It's time to talk about archival portraits and the most expensive photo you already own. That’s right! If you are like most modern day photo lovers you take hundreds of pictures per year on your digital gadgets and most of them never see life outside of your phone or computer. In fact, you might not even remember you have them.
But which photo is the most expensive you ask? Well that’s easy. It was the photo taken on one of the most important days of your life. Remember? You hired a professional photographer to document the occasion for you so that you would never forget how incredible that moment was? Perhaps it was your wedding or when your baby was born or…yep that's the one! You invested hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars to make sure that those moments were captured. Your photographer then spent countless hours artistically editing them to perfection to ensure you had the best quality image possible.
You simply adored your images and you couldn't wait to share them on social media, and in fact you did and your family and friends liked and commented to their hearts content. You treasure these photos so much you would be devastated if they were ever lost. There is most likely one in particular that is your absolute favorite. It’s perhaps your screen saver at work or your profile pic on Facebook? Yep that's the one....the most expensive photo you purchased. Why is it the most expensive? Well let’s face it, aside from you making a greater investment for these images and the fact that you would be devastated if you lost the memories, the truth of it all is you are losing them. Not all at once as in a fire or theft but a tiny bit with each passing day. Slowly but surely they are forgotten. Computers crash, drives fail, files degrade and without knowing they are gone. We all love to share our photos and then ....then.....then? Nothing.
Exactly…nothing happens. After the excitement passes of seeing them admired online by our friends (usually less than 24-48 hours) we then do nothing with these beautiful images. They rarely get printed and for those lucky few that do they are rarely on archival paper or materials that will last more than 10 years. Even fewer become part of a wall display or heirloom keepsake that will be passed on to your children or your children's children. Ironically, the life stories of the most photographed generation in history will cease to exist photographically in future decades simply because we failed to print and properly archive our memories.
This is devastating and we are all at risk of losing our most treasured memories. How can you prevent this? Well you can start by PRINTING those beloved images. It is very important to always print your images on archival materials (even if just a few small prints). The tangible experience of albums or prints is something this generation of photo lovers has been deprived of with all our wonderful digital technology. So print, hold, share and archive those special images. Even if you’re only choosing a handful…just do it!
I am a huge advocate of printing images on archival paper. Our archival portraits (200+ years) offer HD image quality, are printed using certified ink and acid free fine art based paper. Not only are these prints absolutely fabulous to hold, frame and share, you can rest assured there are no harsh chemicals or silver used during the printing process protecting you and our environment.
Another product I am in love with is our framed torn edge prints because of their classic artful look. They are printed on your choice of either watercolor or linen texture and both are absolutely gorgeous!
Because I can’t frame everything I am a huge fan of both our signature leather satchels and our handcrafted heirloom keepsake boxes that are custom engraved with surnames. These combined make stunning keepsakes for future generations by housing smaller prints and keepsakes.
So what did we learn from all of this again? Here are the tips for keeping your memories safe for generations to come.
* Establish a routine for phone and camera back-ups (end of month, quarterly etc.)
* Always keep two copies of files (computer with cloud back up & external drive stored in a fire proof safe.)
* Automate your back-ups
* Establish folders for events, year, celebrations, family members etc. This will keep you organized and help you protect images easily.
* PRINT PRINT PRINT, it doesn’t have to be every image but even one archival portrait a month or even better a handful of images from each important event will ensure you have tangible copies of your memories to hold, enjoy, share and archive.
* Invest in printing on archival materials, especially for those images created for you professionally. Photography studios offer great archival materials many of which are not available via consumer retail chains or online labs. Avoid walking away with a set of digitals only. Budget prints into the investment, a professional album and or wall art, because even though our best intentions are to return to the images later life inevitably gets busy and you will never get back to them.
* Make a plan. There is usually one member of the family that inherits the responsibility of keeping their family’s photographic history…if this is you then plan on how you will capture, display and store your family legacy.
* Enlist the help of a professional, in addition to the documentation of your life story and creation of custom display and heirloom products your photographer may also offer consultation services to help you organize, archive and protect your family’s photographic history.
Our staff would love to help you protect your family legacy so let's get started! Call us or drop us a note now before you get pulled away AGAIN ;)