The other day, my wife told me that she noticed our youngest, Evelyn, performing a sweet little routine: she was going back and forth between the piano (and the photos on it) at one end of the living room to the couch in the other corner and pointing to something above the couch, all the while giggling and smiling and talking to herself.
Our 2 year old happens to be one of the most articulate children (perhaps even people?) we know. And the 'something' above our couch is a 24x48 framed portrait of our family, taken over a year ago. So Evelyn, whom at the best of times no ritual or routine (or sometimes even high chair) can contain, was repeatedly going back and forth to the the photos on the piano and our family portrait above the couch, pointing and saying out loud the names of each of the family members and just smiling from ear to ear.
It strikes me as interesting that our family portrait above the couch and the photos of her sisters on the piano would have such an effect on a child who is more often to be found covered in mud, marker, or pizza but to tell you the truth, it’s not surprising because all of our kids love looking at family photos, whether on the wall, in an album or on the computer.
Except that images on the computer, or all the devices we use on an everyday basis, often get lost in the increasingly hungrier black hole of the cloud or off-device storage, to be seen only when I plug in an external drive or when I feel like scrolling endlessly through Google Photos or iCloud. While searching for a specific photo has gotten far easier (especially with the recent AI advances), creating memorable, digestible photo snapshots of family life has not.
Organizing the hundreds of images we take so quickly every day is a momentous task, one that doesn’t have an easy solution even to the most organized of us. A much less stressful way of preserving photographic memories for the future is to have periodic photography sessions that sprinkle memories of your family life on wall art, in albums and in gifts for the important people in your life, ready to be observed or picked up easily whenever one desires.
This is why even when many photographers offer digitals-only packages, my wife and I have felt so strongly about retaining the products we offer…the real, physical photos – because of that precocious two year old pointing at, and engaging with, delighting in, and completely captivated by our family portraits.