But why do I need to print my portraits? This is why.

So the other day, Facebook freaked out and user were unable to view photos/images while using Facebook. Subsequently people freaked out over Facebook freaking out, and then everyone was just panicked, and that’s never a good time. Because think about it – what if Facebook and Instagram freaked out – permanently – and you lost all of the photos you’d uploaded to either program? Panic. What if Facebook and Instagram just failed to work one day, crashed, and took all of your photos with it – years and years of memories that you’d uploaded to these programs to share with others? Gone. In an instant. Not a fun idea. Guess what will be around after both of these social media platforms fail and/or become obsolete? Prints. Albums. Framed portraits on your walls. And this, my friends, is why it is so important to me that you print your portraits.

Look, I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to instant gratification and taking photos. I probably have close to 2,000 photos and videos on my phone, and other than posting on Instagram and Facebook and sharing with friends, they just…well…sit there. Meaning all of those funny moments with my friends, while we’re riding together or being silly with our horses, or just a beautiful moment I happened to capture during a casual, everyday interaction with someone I love – those moments/photos are snapped, shared, and then forgotten. When you think about it – that’s really sad. Because those are the best parts of our lives – when we’re happy, sharing a moment with someone, experiencing genuine joy and happiness – and we’re so so lucky that it’s so quick and easy to capture those moments. I’d argue that digital photography, affordable DSLR cameras, and cell phones with cameras have shaped our lives in ways we still don’t appreciate, it’s had that profound of an effect on us. Because we have the ability to capture any moment, at any time, anywhere, and immediately see that image. It happens instantaneously, easily, and without much effort. And that’s amazing.

Remember the good old days? Gone are the days of fishing around in your backpack or bag for your camera (or disposable camera!), making sure you have enough shots left on the film roll, hoping you actually capture the image you have in mind, driving to the drugstore to drop off the roll of film to be developed, and then hopefully remembering to eventually pick up the prints and FINALLY get to see your images! WHEW! There was the anticipation of waiting to see those photos, and when you did receive them, the excitement of sorting through all of them and getting to relive each moment and laugh (or cry) and experience it all over again. And THEN you were left with that tangible photograph, that little 4×6 glossy piece of paper with a priceless image on it, and you might tuck it in the frame of your mirror above your dresser, slip it into a little frame for your desk, or even paste it into a big leather photo album. The moment wasn’t captured, seen, and forgotten – it was permanently recorded, tangibly documented, and kept to be seen and enjoyed whenever you sat at your desk, leafed through an album, or looked at your mirror. Chances are, you still have your baby photos in a big bulky album, or your graduation photos in cheesy frames on the walls in your parents’ house (speaking from personal experience here!). And how cool is that?!

So think about it. How many moments and memories are you losing every day? In 2 years, 10 years, even 20 years, will anyone remember those moments? What will you have to look back on? How will you remember your graduation, your wedding, the birth of your baby? Even if Facebook IS around in 20 years, are you really going to rely on a social media platform to retain all of those memories for you? So many of the images we take will never be seen ever again – phones fall into water, hard drives fail, social media platforms go obsolete – at best you have those images tucked away somewhere, but worst case scenario they’re gone forever. And that makes me really sad.

THIS IS WHY YOU NEED TO PRINT YOUR PICTURES. Sorry, but yes, I am yelling (but just a little bit, and in a really nice voice!). You love your horse – your horse is your world – and you went into this relationship with them fully aware that horses do not live forever, and that your time together is precious and finite. That someday you’ll want to be able to look back and remember your horse, the time you two spent together, how beautiful he or she was, and how he or she made you feel. In 10, 15, 20 years, you’ll want those memories preserved – please don’t rely on Facebook to safeguard and keep those memories for you. PRINT YOUR PORTRAITS. Savor every second with your horse, every moment you two spend together, and print out those pictures to enjoy and keep and look back on. Even if they’re silly phone snapshots or low-quality stills from a phone video, you’ll be so happy you printed them.

So coming full circle now – this is why every single one of my collections includes physical prints of your portraits. Every single one of my clients will have tangible prints in their hand by the time we’ve completed your portrait session process. I understand that in this day and age, most people want the flexibility of owning their own digital files for archival purposes and/or printing on their own terms – and this is why digital images are included in all portrait collections as well, with the option to purchase a print release. It’s the best of both worlds. And who wouldn’t want to sit at their desk and stare at portraits of their gorgeous horse all day? I have a huge canvas gallery wrap print of Ollie on the wall next to my desk so I can stare at him all day. These are just a few ideas of how you can enjoy your portraits – if you’ve made the choice to invest in professional portraits of your horse, then make sure you get the most out of them – print them.

So I’ll sum it up for you here: Please, pretty please, print your pictures.

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