A Family Portrait

I would like to talk a little bit about wanting “just the digitals“. Besides the fact that a digital file is a photographers actual negative and when did that become common place to give away? What does “just the digitals” mean? When you come and want professional portraits and want “just the digitals“, what are you planning to do? I am assuming you want to go and make prints, right? How many times does that actually happen? Chances are your images are gathering dust on a CD, a USB or on your hard drive (how many of you actually back up your pictures?). Sure they may make their rounds on Facebook, but then what? A couple of you out there will make a print, but where will you go to do that? Do you know where to go to get custom prints?  Why go to the expense and time to hire a professional photographer, get “just the digitals” and then go to Walmart for a print? Wouldn’t you want that photographer you hired to give you a custom product from start to finish? Something that was ready for your wall or album?

This is the day and age of digital everything. The time for having an image framed and on your wall is a distant memory. Having tangible photo albums, framed family portraits are a thing of the past. Remember that beautiful picture of great grandma you found the other day? That print that you can hold, touch and feel? That tangible product that told a story? That is a feeling you will never get from a digital file.

I will tell you a quick personal story. I have a 2 year old son that I take a million pictures of. I beg people to take pictures of me with him so he will know what I looked like at different stages of his life. When you are behind the camera all the time, you forget to be in front of the lens sometimes. I have to consciously ask random people to take a picture of me with my son. But I digress…

I have been guilty of storing images of him on my hard drive (I do back up on an external hard drive though!).  I have even put some images on a USB for a “time capsule” of sorts for him. I have made prints from time to time, but not like the days of film…a bygone era.

Then one day I was moving some boxes into storage and I came across my mothers pictures. She has been gone from me now for 9 years. I opened the box and picked up beautiful photographs. Some were of her as a little girl, some were silly ones we took together, some professional, most impromptu captures. I held them in my hand. I felt their weight. I touched her face. I could hold her one more time for just a moment. Now, of course, I am not really holding her or touching her face, but the feeling that comes with holding a photograph…a piece of paper that she held…gives me so much more of her than a computer screen could ever do.

The next day I went out and bought a little memory box for my son. I print. I print the important stuff. I am not so silly as to think I will print everything…after all, being in a digital age means a ton more pictures than in the film days. But I do print. I want him to open his memory box and touch and feel me, to know what I was like when I am long gone. I want family portraits around the home. I want him to have a feeling of love all around him. I want him to see his grandmother’s photograph hanging on the wall.  A bunch of “likes” on a website will mean nothing to him. Heck, CDs, USBs and digital files themselves become obsolete overtime. The print will not.

Why this long winded post about digital files VS a tangible print? I have transitioned beyond being a photographer that hands out digital files, says thanks and sends you on your way. I want to give you art, something that can be hung on the wall. Images matter. Your experience with me matters. I want to take you from the beginning and give you full experience. I want to know what you are looking for. What you want out of your photography session. I want to know who you are and make photography for you.

I then want to make that portrait session as fun and easy for you as possible. I want to make it all about you, your family, your child or whoever it is I am photographing. I take portrait making seriously, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a fun experience.

I then want to take the time to show your personally the best images from your session. In case you missed that, I want to show you, in person, your fabulous images. This is called the reveal session time. I take 20-30 of the best images of your session and reveal them to you. You can take them home immediately in a beautiful folio box or order larger prints for your home or  even order an Artbook.

From start to finish, I want you to feel taken care of…because you are.

Back to the whole digital file thing. Yes, I realize we do evolve and people still want the digital file, this is why I include the high resolution matching digital file to each print you purchase.

So why is this post titled “A Family Portrait”? Imagine the family below if they received “just the digitals“? It would be a shame for them to share them all over Facebook then into the drawer they go. Wouldn’t their grandchildren just love to have these? Will their future generations really care they got 200 “likes”?

This family decided on a folio box of 10 images. Since the folio images come mounted and matted, they bought a little easel so they could display the images they wanted and switch them up at will. They also purchased a wall display cluster of three images. This way they are guaranteed to get custom prints from a lab I have a relationship with. This is a far better option than having a bunch of pictures on a CD in a drawer. Do you agree?

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