Today's "Modern Family" will be known as the generation of "No Heritage". It's true and it's literally of epic proportions.
I, like most of you, am a tech geek. I love technology, convenience and everything our modern world has to offer including our mobile phones and all the fancy things they do. Yes, they take some pretty darn nice photos too. As a professional photographer, I still feel the phones are lacking in certain departments (action photos, lower light situations, true depth of field quality) but they do a great job for what they were intended to do: grab quick spontaneous photos at the spur of the moment.
There's just one problem with this: We have been brainwashed into thinking that our phones with marginally good photos are our legacy and heritage. Guess what? IT'S NOT. The immediate satisfaction of that slightly blurry, ill composed photo of your children at the beach has singlehandedly replaced the legacy Family Portrait in your home. Like a drug, those small doses of instant image pleasure & satisfaction for social media has caused parents to ignore and completely forget the concept of family wall art - and I'm not talking about a digital file taken by a "professional photographer" either - a true living breathing FAMILY PORTRAIT that you can touch, see and smell - printed by a professional lab, professionally framed and even professionally sized for your home or wall space that brings an immediate smile to your face every day you see it. Even our "professional" (I use this term loosely) photography world has assisted in brainwashing you by handing you digital files like discounted shoes from 2 seasons ago. The digital file and immediate satisfaction of seeing images on a screen is a dis-service to families of epic proportions. It psychologically prevents the end product from being made which is a SHOWCASED PRINT and proud display of a FAMILY PORTRAIT (lifestyle or traditional) in ones home. It's no different than an architect drawing your kitchen remodel and dropping off all the materials in your front yard. You know what it "could" look like. But so few follow through on the execution. Is our industry "professional" if we are knowingly setting our clients up for failure and not seeing our artwork of your family through the whole process to complete product?
Look at your photo app on your phone right now. How many photos are in there? Mine currently has over 2,000. How many photos are print worthy? How many did you actually print in the last year? And meanwhile, your children are growing in the blink of an eye with a $1000 4k 60" television on the wall but not an appropriately sized photo of them hung anywhere in the home. Did you know there have been studies that displaying large photos of your children increases their self-esteem and confidence as they grow? I have yet to see a brand of television that does the same.
Custom photography and portrait services are a luxury in life but it is not reserved for the rich, wealthy or those of royalty. It is a service and product for those who VALUE it. I see people every day who will pay $800 a month for a high end SUV lease (lease is a fancy term for renting by the way) but balk at the concept of investing half of that single month's rental payment into a portrait that will be cherished for DECADES. Let that sink in - half the amount of a months rent for something that captures your family for DECADES. Not only cherished, but argued over by siblings when it is time to hand down to children of the family - that scenario is very real and it will happen to you and myself alike - when we are old, placed into a nursing home or dead, our children (provided they even understand what heritage and legacy means) will want your heritage portraits. But if these portraits don't exist and those immediately satisfying iPhone photos get deleted, or the phone breaks, or your iCloud gets compromised, guess what - no more marginally good heritage let alone heritage and legacy done by a professional.
Just a message to parents and budding families: Hire a professional. Make Artwork with your family. BIG & GORGEOUS artwork you will enjoy every day. The kind of artwork that makes houseguests and relatives jealous. In 20 years it will be priceless, without regret and you can thank me then.