I believe in photographs; printed tangible photographs. I believe in photo albums that we can hold; storybooks that make us laugh and that spur important conversations. I believe in portraits framed and hanging on the wall intended to be passed down to the next generation.
We can’t touch a digital file and the truth is we don’t know the longevity of a file or if we will even find it someday. Files are lost, damaged, corrupt and outdated over time. They must be backed up and sometimes converted to accommodate updated programs and technologies. Remember cassette tapes, eight track tapes, zip discs? Photographs are special – files are not!
My work is more than a screen saver. My work deserves to be professionally printed. The photographs I create are not only precious to my clients but they are precious to me. The older I get, the more apparent this becomes. Photographs are passed on to children and grandchildren. Can you imagine a DVD or a flash drive sitting in a frame representing your family portrait?
Like many photographers, I have struggled with my clients’ perceived need for files. This makes me uncomfortable to my core. I have had prospective clients hang up on me when I tell them I don’t give or sell the digital files. I constantly hear from people who do have digital files that they never do anything with them. They sit in a drawer. If they do print them, they often complain about the quality. They crop them incorrectly; the color is not correct, etc. I have a client who gave his head shot to his daughter who ran it through some phone filter so he could look thinner. The filter only adjusted half of his face and resized is too small to be of any use. These things trouble me because I put so much of myself into my work. And, I have to wonder… am I really acting as a professional and serving my client the best way I know how by simple selling intangible files that may never be printed?
There are plenty of photographers out there who will take your photos, edit them, and put them on a flash drive for little money. I don’t and can’t do business that way. I care too much about my work, my clients and future generations looking at and holding photographs.
I must take a stand! I understand what goes into getting your family scheduled and ready for your family portrait; Coordinating schedules, getting haircuts, buying clothes. Why spend more on clothes for the session than on the end product?
I believe my work has value and as time passes the value increases. If being in business as a photographer today means the current market will force me to sell files not photographs and to compromise my work and values – well then, I’m out.
But that won’t happen! I know people still value my work and believe in the importance of a tangible product.
My mission is to create family portrait heirloom artwork that makes your heart smile every time you see it.
I am forever grateful to my wonderful clients who allow me the privilege to do what I love!