Whenever someone asks me if I sell digital files I say ‘Yes, BUT it comes with a physical product.’ Why?
First of all, a physical product is something that you can touch, feel, enjoy and (if you choose to) display in a favorite space. It is a print/ canvas/ framed image/ acrylic/ album that can be enjoyed and seen every day without thinking about finding it. We are living in a fantastic digital age where everything is available at the swipe or push of a button. Because of this, Shanna Paxton Photography gives digital album apps to our clients, which is a great way to share with family members across the world.
But what if the computer crashes (knock on wood)? What if you lose those beautiful images? Digital products are temperamental; there are no guarantees. Also, if you want to show off your family portraits everyone has to huddle behind a tiny screen.
We make sure that our clients are getting physical copies of everything they purchase, because we want them to have something they can actually hold and enjoy.
Recently we had a family session that was very unique. The children had grown up in this home that was the location of the shoot. Grandchildren got to grow up in this home. However, the time had come for them to sell their home. It was bittersweet and they wanted to have a special family photo session that would help them remember all the good times (click here for other great ideas for family photo sessions). In addition to taking photographs of each family in an area that meant something to them they also brought out all of their old family photographs. Some were Polaroids! This was very exciting to see; I always think of Polaroids as treasures because they are from such a particular time in photography history. There were photographs of the children as toddlers, children doing chores, having fun in the yard, family gatherings and so much more. It was such a beautiful sight to see these photographs line their long rectangular picnic table. It made me think of the TV show Parenthood, so many children, so many memories, so much history. The grandchildren (youngest being about 4years old) got to look through these images and were able to ask ‘is this mommy?’. A teenager at the table made the comment ‘you had hair like this?’. This activity alone became such a rich way of getting different expressions of warmth on each person’s face. They got to remember the fun times, as they passed an image that caused such laughter and happiness to one another. This simple act of passing the image to one another gave everyone a chance to relive the memory attached to the photograph. How therapeutic this activity can be and how beautiful it is to have the opportunity to photograph it!
This is the very reason I will always have physical products for my clients, I want them to be able to sift through a box of images and relive and retell those memories.