I believe there are several reasons families hire me as a photographer. One is to document their family in that particular timeframe of their lives...whether pregnant with their first child or their fifth child...whether their little boy just lost his first tooth or their little girl is going through a superhero obsession...each glimpse into a family's life is one that we'll look back on later in life with joy and a yearning to bring it back. When I moved my business to digital files in early 2013, I did so because I believe that is where our digital world is taking us. BUT - and this is a big but - the other reasons I believe clients hire me is so they can have artwork in their home that makes them smile each and every time they walk in the door. I want every family member to come home from any day...whether they just got a promotion, just got a booboo, just had an epic meltdown or just got an ice cream cone...and to see a glimpse of a photograph from a family photo session and then feel warm and fuzzy all over. I want them to glimpse at a photograph and it snap them back to that moment...that joy...that experience with their photography session. Why am I going on and on about this? Because after a meeting with a client two weeks ago, I challenged myself to print more...to enjoy more...to not let digital files "die" in my hard drive where nobody can enjoy them (including me). I printed 89 images for our home, for the grandparents, for my sister and for close friends. I actually mailed prints to our loved ones...but that's not all. I then took those images and created an album with them.
I read this article a couple months ago and it has stuck with me ever since. It is referencing the author's parents' wedding album and how that is the tangible memory she can now enjoy, but it is completely applicable to our family photos as well. When your little ones grow up, do you think there is any chance they are going to comb our hard drives through 100,000 photos (which is probably conservative over 20 years) and actually look at any of them? Do you think those 100,000 photos will tell a story?
I do not believe they will. I think a wonderful gift we can give our children is to create printed albums and photos for them to enjoy. They can flip through the albums to hear the stories, ask you questions, and then relive them over and over.
Here are some images of the layflat albums I offer clients to help them tell their stories. I design the albums using photos from our sessions (either from one session or over the course of an entire year) and clients then approve them and receive a gorgeous book to enjoy for years to come. Here is one I recently created for a client at the end of their First Year Package:
What story are your images telling your children for generations to come?