I photographed an extended family session today and absolutely loved the family. I chatted with one of the grown-up daughters about her wedding, which was in Delray Beach in 2012. She and her mother told me about what a beautiful day it was, and how wonderful their Florida photographer was. There are so many beautiful pictures! She told me excitedly…and then added that she still hadn’t ordered an album.
She told me how she saw her photographer at a friend’s wedding years later while she was pregnant with their baby girl, and her photographer said, “Call me so we can create that album before the baby arrives!” And she intended to. But life happens and baby came, and today that baby is almost three years old.
Still no album.
This lovely former-bride-now-mom added that she had just a few prints, but that the pictures were so beautiful. But she had the digitals so she could print more at any time. And her mom-now-grandmom reinforced that “oh yes, we can print more at any time!”
I remember when Ben and I were looking into wedding photographers – an album was important to us, but we also had to have the digitals. Because, well, just because. Just so we “could” whatever we want with the pictures. We could share, we could print, we could make an album, we could make slideshows. If we had the digitals, we could do whatever we want with them.
We printed exactly two pictures for our home, and that’s it. Two. And while this was before we were professional photographers, we’ve also had many years of pro resources at our fingertips.
Thank God we entrusted our photographer with the task of creating an Heirloom that will serve as our testament to the start of our family. Because life happens. Good intentions fade with the next adventure, the next challenge, the next job, the next trip. And once your wedding day has passed, you could do so much with those digitals. But you probaby won’t.
What you can’t do with those digitals is hand them to your children, and reminisce about one of the best days in your lives. You can’t frame digitals, you can’t hang them on the wall. You can’t wrap them up as gifts, and you won’t be able to enjoy them at all if *when* your hard drive fails or your computer no longer has a CD drive.
Technology is a blessing and a curse. With smart phones and wifi cameras, we (present company included) have a false sense of security that our moments are being preserved for the future. But the reality is, if you’re not printing, your not preserving.