I’ve been inspired to write a small note to anyone and everyone about the importance of photographs. It might sound silly, really, to hear that pictures hold great importance – but they do.
Let me start out by saying I’ve always loved them. I was known to spend hours sifting through my grandparents’ dozens of albums, all carefully organized by year and topic. (I still do this when I go visit my Nana, if I get a second to sit down without chasing after a child or tending to the baby.) I would often show off the album my mother made of my childhood to friends, and pretty much whoever would look. I’m also one of those people that, upon entering someones home for the first time, looks at all the photos hanging on the walls. Sometimes I ask about them, sometimes I make up stories in my mind. Either way, I love them. They are IMPORTANT.
So, back to the point. I had a recent client, a mother of two grown girls, come to me and say that she hasn’t taken any pictures of her girls together since they were small children. And, while we were doing her younger daughter’s senior portraits, I made it a point to get a few shots of the sisters, and even one with mom. It was important to her, too. It should be important to everyone.
We spend money on the silliest things. Spending money on photographs might sound crazy, but they are timeless. In 30 years, your family is not going to be passing around a pair of designer shoes reminiscing. All the technology we pour or money into will be obsolete. Printed photographs are timeless.
We will all, at some point, look at a photograph of our children and remember how tiny they once were. An image of your newborn daughter wrapped up in a tiny flannel blanket will make you remember the smell of a brand new baby. You’ll see a photo of your children laughing, and remember the sound. You’ll look at an old photograph from when you were first married, and remember how fresh and new it all was. A family portrait, with children poking each other in the sides and your mother’s wrinkled face holding back laughter will remind you how much you love them all, and how nobody’s changed much over the years.
Nothing else has the power to do this. Nothing else even comes close. These are captured memories that have the capability to be around for generations. They will help you tell your grandchildren stories in 50 years. They will bring laughter and tears. They evoke emotion like nothing else.
This is why I do what I do. I’m not saying all of this so you’ll hire me, just reminding you not to take them for granted. If you hire anyone to take photos for you for any reason, make sure they can produce what you want. Something you can hold on to for years to come. It’s worth every penny, I assure you. And if you don’t hire someone, and take photos for yourself, take a little time to learn how your camera works.
(and PLEASE don’t leave all your photos in the darkness of your hard drive. Computers are vulnerable – and pictures deserve to be seen! Print them and display them proudly!)