So my computer stopped working and was at the Apple store for the past six days.
In the world of a small business owner, having your computer at the Apple store for any length of time is scary. What's even scarier is potentially losing everything that is stored on that computer.
Fortunately, my tech guy (AKA husband) is smart and organized when it comes to digital systems and had multiple backup systems in place, so I did not lose a thing. Since I have a laptop, I was able to work normally. Thanks, tech guy!
This incident has had me thinking all week about how much we rely on digital storage and how easy it is to lose it all in one failed piece of equipment. We hold some pretty valuable items on these devices. Sure, there are important documents and communications stored, but the valuable items I'm focusing on here are photos.
Imagine losing photos from important events like weddings, births, proms, or Grandma's 90th birthday celebration. What if you lost all of the milestone photos you've ever taken of your child - when he was a newborn; when she started eating solid food; his Kindergarten graduation; her middle school recital; his graduation party before he goes to college...you get my point.
We have so many important moments that are a part of our family story living on devices that can easily crash or become obsolete. The volume of images we take and store without culling (because who has time for that?!) also makes them more tedious to view, so we spend less time enjoying the images we actually take.
Digital images are truly valuable and have their place, but holding a photograph or an album in your hand stimulates all of your senses in ways that viewing images on a screen simply can't. By physically touching and feeling the texture of a print, running your hands across the pages of an album, hearing the noise of the binding as you crack open an album and your hands gently flip through pages, or smelling the inks and papers that hold a special moment on them allows you to experience a certain time in your life in such a different way than viewing these same images on a screen.
According to Aisha Sulton in this article, "We rely on our visual documentation as our memory for when it fades."
As a family photographer, it is important to me to provide all my families with some form of printed product. Whether it is a collection of small prints, a statement wall art piece, or a custom-designed album, I want my clients to walk away with something tangible that they can enjoy now and for future generations to help tell their family story.
The product I enjoy most is creating storytelling albums. Last year I switched album companies because I wanted to align my business with a vendor who was supporting children in foster care. Beautiful Together is an organization that provides resources and works on tangible products that directly improve the quality of life for children waiting for their forever homes. Besides feeling good about supporting this organization and these children, the quality of their albums is simply stunning. I have designed and delivered several albums to clients since using them and I have been highly impressed each time...and so have my clients!
So the next time you take photos of your family, I encourage you to think ahead and have a plan in mind for digitally storing (with backups!) those images and consider printing a few of them to enjoy outside of a device. This will be one of the greatest gifts you pass down to your children someday.