It's not just for the 'Gram.
You've had a photoshoot. Now what?
You've just gotten the notification email from your photographer that your photoset is completed, edited, and online, just waiting for you! What do you do now?
Well, if you're like most, you will click that link to your photoset and download every last photo onto the nearest thumb drive you have...as if most photographers don't leave them up there for you for a year or more.
But, I definitely get it. This is the digital age. You paid = Their yours.
Then, we photographers hope you will proceed to your FB and IG accounts and let your family and friends see the photos and how much you love them, tagging us of course (I mean, that’s how we get new business).
But, once you've done all that, what's next?
It's great to stunt for the 'gram and all. But, I was once told by a friend that if her house was on fire, right after her humans, she'd be trying to save the family photo albums.
That's serious stuff right there.
Sharing your photos online is awesome. But, somewhere along the line, you want to go a little deeper.
Read on for some things you should be doing with your photos right now.
This should be one of the first things on your list of things to do once you get your photos. While the argument of whether it should be done by professional printers or at your drug store is a discussion for another post. I’m merely emphasizing the fact that you should be like Nike and “Just do it.”
In an age where everything is digital and the latest shiny, new social media feature depends on existing for the next 24 hours before disappearing into the interwebs, many times printing images can be thought of as a dead, archaic process that nobody seriously does anymore.
How sad. If our images have any ability to reflect the substance of our lives and our stories, that “here today, gone tomorrow” concept is not an attractive legacy to be passed down to your children’s children.
Printing your images gives them life beyond the digital age and allows you to live with them in a way that you just can’t get from your screen. Flipping through a bound family album is one of the best ways to travel memory lane with the elders or young children. Even the act of creating a handmade album or scrapbook is a creative outlet that still excites many (just take a trip to your local Michael’s or Joann’s to see the aisles dedicated to scrapbooking devotees). For the less traditional, there are print houses that will place your photos on anything you can imagine like coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, mouse pads, candles, and more. On the other hand, for the traditionalists, large canvases give weight, substance, and texture to your photos that not one of your glossy screens would ever be able to rival.
Besides, what if that digital storehouse fails? If it does, I’m sure you’ll make other memories. But, I’m just as sure you’ll hurt for the ones you lost at some point. Sad, but true.
Just for giggles, take a look at this video by Bryan Caporicci. If that doesn’t hilariously drive this particular point home, I’m not quite sure about you yet, Dear Reader.
Ugh. I know. If there’s an official Boring Words List somewhere, I’m 99.999% sure “archiving” is probably on it. But, it’s one of the most important things you can do for your photos. It goes back to what my friend said. Her family’s photos would be the first thing she’d try to save after her family members. But, what if you couldn’t get to the albums?
Most photographers will archive your photos for you for at least a certain amount of time since it’s within their best interests to deliver good customer service in the event you lose your digitals. But, as your family documentarian, having your own backup for your digitals is just smart. What if that photographer decides to close shop at some point? Having your own backup is the preemptive cure for that.
To cover all of your bases, you should consider having a physical backup at home, stored somewhere outside your home, and something in a cloud service as well.
I don’t think I’d have to tell anyone to display their photos online. Sharing has become so ingrained in our culture that it’d be silly to say. But, displaying them in your home, I think, deserves to be mentioned.
Displaying goes hand-in-hand with printing. I often print two photos. One for my album and another for display in my home.
There are all kinds of ways to suit your family’s style for displaying photos from DIY’ing mini-clip boards and other supports to professionally-framed photos and even museum-worthy, gallery-style displays. Many of your craft stores do a very good job of curating supports from a wide range of styles. You can also find professional printers that will frame your photos for you as well. Find a style that works for you and try it out in your home…I want to see the pics!
You’re a tough cookie, Dear Reader. :) But, hopefully, I’ve made the case for extending and preserving the life of your photos beyond your computer screen. If so, let me know in the comments which of these points was most helpful to you.
Until next time!