Tangible history, the value of your investment

Tangible historY

the value of your investment...

Recently, I was working on a big commercial project. I walked into the office of the company I was shooting that day and saw the beautiful photos we had created at our last shoot, and to my surprise, they didn't look like the photos I delivered to the client. The colors were all wrong, they were blown-out (much brighter than how I created them to look), they had a strange green tint to them... I was sad. I spent hours perfectly editing those images before delivering my hard work.

How lovely is that flashdrive you have sitting on your desk? Or that file of images delivered digitally, still stuck on your hard drive?!

This scenario was with a commercial client but it more-so matters for my portrait and wedding clients because your images are your history, a slice of time, you won't update your wedding album with fresh images in 10 years. This experience with my commercial client re-established that professionally printed photographs are worth every dollar spent. A professional printer keeps their printers calibrated to ensure that the colors are accurate, the big-box store down the road, does not.

You spent money on a professional photographer, the cost of making sure the images represent that photographer's standard of quality and match what they created custom for you, is worth it. I would rather clients invest in a smaller wedding package and have money left to invest in a professional album, than pay for the biggest package and be left with nothing more than digital files alone.

I read this article, about believing in photography, but really believing in it because I believe in photographs. That's why I felt called to photography all those years ago, physical prints of my family's history mattered enough to be planned for, taken, and preserved--and they still matter that much.

How do you know what your images are suppose to look like when I deliver a digital-CD if you've never seen them professionally printed? You don't, but that stops now.

Some might not value this like you and I do, but I know that my clients believe that their images are their family's history, and that digital-CD/DVD/flashdrive is shit unless you have physical copies of your artwork.


Photographs matter

Tangible, professionally printed, deep in color, with all of their intended details, pieces of your history, a legacy for generations to pass around...that's what I value!

You want better for your family. I know you do. Let's print those images!

...Printed photographs are tangible. We can hold on to them, pass them around, frame them and hang them on a wall.  We can make albums to be treasured and looked through by children for years to come.

We can’t touch a file and the truth is we don’t know the longevity of a file or if we will even be able to find it someday.  A digital file is a bit of a mystery - if it’s lost, where did it go.  If a drive is damaged what happens to the files?  How many people truly back up all their images?

What happened to disc cameras, eight track tapes, Walkman’s and other technology we thought would last forever?   What will our children be looking at in 20 or 30 years?  Photographs are special - files are not!

I believe in printing my work professionally. I believe my work is more than a screen saver.  Years of studying and perfecting my craft comes down to more than sending files via the internet.  

The photographs I create for my clients are not only precious to my clients but they are precious to me.  It is my work, a lifetime of work that deserves to be printed.

Photographs are passed on to children and grandchildren.  Can you imagine a floppy disk, a DVD or a flash drive sitting in a frame representing your family portraits?

Like many photographers I have struggled with bending to the needs or wants of a clientele that is looking for files.  But this is what I discovered over the last year - It makes me uncomfortable in the center of my gut to hand over digital files no matter the price.  Clients have told me that the digital files (sic) or DVD is still sitting on a desk and they should have had me make the prints in the first place because they never have time to get to it.  

I wonder about those files that were sold.... How were they printed?  Did the client crop it too tight?  Is the color correct?  Did they attempt to alter the image?  It troubles me because I put so much of myself into my work.   And, I have to wonder... am I really acting as a professional and serving my client the best way I know how to by simply selling intangible files that may never be printed?

For some, it’s easy.... take some photos, edit them, burn them on a disk or flash-drive and make a few bucks.  I don’t and can’t operate that way - I care too much about my work, my clients and future generations that might have no photographs because I wanted to make fast and easy money selling files.

I’m taking a stand!  I am a photographer! I am without a doubt passionate about creating photographs - real pictures - printed on professional papers - and made into beautiful albums.  I want your children, their children, my children and future grandchildren looking at and holding onto photographs not the latest greatest gadget.

There I stand!
— Michele Celentano