Digital Files vs Prints
Dear Family and Friends,
Every single one of you that I have the opportunity to photograph get a similar message from me. “Print your photographs”- a mission statement if you will. Today I am reminded of why I am so passionate about this mission.
You see, this is my family. You see the woman in the middle? She is my Great Grandmother and she pretty much raised my Father when his Mother, my Grandmother (the young girl just to left of the middle) passed away when my father was only 10 years old. This photograph is everything to my family. Almost my entire father’s side stems from this grouping of people- my Great Uncles, Aunts, Cousins and Grandparents are linked up in this beautiful print.
You know what? If you walked into any one of my family members’ houses you would see this portrait. You see, my Great Grandmother (or Mom as we all called her), had the foresight to have this image printed quite a few times, a luxury in her day, because she wanted her children to have copies. I am not sure if she could have predicted that an entire family would have this photograph framed in their homes.
We all know this photograph by heart, how old they were, where it was taken and what year it was. It connects us all and without it I am sure we would not have that constant reminder that we are a family. Thanks to this portrait, I know our Thanksgiving dinners will always consist of more than 40 people, our Christmases will have cousins from all over the world, and we will all know we are interconnected.
Do you see how important an archival print can be? Sometimes we do not understand in the moment that these portraits will be passed down to future generations. That eventually, this and memories might be all that is left of us in this world. That prints are not only a luxury but are essential. These prints are meant to last with no discoloration, no fading, no change in texture. If you leave them (protected) in a box for 20 years, they will look just like the day you put them in there. However, don’t put them away- enjoy them, treasure them, tell stories about them- these are meant to be seen.
I smile every time I look at their portrait. It reminds me of the importance of family, of remembering (and missing) the past and leaving something for the future. Don’t wait. Don’t wait to be photographed, don’t wait to print the portraits, don’t wait to leave the legacy for your family. You never know how significant it can (and will) be.
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