Imagery has evolved greatly over the last few decades—both in terms of what we capture and how we capture it. Today’s images are some of the most beautiful, detail-oriented, thought-provoking, history-preserving images we have. Yet, they are literally disappearing right before our eyes.
Why It’s More Important Now Than Ever to Print
In 1900, if a camera captured one exposure, that single image was developed. In 1980, if a camera captured 24 exposures, all 24 images were developed. Heck, even if someone opted for the super-sized roll of film that had room for 36 exposures, all 36 images were developed.
We have been in a consumer digital age roughly since the mid-1990’s. And that folks, is about when we stopped printing. People take hundreds and thousands of images, but they never give those images enough respect to print them. These images, which should be cherished and respected and protected, live out their days on a phone, hard drive or thumb drive never to see the light of day… or in this case… the light of a dark room or digital press. Many are forgotten, lost and eventually become corrupt because they are never given the glory of being printed.
Many scholars are deeply concerned that even though we are living in the most photographed time period in history, we will have the fewest actual printed photographs per capita to document our history. Think about that. That’s scary. My family has a few good-sized boxes of photographs that we occasionally rummage through to reminisce. My daughters’ generation may not know what it’s like siting around a table, sorting through memories talking about the good ol’ days.
MySpace® was founded in 2003 and Facebook® quickly followed in 2004 and so began the digital cataloging of our lives. Everything we did was posted for the world to see… who we were with, what we were doing, what we were eating even! Instagram® joined the printing massacre in 2010. Deepening the wounds of the printed relic, we’ve succumbed to the “story.” In 2011, SnapChat® was the first to float the idea of the “temporary photo.” Now almost every social media platform has a way to post a story that will only be available for 24 hours. Think of all your personal history that is only available for 24 hours. We are now living in a disappearing digital age—which brings me back to my original point.
It’s more important now than ever to print!! Be the one that does document your legacy! Don’t fall victim to the photographer who only offers digital files. Hire a full-service photographer. You may think you’re getting a fantastic deal and saving money by hiring a photographer who is going to hand you a disk of images. Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you are not. YOU ARE NOT. This is a huge disservice to you. This is hiring someone to ONLY do half of their job. It’s like going to a top, five-star restaurant and asking the chef for all the ingredients to their Paupiette of Sea Bass in a Barolo Sauce and then promptly marching home to your own kitchen. Not smart, people.
This is a wedding image of my mother and both grandmothers. Everyone in this image is deceased. Everyone in this image was deceased by the time I turned 26. They passed away, from left to right, when I was 26, 21 and 3. Even though this image is badly damaged (and maybe a tad out of focus), I treasure it. Immensely. You could not offer me any amount of money to make me give up this photograph… any amount. I have the physical print because someone had the forethought to hire a professional, full-service photographer at my parents’ wedding and PRINT this image. I am thankful. I am very thankful that is wasn’t stowed away in some digital format that eventually became obsolete or corrupt and lost forever. I am eternally grateful that my great-grandchildren will know the face of my dear mother and grandmothers because I have printed pictures.
This is a picture of my mom, two of her sisters—my aunts and, I believe, one of my great-aunts. Again, I wouldn’t have this picture if someone would not have printed it and actually preserved the moment. Placing 700 wedding day images on a DVD is not image preservation.
All your wedding day creatives are important—they truly are. But think about what is really important to you. Are the personalized embroidered hankies you’re gifting to each guest really important? Do the tablescapes really matter all that much? While a lot of fun, are the photo booth props going to document your family legacy? In the end, the only thing you are keeping and passing down from generation to generation to tell your life’s story and your love story are your images. Choose your photographer wisely and make a smart investment in your printed images!
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I am a professional wedding and senior photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I pride my business in offering a premier and personal service coupled with an unforgettable photography experience. I cater to clients who appreciate quality photography and help them to create family heirlooms that will last for generations. As a full-time professional photographer, my sole purpose is to provide amazing, memorable and full-service photography.
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents would be proud of!
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