Blup, blup, blup went the phone into the quite-gunky depths of the Haggard Park pond. Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle went the air bubbles coming from my phone last summer. Since I had not backed up my data (I know, I know), there went my contacts, my calendar and, the most devastating, there went my pictures.
Oh, the instant gratification of phone photography. At first, I despised it. Now I embrace it. First of all, it has not hurt my business. Not yet, anyway. And, well, it very rarely leaves our right hands, so it’s quite convenient when trying to capture (or create) a moment. However, what happens to those almost-never beautiful images when the unimaginable happens? There go proof of the memories. My lifesaver in this situation was Groove Book, where I upload and print my family’s phone pics each month in adorable, keep-and-share book format. What? Printed pictures? Hang tight....
And it’s not just phone photography that’s at risk. I cannot tell you how many times a year I get a call from someone who swears I never sent the digital images. Maybe it’s me, but more than likely they didn’t download them into their system, they are lost somewhere in cyberspace or … who knows. The list of possibilities is endless.
Then, there’s my situation, which also holds true for many of my clients, I forget that the pictures were ever taken in the first place. I have many “oh-yeah” moments while digging through computer files. Most recently, I retrieved a “file” from my bedroom floor. There I found five still-plastic-wrapped photo albums, paraphernalia from five family vacays, but printed pictures for only two of the trips.
At week’s end, I will have two well-packaged collections of precious memories. And, once a week for the next three weeks, I vow to find, process, print and get into albums the remainder. I used to tell my kids, “It’s not worth doing if you don’t take pictures.” Recently, I’ve taken that a step further: “It’s not worth doing if you don’t take and print pictures.” Afterall, our memories don’t serve us very well.
Some solutions (getting better on down the line):
Save your images in your computer, while also storing them on a flash drive in a well-marked box. Make sure loved ones also know the whereabouts of these precious memories (I get a couple of requests a year, needing funeral images: sad but true).
Do the above and print phone images via Groovebook or some other means.
Do the above and print vacay, event and professional images and store in a box or album. Shutterfly, Tiny Prints are fairly good options. Looking through old albums and retelling stories to family newcomers and long-time members is our fave birthday tradition.
Ultimately, do all of the above, and hang wall portraits of life’s most-precious moments. Those beautiful pieces of art - my family- not only adorn my walls, but serve as daily reminders of my why. No need to get cray cray about it. Some realistic/affordable guidelines:
Minimum of a 5x7, but possibly a wall portrait at 1-year
A family wall portrait while the children (or fur babies or couple, etc) are still young and perfect.
Sprinkling in desk portraits of special occasions and for holiday gifts and cards to share with family. Honestly, any time we go on a big vacation, I try to find a local-to-the-area photographer to snap family portraits.
Wall portraiture after the awkward middle-school years, yet prior to weddings and grandchildren.
Single or a couple with no human or fluffy babies? ABSOLUTELY, you still need to be in pictures. Hit it solo or gather in the friends and family to create and captures a day full of adventure and mental souvenirs.
“Lost in Space” might be a great Netflix series, but it’s not such a great place for your images. Just in case you missed it, my philosophy? “You Ought to be in Pictures” for your sake and the sake of those who love you.