My little girl has a lot to say for a two year old. She’s astute and wordy and manages to frequently shock us with her observations. The fact that she’s found her words earlier than most has given us the fun (and frequently surprising) opportunity to hear what rambunctious toddlers are really thinking! One of her more recent inquiries struck a chord. I have framed photos scattered around our home and she was staring at one of me and my husband, head cocked to the side in concentration. She pointed her tiny finger at the portrait and blinked wide brown eyes at me – followed by one perfectly reasonable question. “Mommy, where am I??”
At only two years old, our daughter is already taking in the photos around our house and noticing them. Devouring them, even. Her simple question was an excellent reminder to tackle a topic that’s close to my heart as both a photographer AND a mother. It is INCREDIBLY important to preserve an art form that is being unintentionally lost to technology – the printed photograph.
Even the BEST technology can fail.
Before every other reason that printed images matter, there is the simple truth – technology is not infallible. Regardless of the number of backups you have, the multiple hard drives that you carefully duplicate and scatter in safe places, the different servers that you store pictures on – the memories of your entire adult life are at the mercy of a piece of hardware.
At the rate that technology changes and improves, it’s just not smart to assume that all of your memories are eternally safe being stored digitally. Flash drives and discs are not even meant to be long term storage solutions, yet you probably have some buried in the back of your desk drawer as we speak…just waiting for you to get around to saving them somewhere else. Isn’t it funny how quickly “soon” turns into five years? We need to do something with all of those precious moments – printing them, however quaint it sounds, is a surprisingly wonderful option that we’ve all somehow gotten away from. Facebook just doesn’t cut it, y’all!
And let’s talk about those hard drives, shall we? Have you ever tried to go back and find a specific picture in the seemingly endless sea of random photos? It will turn your hair white, people! I might have waited until my daughter turned one to make an album of her first year. I also might have spent hours upon HOURS of my life for an entire MONTH digging through thousands of pictures in order to find the 50 or so that I wanted to include. The struggle is real. You should avoid this, folks.
Touching, feeling and seeing a printed photograph is a visceral experience for everyone.
I was at my parent’s house not long ago when my mom was reorganizing her den. She had odd and ends pulled out of hiding places and I stumbled onto a picture of her at 16 years old. I was immediately pulled up short. I’d never laid eyes on this picture before and as I stood there, turning it over in my hands, I was struck by how beautiful she was. The moment sparked an entire afternoon of pulling out old family albums that were just begging to be opened. Joy settled around me like an old friend as I flipped opened the books and began to relive my childhood…little moments that would never be remembered unless they were printed in this book for me to touch and laugh with my mom about. Gap toothed grins and awkward school dances and my sisters as tiny babies – all coming to life right in front of me without planning or intent. Isn’t that always the MOST fun?
Looking through photo albums, touching the images with your hands while not connected to a screen, actually experiencing the pictures in a tangible state…this is the tactile way to revisit your past and it means far more to the soul than simply viewing them on a device.
From children as young as 18 months old to the oldest among us, looking through albums and seeing memories in your hands is a powerful and meaningful experience. It shouldn’t go by the wayside simply because we live in a digital age.
The Missed Opportunity
I think we all remember the heady excitement of dropping off a roll of film brimming with trapped images from the vacation we just arrived home from or the big party we’d just attended. We were itching to develop the pictures and hold the fat stack in our hands – usually in the car because we couldn’t possibly drive home without looking! Digital photography is such a wonderful convenience that I’m grateful for in so many ways, but it takes genuine effort to avoid falling into the trap of “I’ll get to those later” when you have the instant gratification of seeing the photos as they happen and sharing on social media.
When you have digital files, it’s so easy not to make printing, displaying or creating albums a priority…despite our BEST intentions.
My husband and I took our first vacation away together since the birth of our daughter and documented our time together with picture after fabulous picture…which no one has seen because they are hiding out on our computer. EIGHT MONTHS LATER. And I’M the professional. I told y’all that I speak the truth! We are ALL guilty!
The best way to turn all of this around is to take action as soon as possible. When you get home from your trip, fire those pictures off to the printers! Set a reminder on your phone and make a monthly or
yearly album of your favorite moments! When you see a picture and think “That’s frame worthy!”…FRAME IT, friends! When I take newborn photos or family portraits of your crew, I’ll show you how to take those beautiful memories off of the computer screen and put them on your walls where they can be loved every. single. day. My sweet friend Cooper gives the best testimonial EVER for getting those portraits up…I think he loves the work we did just as much as his family does! You can definitely take his word for it.
About the Photographer
Melissa is the owner, artist and heart of her company, Melissa Marciszko Photography. Based in Plano (just North of Dallas), she specializes in creating heirloom quality, custom portraits for families throughout North Texas. With a focus on newborn photography, baby milestones and family portraits, Melissa and her team want to turn all of your most precious moments into cherished art that will stand the test of time. Her attention to detail sets her apart – and she believes perfection is found in the tiny details. Her art showcases the baby, the family, the child – perfectly muted color palettes, classic textured details and portraits that seem to glow from within are her hallmark. Melissa has been married for twelve years to the love of her life and is amazed daily by her wonderful (and oddly long winded) two year old daughter. She loves diet coke and the color purple and is a huge fan of cruising with her family and experiencing the world together. If you are considering a newborn, baby, or family photographer, Melissa is currently booking sessions in Plano, Allen, Frisco, Richardson, Carrollton and the greater North Texas area. If you want to learn more about why preserving your memories matters to Melissa, check out the whole story right here… and feel free to browse her website and Facebook page for inspiration and details! Questions? Ready to schedule your own session? Send her a message here!