Before the advent of digital photography, a custom portrait session usually resulted in receiving a number of prints from your session. They were put in an album or displayed on your wall for all to see and admire. Rarely did you receive (or even think about asking for) the negatives.
I’m not sure when exactly this changed, but the focus of many families who seek the services of a photographer seems to be to obtain the digital files (and sometimes not a single printed image). I suspect this thinking is often proliferated by photographers themselves, particularly in the start-up stage of business, as it is quick and easy to burn a disc and pop it in the mail.
In some ways I can understand the desire for having the digital negatives – I love sharing images online and having the ability to print my photos at any time too.
But are we losing the essence of what custom portraiture is all about?
You have chosen a photographer for their skill and talent to capture a special time in your family’s life, your wedding day, or even the first weeks with your newborn. The ability of your photographer to create a work of art from your time together is the reason their services are so valuable – they have invested a significant amount of time and money into education, equipment, software and experience.
Imagine you have a significant birthday coming up. You had a family portrait taken when you were a baby, and you see one of the images in print at your parents’ place whenever you visit.
Scenario 1 – Your birthday comes around, and your mum gives you a small package. You open it up to find a little strip of film negative. She beams at you and says “Now you can take it to the developers and get one printed whenever you like!”
Scenario 2 – Your birthday comes around, and your mum gives you a large, rectangular, flat package. You open it up to find an 8×12 inch print of you as a baby, matted and framed and ready to go straight on your wall.
Isn’t there something about holding a piece of art in your hands? And when it has such personal significance, it just makes it that much more special. I know which scenario I would prefer.
My goal as a photographer is to work with you to create amazing images that are transformed into beautiful artwork to be displayed in your home, and shared with your friends and family.
I recently took my own advice and got some of my favourite images printed and framed – and I love walking around the house and being surrounded by beautiful memories and happy moments.
Digital images are great, and I do make them available to my clients, but first and foremost, my desire is to put heirloom quality products into your hands that will be part of your family for years and even generations to come. I work closely with local suppliers to the professional photography industry to ensure I am delivering the highest quality products, custom made and unique for my clients.
I would love to chat to you about creating some custom artwork for your home. You can get in touch here.