Quality images of your loved ones are something that increase in value over time. You can never go back and decide later on to take photos of your children at that stage that has past. So once you have taken them what are you supposed to do with them? Because losing something that increased in value daily is something you’ll feel the sting of forever.
So when you have a picture that melts your heart, the first thing you have to do is PRINT IT! Print it on a keychain so you can love it overtime you start your vehicle. Print it on the holiday card so everyone else can love it too. Print it for the wall, so when you’re relaxing in your house it’ll make it feel like a home. Print it in a book so you can sit around on Christmas eve and flip through it with the family every year, creating traditions your children will treasure. With printing options so readily available to consumers there is no excuse not to print your images. Your soul will thank you for feeding it daily with visions of your loved ones. That said, as a professional I always recommend printing with archival quality, which is only available through professional labs. So what’s the difference? The difference is, when my 1 year old colours on her 30×40 newborn photo, the marker washes off. The difference is, 10 years later when consumer products are yellowing and becoming desaturated, the archival prints look exactly the same as the day they arrived. They are generational pieces that your grandchildren will admire.
Once an image is printed there’s no risk a corrupt file will take it away from you. However, in Fort McMurray we all know that printing images in our home doesn’t mean they’re safe forever. This is why it’s crucial you store your digital files in multiple locations. Hard drives can go corrupt with a tiny bump, exposure to an extreme temperature, exposure to moisture, or even just wear out over time. Again, in Fort McMurray we understand better than anyone that if something is stored in one physical location it could be lost in an instant. Personally I keep an external hard drive in my home, and another in a second physical location. I recommend having files sent to grandma or another family member who will keep them safe for you.Hard drives aren’t the only option for storage. Another storage solution that everyone should use is cloud storage! With options like dropbox available for free you can store your photos where you can reach them at the click of a button. Plus dropbox is free unless you’re using an extensive amount of space, which most people don’t do unless they’re trying to optimize the app for business. If you take home videos you’d like to save as well I highly recommend using Vimeo to store. It gives the option to keep your files private but let you access them through multiple devices.
Lastly, I want to touch on the importance of making sure you’re saving your full resolution files. Screen captures, screenshots, social media uploads and mobile downloads are often compressed versions of files and are not going to be printable with any reasonable quality. Often we get busy with life and think we’ll get to things later, then suddenly you see a picture of your newborn who just started school and decide you need a giant wall print to remind you of how small that little academic once was. Make sure you are preserving your files so there are no regrets later. Or, even better, talk to your photographer and let them print the images for you, so you can enjoy them all those years between birth and school!