I have been drawn to photographs for as long as I can remember, and I have always surrounded myself with pictures. When you walk into my house you will see photographs everywhere, but these are among the first you will see when you walk in the door.
I spent many summers with my grandparents when I was growing up, and their home was always filled with family portraits. In fact if I close my eyes I can clearly picture that infamous wall in their home that has my grandparents wedding photo, a gorgeous shot of my grandmother about the time she was in high school, portraits of my aunts and uncles as they grew up, surrounded by school portraits and snapshots of myself and my cousins at various stages of our lives. What makes that space even better is that below this wall there is a bookshelf filled with several albums of photos. As a child I would spend hours pouring over these portraits of my grandparents, mom, aunts, and uncles, watching them grow up while relaxing on the floor on my grandparent’s coarse carpet.
Several years ago I borrowed these photos from my grandparents home and made digital copies of many of these family portraits. These portraits were so central to my childhood I wanted a copy for myself. After I completed the project I was so happy that I was able to have these portraits that were so central to my childhood at my fingertips whenever I wanted. I wanted to share them with all my aunts and uncles – I knew they would love to have their own copy as much as I did – and have them available to show my own children one day. So I took all of these photographs, and do you know what I did with them?
Those photos sat on my hard drive for at least 2 years before any of them were printed. I mean, I did EVENTUALLY make several beautiful photo books for my aunts, uncles, mom, and grandparents, and, as you can see, printed several for my own wall at home, but for a long time I didn’t do much of anything. I didn’t even skim through them frequently – maybe just once or twice to share a couple pictures with family members.
So why, do you ask, did I let such important photographs just sit on my hard drive? Well, the point of this story is two fold. How many times have you gotten something you were so excited about, and had GRAND schemes to share and display, and then never accomplish those dreams? This isn’t because we don’t treasure or value what we have been given, but we are busy people. We say, “I will do that tomorrow,” and then tomorrow turns into next week, and then (and this is the one I am guilty of), next summer (because SURELY I will have time in the summer), and you get the idea. If we are lucky, as I was, we will prioritize and eventually accomplish those initial goals we set. Or other times we decide to just accomplish part of the original idea we had in mind – like instead of making photo books, we may just decide to print off a bunch of 4×6′s and shove them into an album, because that’s SOOO much faster than going through the whole book design process, right? So our original idea might not turn out like we envisioned but at least we did something.
Or other times we just forget all together and things never get printed, displayed, or shared.
The second is this – I would have never been able to do ANYTHING with those photographs had they not been printed on quality paper and protected behind either a frame or in an album. I was fortunate enough that my grandmother valued photography, and was an avid photographer herself. She not only invested in frames and albums to protect her images, but quality prints themselves. That’s it, plain and simple.
And when you look at my grandmother’s photography collection it is clear she believed in printing her photographs. Now I know that might seem like a silly comment – it’s not like digital photography was around when she did the majority of her shooting, so she didn’t have to worry about piling images up on her hard drive – but she didn’t HAVE to print all of her negatives. She didn’t have to print anything at all. My grandmother developed her negatives, examined them, and then printed what she wanted from there. And print she did. And as her granddaughter I am glad she did, because those memories, portraits, and artistic photographs she took are still here for me to enjoy. And not only that, but those prints transform the images from just negatives into art.
This is why have chosen to change the direction of my business and focus on prints, wall art, albums, and other pieces of art. Because not only do you deserve to have someone help you display and share those memories you hired a professional to create for you, but you deserve to have them printed on the highest quality, professional materials, ensuring they will last for generations to come.