The importance of photosPosted Friday, June 22, 2012, at 11:55 AM
I read this letter a while ago after the woman who did my senior portraits posted it. I came across it again today, and I figured I should share it.
It comes from http://fototails.wordpress.com/2012/01/0...
July 2nd, 2011
Today I am writing for a couple of reasons. I have some quiet time at the moment and need to get a couple of things off my mind. I will leave this for my husband to deliver to you when he is ready.
You photographed my wedding, you photographed my first pregnancy and my first baby. I contacted you awhile back to photograph my 2nd child and family. After getting prices and realizing I would want all of the pictures as we love your work -- I decided against spending $500+ -- which is what I normally spend for portraits and prints with you.. Please know it is not because I don't value your amazing eye, or how much we love the experience.
That week that I decided to NOT do a session with you, this is how I spent some money.
On Sunday I called and cancelled our session. Monday I went out and got my hair cut ($39+tip), and colored ($65), Thursday I had my nails done ($24), my family went out to dinner at a somewhat expensive restaurant for no particular reason costing us $79 + tip. This was just 4 days since canceling our session, already totaling over $200 for un necessary things. My nails only lasted about 2 weeks, my hair is gone, and seven weeks passed when I got the phone call from our doctor. It was not something I expected and the cancer has spread very quickly. I will be leaving my husband, my 6 year old girl and my now 2 year old -- not by choice. It is very hard for me to talk about it which is why I need to write you.
I watch your Facebook page and your posts about the value of a photo and if I could give back all of those things that I purchased this few weeks after I cancelled my session with you, knowing what I know now, and have that session, well... I would do it in a heartbeat.
Now my time is done and there are no more chances for me. The next time someone cancels a session -- my wish is that you forward this letter to them. Time is fragile, it is gone before you know you had it. If you charged $200 for one print it wouldn't be enough for what it is actually worth. I cringe to think that my priorities were a manicure over a memory to pass onto my babies and husband.
My love and thanks for what you have given us from past photos. I am so sorry that I did not see it as more than paper until now.
It makes me think about how important it is to get your images on paper. I, personally, am so happy my parents purchased a beautiful composite of my senior photos- it is hanging in their home in Japan next to a collage of photos from my dad's time in the military.
I don't believe you can truly enjoy an image on a screen. Maybe it's because much of my job is spent on the computer, but screens give me a headache.
I love scrapbooking and I love photo albums. I recently had a photobook made with images from the first four years of my and Ryan's relationship.
Printed images, especially those that make it into scrapbooks and photo albums and books, send a message (to me at least) that the person who owns them really cares about those memories. They aren't so mundane that we post them to our social media websites and leave them there.
Don't get me wrong- digital photography has also meant we can preserve those memories. If a photo is saved on "the cloud", it can't be destroyed in a fire. That's nice to know.
I recommend a few things to you:
If you get professional photos done, get prints. They are slightly pricey, but I think they are a very worthy investment. If you can, however, get those photos digitally as well, and make sure you get instructions from your photographer on how to print them, because not all printers are created equal-
Also make sure that you back up the digital files. Perhaps put them on a usb drive, memory card, or cd and put that item in a firesafe box. Of course, you'll want to transfer those files as various media become extinct. Save them full size on file-saving websites (Don't just save them to facebook- you lose a lot of the quality when you upload and then download.).
And don't be afraid, every once and a while, to spend a little extra and get custom family portraits done. There's a reason many professionals charge more than the walmart or JC Penny studio- the images are unique to your family- not just a selection of 2 poses and 10 backdrops. A truly good professional will not have two family portraits look the same- just as your family is not the same as any other.
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