October 20, 2020
When I was getting my bachelor’s degree, I kept hearing in my classes that “print is dead.” I believed it. I was studying all things digital, convinced that printing photos or flyers or mailers were a thing of the past. Then I became a photographer.
I fell in love with delivering galleries jam-packed with gorgeous, high-quality images for my clients. But I was amazed at how temporary they still felt. Even though they were supposedly preserved forever through a digital download. It wasn’t until Kevin and I had our own portrait session before I realized why digital felt that way.
I loved our images. I posted a bunch of them when I first received them. But then, I stopped. Now, as much as I love them still, they sit buried in my Photos app on my phone. Sure, one is my phone wallpaper, but other than that, they remain largely unused, unseen, and unshared. It’s not because they weren’t beautiful portraits. It’s because “out of sight, out of mind” came into play.
Then I met Amanda, and I was able to realize the solution to this problem. Printing photos.
I met Amanda when I put out a call and offered a free portrait session to a law enforcement family. Her husband is a police officer in D.C. He reached out to claim the session after welcoming their brand new baby girl into the family. I met them at the Washington monument for the sweetest family session.
Since that session, Amanda has been sharing so excitedly about all the portraits she printed from their gallery. We’ve become friends since that one free session. She has even since hired me for that then-10-day-old girl’s first birthday! For both sessions, she printed the images right away. I asked her to share why she was so eager to print her images from each session we’ve done together. I’ll let her words about printing photos say the rest… keeping in mind their story as a law enforcement family.
“Anybody can take a picture. Anybody can pick up a camera and conveniently use the intelligence of modern technology to take a halfway decent image that shows smiling faces or objects to remember for eternity. But only a few really know the true art of photography, that has the power to create images that show so much more than just that.
The real art of photography unfolds when you look at a picture and you don’t see, you feel. You feel emotion, you feel character, you feel a story.
Life can get crazy. Between diapers, school, never ending laundry, prepping work lunches, entertaining the dogs, searching for yet another lost shoe or the TV remote, attempting to get a healthy meal on the table for the kids while somehow finding enough hours in the day for all this, it is easy to fall prey to routine rot and forget what a great fortune it is to simply have a family to care for and the means to do so. Especially in times where political tension makes it harder than ever for families like us to see the good throughout and the fear of the future is steadily testing our faith.
Emily’s pictures are not just a piece of wall art. They are not just means to the end of filling in an empty space on the wall or a player in my idea of interior design. The truth is, sometimes – these pictures get me through the day (or long lonely nights). When my emotions take the best of me and my eyes fall onto a ‘moment’ of pure love, connection, unity, strength, intimacy, and warmth, it is then that I regain my purpose. I will continue our story – We will continue our story! Together, even when we are apart. Emily’s pictures, our pictures, make our home truly OUR home and are what keeps us truly US, even when we feel misunderstood, lonely, frustrated or even angry at each other.
See – this moment, when a picture can touch your soul, over and over again, even offer a little healing from time to time, THAT is the real art of photography.“
Reading her words made me well up inside. You just don’t get those daily reminders from digital files on a phone. You don’t even get it from a wallpaper on your lock screen. I can picture Amanda picking up a spare shoe and looking up at the portraits on the wall. I’ve had similar moments plenty of times, looking up to see my family portrait of my parents and siblings hanging on my wall.
These are the moments that remind us, that even if and when we’re apart, we’re together. We’re family. We’re part of something greater. All the stress around us can melt away just by fixating on a framed image of who it’s all for.
This is why I do what I do. It’s the reason I love gallery delivery days so much. It’s the reason why I offer premium printing services to all of my clients. They deserve the best quality to ensure those moments happen, without the distraction of the color being off or the resolution being low. It presents their family in the truest form to the portrait’s integrity – so the picture can do what it was made to do. Preserve, remind, and strengthen the memories and moments that matter.
If you’re ready to start printing photos instead of losing them in your photos app – get in contact with me so we can make it happen! And if you don’t yet have those memories preserved through a portrait session, let’s change that.
Copyright 2020. Alexandria, VA wedding & portrait photographer.
Serving brides and grooms in the Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, & Maryland region.
Copyright 2019. Design by Emily Nicole Photography. Photography by Emily Schneider.