I strongly believe in the tangible. Things that you can hold in your hands, study and lovingly pass down to our children and those who are yet to come.
Digital images certainly have a place in our world, but technology fails and becomes outdated way too fast. (Remember floppy discs?) I know that I have lost my fair share of images on my phone due to user error and technology hiccups. I am super good about backing up my photos, but since it is all technology, even those have failed on me a time or two. A few years ago, our family computer died and we lost some important files and photos, but luckily I had prints of all the photos, so it wasn’t quite as heartbreaking as it would have been if I never had those prints.
Prints can last hundreds of years, especially when printed professionally, but the same cannot be said about digital images. In fact, some of the CDs that I backed up photos from my daughter’s first years of life have already started to corrupt. That’s less than 12 years! Many new computers don’t even have CD drives anymore. There is no way that I could pass down a CD to my daughter or have the time to transfer ever single image every time technology becomes outdated. I can certainly pass down a photo album, framed prints or loose photographic prints though.
Leaving a Legacy
With proper care, photographic prints can really stand the test of time and, in a sense, keep us alive. I absolutely love looking at old photos, especially of my family. There is nothing like holding a picture in your hand and studying it. It gives me a glimpse into people’s lives and gives me clues into what things were like back then. I can sense people’s personalities, fashion sense and relationships. Even the paper, framing or album can tell me a part of the story. I love seeing my grandparents and parents as they were younger. It makes them even more relatable to me somehow and I can see traits that they have passed down to me. I even love looking at worn pictures of those who I have never met in life. The portraits are much more formal and it always amazes me how dressed up everyone was, even if they were going for a hike. There is something in their eyes that captures me and stories begin to unfold.
Positive Self Esteem
Studies show that hanging family photographs in your house actually increases your children’s self-esteem. Think about it. How do you feel when you see your picture hanging in your home or someone else’s home? I know that it gives me warm fuzzy feelings. Makes me feel loved and cared for. Now, think of how your children must feel when they see their images displayed prominently in your home. I bet they feel much the same way. Whenever I see children looking at images of themselves, they always light up with big smiles. They point things out and talk about that moment. Older children tell stories about that time in their lives.
David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio says, “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. A photographer’s job is to create and make the image look like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.”
Krauss co-authored “Phototherapy and Mental Health”, which is considered a founding text for the use of photography in therapy. He believes that family photographs belong on the wall. “I am very conservative about self-esteem and I think placing a family photo someplace in the home where the child can see it every day without having to turn on a device or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child’s sense of reassurance and comfort. They have a certainty about them and a protecting quality that nurtures a child.”
Provide Comfort to Parents
I actually think the same is true for adults. I have clients who mention that when they are having a hard day with their children, they look at a picture of them on the wall and they are reminded how sweet their children are and that this rough spell is temporary.
One mom said she was walking the halls in the middle of the night with her crying son when she stopped for a moment as she caught a glimpse of one of their newborn portraits. In that framed piece, she is cradling her sweet baby boy when he was just a couple weeks old. She saw the love on her face, the peaceful contentment of her infant and couldn’t help but smile. She said it comforted her in that moment when she needed it the most. That comfort would not have been given to her in that moment if she only had images on her phone, mobile device, computer or in a drawer on a CD or USB drive.
Best of Both Worlds
You truly can have the best of both worlds! As I mentioned, there is a place for digital images and I think they are very important to have as well. It is a great way to take your images on the go when you have them stored on mobile devices. Perfect for showing off your family to others online and in person. Social media is such a big part of how we communicate and share important things in our lives with family and friends. Our children love looking through pictures on our phones too. In fact, they even know how to take pictures with our phones and how to swipe through images at an early age. However, for all the reasons mentioned here, I don’t think that images should just sit on devices, electronics or on USBs. Print your photos and protect your legacy.
I offer professional heirloom quality photographic products here at Yvonne Niemann Photography, which is excellent for your most treasured portraits. When you order digitals through me you will always receive something in print as well. I know how busy life can be and how even with best intentions, we don’t always get around to printing digital images. It is why I like to include photographic products to take some of the work out of the equation for you.
For printing images on your own, I highly recommend MPIX. They offer good quality prints and canvases. For printing images straight from your phone and/or Instagram account, I like Artifact Uprising. Super easy software and top notch products. I like to print a softcover book every year of our family candids from my husband’s and my phones. Framebridge is another great online frame company that is great for printing your Instagram pictures and images from your mobile devices. For cards, I adore Athens very own Oconee Printing. They have an online store, but they do amazing customized work too. It’s who I use!
Show your family just how important they are to you by showcasing photos and photographic products throughout your home. Pass them down to your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren one day. Start today! You won’t regret it. Promise.
If you would like to see what photographic products I offer here at Yvonne Niemann Photography or perhaps would like to book a portrait session that tells your family’s story, contact Athens, GA family photographers of Yvonne Niemann Photography today. email@example.com | 706.713.0676