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Family session at The Arboretum

How safe are your family photos?

What I mean is, how are you storing your family’s photos and images? What does photo storage mean to you?

I was recently at a gathering of parents at a high school sporting event. These parents have all known each other for years, and all our kids are all graduating from high school this year. I overheard one parent say to another, “I suppose I need to find all those old CDs with sports photos and make some copies for the Graduation party.” My stomach sank a bit as I heard it. “From how long ago?” I heard another parent ask. “The last eight years” he said, “I have them all in a drawer at home, so I should probably print some photos now and get ready for graduation.” Does this sound familiar to you? If it does, please keep reading.

I was a little shocked to hear this conversation. But sadly, I have heard it before. Friends, I need to be real with you right now. Please print your photos. Do not save CDs, flash drives, or emails containing images, please print your photos. At my studio I pride myself in knowing that even though I sell digital images I send every customer home with printed proofs from their session.

CDs and Flash Drives are not to be considered photo storage, they are a means of transportation for files and images.

If you have a CD or flash drive with photos, they should be downloaded onto a computer and prints should be made. If you want to then “back up” your images to a external hard drive or save files to “The Cloud” or another online storage that is fine, but it is a back up not storage. First print your images of special events and loved ones, that is a guarantee that you have those photos. I recommend a good lab to print archival photos that won’t fade over time but that is a whole other subject for a different day.

I have read studies that safely give flash drives and CDs 1-3 years of accessing the files and then everything could be gone. Now maybe you will get lucky and never lose your photos, but why take that chance? Imagine putting a CD into your computer and realizing all the photos that are important to you are gone. A parents worst nightmare.

Save those important images for years of enjoyment and a way to remember special friends, loved ones, and important moments.

But the saving should be in a photo album or a stack of photographs in a box that years from now your family can open and look through and even put on a board to go out at graduation. Don’t take a chance and lose all of your images. Print!

If I can answer any questions about digital files, storage, or recommend a lab for you, please let me know!

The Best!

I was recently at a client’s home providing a consultation for a fall family session. I don’t always do a consultation but I can make time for one if needed. As I walked in their home I noticed everywhere I looked there were fantastic images of their children that I have taken over the years. Small images on tables, collages of prints going up the wall near the stairs, and large wall portraits in the living room and family room. I had photographed and printed every one.

I mentioned how many there were and my client started to rave about me…to me. “I love all my photos and can’t imagine my home without them.” She then said, “You have been our photographer from the beginning and hopefully you will be photographing all their weddings someday!” I felt really moved by this and asked her why she thought my images were so great? She went on to tell me that every part of her experience with me was excellent, not just the photo session itself or the end result images and prints.My response time and flexibility when she called and her overall experience from phone call to delivery of prints.I always captured great images of her kids even when she felt they were completely uncooperative. The quality of my work and professionalism. The way I connected with her kids. All of these reasons and more!

I share this because sometimes I doubt myself and I know a lot of people do, but running a business is a lot of work and I really want to be great at it. I really try to focus on getting back to people right away and being really considerate and professional. I love what I do and I am always trying to be better. I constantly read articles on photography, research the best equipment and labs, take classes and watch webinars on everything I can get my hands on, and make sure my studio is clean and inviting. I am always trying to master my skill and treat clients with the best customer service possible. It really is my intent to provide wonderful images for people and a great experience. I am thankful for being able to do what I love to do.