Family portraits are stressful, hard to plan and even harder to figure out what to do after they are taken. The saddest part is even after all that work and heartache 80% of all family portraits will not be looked at or enjoyed on a regular basis. And even worse is they may not even exist 12 years down the road. The value of family portraits depends on a few key things.
Family Portraits have Two Lives
The first life of a family portrait is how you will enjoy it now, in the present. Most people already share their portraits through social media. But people will enjoy their portrait the most when they have a well-designed display in their home.
The second life of a family portrait is years later when the portrait is enjoyed by the descendants of the family. After we have passed away we will only be remembered by the things that we write and the photographs we leave behind. When a family has family portraits taken they are creating elements of their family history collection that could be enjoyed for many generations.
Both of these “lives” can be a disaster if done wrong. Many people get ideas for their portrait displays from the internet. The internet hasn’t seen your portrait nor your house. When portraits are displayed wrong, they don’t get looked at and your money was wasted. The other disaster is digital products are making our portraits disposable. The average life of a digital file is only 5 to 10 years. The average life of consumer-grade prints is only 8 to 12 years. So any money you spend for portraits that are not preserved through an archival process may not make it to the next generation.
Two Essential Things Your Photographer Must Be Able To Do (and 2 other really helpful things)
We live in a time that anyone who has a camera is willing to moonlight as a photographer. I talked to a “photographer” that said she had been doing pictures for people for over 5 years but one of these days she needs to take some classes to learn how to use her camera.
The 2 Essential Things
- Your photographer needs to have the technical skills to work in all lighting conditions, people skills to work with a variety of personalities, and posing skills to make your family look natural. These are essential skills to create a great image.
- Your photographer needs to know how to create quality archival prints. Archival prints, for the most part, are not available to the general public. Ask about the printing process and about how long the print is expected to stay nice. Be aware, many photographers don’t offer prints and many who do just take your images to the same place you could have taken them.
The 2 Helpful Things
- It is very helpful if your photographer knows how to plan the time of the session. For example, small children have limited attention span and it is very helpful to be able to gauge how they are doing and use the time wisely to get the maximum benefit.
- It is also very helpful if your photographer knows about interior design. There are walls in your home that you look at more than others. The ability to identify those walls is helpful. A good photographer will know the rules for sizing an image to look good on the wall. The size of the image, the size of each person’s head, and the size of the room will determine how much you will enjoy the portrait.
The True Value of Family Portraits
I have a lot of families comment that when they create a display that they look at every day, the feeling of love among their family members increases. The portrait becomes a visual representation of their relationship with each other. That representation reinforces the idea that you are a family that has a special relationship. Families that don’t get along rarely have family portraits taken.
Promotes Strong Family Values
Family portraits become an immortalized definition of your family. It marks a point in time and preserves your family as it was at that time. Family portraits help to invoke nostalgia and helps you remember the good times. As a family creates a tradition of family portraits they immortalize good memories that strengthens the relationships of that family. It would be impossible to underestimate the psychological benefits family portraits have on the family.
Ensures Your Family Will Be Remembered
Your family is special. You are creating a legacy that should be remembered. There will be people who want to remember your family – even hundreds of years from now. Now is the time to create the documentation of who you are so future generations can know about you. Don’t let the time go by.
It Is Worth Doing Family Portraits Right
There is not a lot of difference in price. There is not a lot of difference in the amount of work you put in. But, if you choose the right photographer that can provide the right products and services if you make it a priority to get lasting prints and if you chose the right displays you will be surprised at how much more enjoyment your family portraits can provide to you.
It is worth doing it right!
Never Pay a Family Portrait Session Fee Again
Each year we do around 20 free family portrait session days. We call those Family Portrait Photo Safaris. These are very popular days among our regular clients.