The (Lost) Digital Generation {Alexandria, Va Portrait Photographer}

We live in what might be a lost generation.  With 1.4 million photographs uploaded daily to Flikr, 40 million to Instagrm and 350 million to Facebook, it would seem that our lives are actually hyper-documented.  And they are, in a sense.   We document everything from baby’s first steps to our first sips of coffee each morning.  But because we have slipped so easily into the habit of posting instead of printing our images, our memories are quickly fading into cyberspace with the other 400 million that are being uploaded daily.

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I have a feeling that in 20 years our kids will ask what Facebook was, and wonder where all the photographs of their growing years went.  Because we did take them…but we never printed them.  And even if Facebook is around in 20+ years, our children would have to sort through literally millions of photographs to find their own (low quality, low-resolution) images on the web.

As a photographer, I believe much of my industry has done a great dis-service to this generation by handing out DVDs and flash drives of digital photographs and not creating heirloom products for our clients (myself included, at one point in time).  However after years of watching clients happily post photos to facebook, but never getting wedding albums, I realized that something had to change and that I could had to be a part of it.

(This is my own wedding album.  It took me 3 1/2 years after receiving my wedding photographs on a disc to order it.  I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally have our own heirloom book customized to us to have for the rest of our lives and pass on to our children.)

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Photographic prints in whatever form, whether album, folio box or wall portrait, are one of the greatest gifts we can give to coming generations.  That’s why here at Alumbra Photography, every client that steps in front of my camera walks away with at least one heirloom quality photographic print.  I use an incredible software that allows me to show you exactly what your portrait will look like on your wall (frame, matte and all) before you ever order it, so you can be sure it is a fit for you and your home.

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Photographs are the means we use to hold on to memories and freeze moments in time in different seasons of life.  Whether it’s the sweet cuddles you hope your kids never outgrow or the awkward smile with braces that they so desperately want to outgrow, each season is a precious part of your story.  I will work with you from the moment we meet to plan a unique session that fits you and your family, and to create custom, heirloom quality artwork for you to display.

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Disclaimer: I am in no way opposed to digital photography, in fact all of my clients receive the digital files of any photographs they purchase prints of; they also have the option to purchase additional high resolution digital files from their session.  I believe it is my responsibility as a photographer to not only create beautiful photographs for my clients, but to also create artwork from those photographs for clients and their families to enjoy now and for generations to come.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about how we can better serve our clients and continue this conversation in this very digital world.

 

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  • Paige Hollans - EXACTLY. Couldn’t have said it better. The more prints the better. Prints big, small, hung or in a bowl (like I have my images of my favorite moments) on the coffee table.

    PRINT YOUR PICTURES FOR THE FUTURE TO SEE!

    #photographersforprinting

  • Daniel - I completely agree with you 100% on this! I am creating my business plan for my photography work and this is exactly how I feel, specially with weddings!! Yes they will get X number amount of pictures on a Flash Drive, but al album is more important!

  • Joy - I totally agree!!
    It’s fun to post the highlights on Facebook and Instagram, but the important memories are worthy of treating them like the treasures they are.

    I have tintypes and photos on glass slides taken of my family in the late 19th century. Without them that visual heritage would have been lost.

  • abby - I agree! I was married 7 years ago and the only picture I have hanging in my house is one I printed off my printer on regular paper in black and white. My photographer didn’t even give me digital pictures. Just negatives. It is one of my huge regrets and things I wish I could do over from our wedding day.

  • Ana Buitrago - Susannah! So true! I have made a mental note to print pictures, but now I really have to get on it! Top of my list of things to do! Thank you for bringing this to our attention.