Last week, my husband lost his cell phone in the St. Croix River. It’s gone forever, and so are the thousands of photos he had taken, mostly of our four-year-old son. Sure, I have plenty of photos that I’ve taken on my own camera and phone, but those photos that captured moments that my husband and son shared while I wasn’t there will neve be returned. I’m sharing this experience because I wish I had taken the time to get prints made of those memories that may be forgotten in a few years. Friends, please learn from my family’s experience! Don’t let it take losing your phone to value your photos!
As a photographer, I want my clients and their families to appreciate and recognize the importance of tangible, print copies of both professional photos, as well as their own personal photos. Our society tends to depend a bit too much on technology and too often, a device malfunctions or gets lost and we lost. Right now, if the thought of losing your phone or laptop doesn’t make you want to go order prints, then here are a few more reasons why we encourage prints:
1. Experiences Re-Lived are Experiences Remembered
Often, we post digital photos on social media and then those photos just sit in a file on our phone or computer, or maybe even backed up on a cloud. No one else has access to all of those photos. Our kids aren’t on social media, and they don’t have access to our files. They can’t enjoy these photos and memories if they can’t see them. How can those past experiences stuck in our Facebook memories be re-lived? How can they leave impressions on our child’s memories?
2. Honor Family History
My mother-in-law passed away when our son was almost two years old. He will not have any memory of her except for photos. He recognizes her because we have prints of family throughout our house. I remember going through old photographs with my grandma in her attic. I would have no idea who people were in the photographs without my grandma’s narrative. It’s also special to see photos of past generations and learn about my family’s history through these printed images.
3. Visual Affirmations
One of the easiest yet most satisfying and enjoyable ways to decorate a home is with photos of your family. Whether it’s personal photos you printed and framed or professional portrait art, these physical prints are reminders of the emotion, experiences, and relationships. Even more, seeing these portraits fill the rooms of your home will improve your child’s self-esteem, give them a sense of belonging and I promise, every time you pass the photo, you’ll smile, too!
4. Different Ages and Stages
Every stage of a child is unique. Toothless smiles, night time stories. At some point there will be the last time your child wakes up in the middle of the night demanding snuggles to soothe them back to sleep, your child touching your face for a kiss, or asking you to help them tie their shoe. There will be a last time for every enjoyable or frustrating experience. Generally, at that last time we are not aware of it being our last time. We only realize later, well after the moments are gone, we don’t have those requests any longer. If knowing when it was the last time would have we appreciated that very moment a little more? That is why at Block Portrait we spend the time to discover what is unique about your family and individually each child’s special attributes to their specific stage. Schedule a Discovery Call for your family portrait experience with Block Portrait Studios for us to help celebrate the beauty of your family at this stage. Younger children change so quickly, which is why we’ve designed a subscription portrait experience for you to never have to remember to do portraits for your kids. We have themed sessions four times a year, Valentine’s, Baby Chicks, Modern Summer, and Santa Experience. Sign up here.
5. Technology Fails. Human Errors Happen.
Technology fails. A lot (or humans make errors like losing devices, dropping their phone in the St Croix, or deleted by the innocent push of a toddler’s finger….or even spilling coffee all over them -yep, that happened to me). Whatever the situation, it’s so common for accidents to happen or technology to disappoint us. The cloud can max storage, our social media accounts may be hacked or become a thing of the past, a jump drive can break, a hardware drive doesn’t respond, etc… I honestly do not know one person who can say they have never had an issue with technology at some point. We also don’t know how technology will change. Print copies are more likely to be handed down from generation to generation without a chance of server errors.
Now what? There are thousands of photos on my phone...what am I going to do with all of those photos!?
Enjoy them! In every way possible. Make an album or scrapbook, frame them, create wall art, put copies in baby books and school books, mail copies to family and friends (like what we did before social media!) – the options are endless! Growing up though, I remember my family photo albums and how we’d flip through them laughing until we cried. It was so much fun to look back on memories we had forgotten until we saw the photo, as well as seeing how much our family members have changed.
Whatever happened to those days when someone went on vacation and then visited with a folder full of prints – ready to tell you a story about each photo as you flipped through them. After each family trip make a book of the experience through Shutterfly. We recently went to Disney World and made a photo book of the trip. Over the last year of our nightly story time we have to page through the Disney photo book and relive the experience. Talk about feeling like we got our money’s worth on that trip. It still brings us joy on a nightly basis. Chatbooks is another great easy app that you can have automatically create a small book with your instagram feed. Postagram is also a fantastic app I use often to send postcards to family members from my photo stream in seconds. Postagram saves addresses so in seconds we can send birthday wishes and thank you’s, while we are on trips or just a random hello.
I know right now digital photos seem more convenient to post and share on social media, but in years to come, those hard copy prints will be what’s passed on to family members with stories and memories. So, please, take it from a professional photographer who’s been there – get those prints! Don’t lose those photos on your phone, don’t take the risk of relying on technology. Preserve those memories with prints – you will not regret it!