Photography. It has become common place and very accessible to virtually everyone. Most people love to take pictures and do a pretty decent job. Our mobile devices are increasingly able to take very good, clear photos.
There are times though, you want to commission a professional because you want to decorate your house with the art that is your family. You want to capture a moment in time, then display a stunning framed piece over your fireplace, create a gorgeous gallery in your enteryway...maybe you have a vision of keeping an heirloom quality photo album on your end table.
"Wait!", you say. "I forgot about all those things!" There are several photographers in your area that can capture a moment unique to your family..but somewhere along the line we've gotten accustomed to having those images handed over on a CD or USB, being told to "go ahead and print these yourselves. It will be cheaper!"
This scenario is pretty standard in the photography market today. Somehow, we have been lead to believe that having just the digital files on a USB or as a digital download is better and the best option. I fear most people do not realize that these files were only meant to be a temporary method of storage or at best, a way to easily share on social media.
Raise your hand if this has happened to you: You get your images back from your photographer on a USB and you put it in a drawer for safe keeping, because you are going to print them soon. "Soon" becomes 6 months, 1 year...maybe 2 years. You unearth the USB a few years later and utter, "I totally meant to print some of these..."
or how about this: You downloaded your images to your phone...and it fell in the lake (Ahem...Mr. MJCP!), it got lost, it shattered, or any numerous unforeseen tragedies happen. Maybe you pull out that CD of pictures of your child when they were 5 (now they are 13!) and decide to look at them or you are doing something special for their birthday party, and the CD is BLANK! Or corrupt. Or your tired old computer just can't read the CD anymore. All you know is your pictures are gone.
Sound implausible? How many of your computers still use floppy discs? How many of your computers even have a CD drive anymore? Digital files are transient - lasts only a short time - impermanent. No electronic storage system is fool proof or trustworthy 100% of the time. Can YOU guarantee you can view your images 10 years from now?
If you are interviewing photographers, ask them or try to find out if they care about their work and how they end up. A true professional is giving your their name and the quality that represents them. A true professional wants you to hold a print of someone special 100 years from now. ** I have a baby picture of my grandmother from 91 years ago!!!! My husband has an infant photo of his grandma in an old carriage from 1906! **
Instead of having a day or two of WOW's from your friends and family on social media only to have those photos buried under future posts to be forgotten, wouldn't it be awesome to display them in your home? Where you can see them everyday? Show them to all company? Smile at the beauty of your family captured in the best light, location with professional skill and reproduced on ARCHIVAL, professional quality paper to be kept and handed down for generations?
You've paid a photographer to capture your beauty and character, or someone you love. Now what?