive only digital negatives, have actually printed a handful of photos. Ask yourself: why do I really want digital photos? Do I really need 60-100 digital negatives from my session? "The more files I get, the more bang for my buck I am getting, so it's a better deal!"; or maybe you just want to share on social media? No problem, I can provide you with watermaked web sized digital photos to show off on the web!
Digital negatives are not tangible and it's hard to add value to something you can't physically see or touch. It's so easy to transfer them, they are instantly there... how can they be expensive? Well let me tell you, they are! Photographers spend long hours editing these photos for you and giving you the permission to print them as many times as you want and any size you want should be priced accordingly.
Creating a unique piece of art with archival quality for my client's is what I love to do. I feel proud that my clients chose me for this very important task! But the important thing here is that regardless of the product you choose for your photos, a Heirloom Artbook, a Rustic Framed Print, a Heirloom Wood Print or a single print, you will have that little piece of memory to cherish forever in a real photograph. Always choose to print your photos!