Investing in Family Photographs
When I speak with someone interested in hiring a photographer, I talk about photography using the word investment. The other day, I had a discussion with someone about why I use the word ‘Investment’ on my website instead of ‘Prices’ or ‘Pricing’. Today I want to talk about why photography is an investment, and why you should invest in your photos.
What is an investment?
The definition of investment is this: the act of putting money, effort, time, etc. into something to make a profit or get an advantage. I truly think of photography and photographs this way- the value of them grows over time.
In the case of special photos like those of your wedding, special family events or your children when they are small… the joy you will get from them in the future far outweighs the cost you will pay for them today. Do you believe me? Let me ask you a question. Imagine I want to buy your wedding photos from you- how much do I have to pay? (let’s pretend there is only one copy and you will never see them again). Is that number higher than what you paid for them? I would bet on it. How about your child’s newborn photos? Same question- have they appreciated in value? Do you treasure them today even more than when you first got them? Just imagine how important they will be to you in 10, 25, or 50 years.
My sad story of digital loss
Digital images are not the best way to keep your photos- actually it’s the worst way to keep them! I kept my family photo archive on an external hard drive. About 7 years ago, the drive was plugged in and I was backing up recent photos. My 3 year old son knocked the drive off of my desk. When I plugged it back in, it didn’t work.
I panicked and brought it to a data recovery company. They told me it would cost $500-1000 to recover the photos. Whew, let’s do it! I did not have this extra money, but that hard drive contained photos of 2 years of my family’s life…. from the time my son was born until he was 2. A week later the company called me to let me know that they had failed to recover the data.
I had only one option left; I could send it to another company who would take apart the hard-drive removing the parts in a dustless environment…. well I don’t know the technology of it…. but it was EXPENSIVE. $4000. I was so attached to those photographs, I couldn’t NOT pay that price.
Thank goodness I printed my photos!
Later, I got the devastating call that they were also unsuccessful at saving my images. (Thankfully, there is no charge when these companies can’t retrieve the data) Losing this investment – my photos- really did feel as devastating as losing big, in a stock market crash.
Luckily, I have my son’s 1st year baby album and some of my favourite photos of my children from that time printed. A few digital versions still exist because I was able to download them from the online photo lab where I printed them from (some of my favourites can be seen in this post) Today, my family albums are my most precious possessions. Most people, when asked what they would save if their house was on fire, say their photographs. Photographs hold more value than most of our other material things. Invest in photos!
Invest in your family photos
Hire a photographer who will provide you with high quality, archival images of these memories, printed in an album or for your wall. The digital world is not permanent. Digital data, no matter how well you organize and care for it is fragile. It will corrupt. It will get lost. The technology will evolve and your images will be obsolete. Trust me, you will never regret investing in photography. But you will regret not investing in photography.
Ready to invest in photos? Let’s make some memories!