Recently, I had a friend of mine that I did pictures for almost a year ago come to me for help. Her computer was stolen, and on that computer were not only all of her important files, but also her baby’s pictures from birth through her current age. That included the maternity session, the newborn session, and the images throughout the first year that I was able to capture for her family. Nothing is more heart breaking than knowing the images you treasured so much are gone for good. Luckily, I did have the images still (because I may just hoard images for a period longer than the year I normally do) but that still doesn’t mean that putting them onto a new drive, disk, or uploading means they’re safe. One of the biggest mistakes in today’s digital age is the fact that everything stays digital, especially when it’s portraits that should be around for your family for years. Did you know that digital files are not archival?
What does archival mean?
In the art world, having something be archival means that the piece of artwork is able to remain durable over time.
Digital files have no way of being archival. Over time, the files eventually corrupt, get lost, or become so dated that they can’t be opened anymore. The statistics behind it are even more frightening, as around 90 percent of people keep photos and music on their computers…and of that 90 percent, nearly 40% have lost files due to them corrupting. When dealing with music, it can be replaced, but photos? Moments you can’t ever get back? There is a simple solution to be able to have those files forever.
How can you keep files forever?
Archival quality papers can last 100 years or more. If you have an 8×10 of your favorite images printed on quality paper with quality inks, they have the potential to last your entire lifetime and more. I always suggest keeping portraits in a cool, dark, but dry place. If you stored them in a box in a dresser or cabinet, that works well. Having them in a fire-safe area is even better.
Portraits I capture are so important to you, but more importantly, they’re even more important to that sweet baby you’re snuggling in your arms or dropping off at school. When they’re grown, they’ll want these portraits we’ve captured together. They’ll eventually want to even show their own children someday.
So yes, digital files are available and will continue to be available, but I highly recommend prints being made as well so you can have them forever. If you’d still like to print some yourself, I can recommend some higher-quality labs that will have longer-lasting prints than most of the stores in the area, such as Walmart, Target, ect. I highly recommend Mpix.com if printing online, as their colors are calibrated to my own prints, or even Kohne’s camera which is located in Perrysburg.
Don’t lose your baby’s memories because they were kept in a drive. Print your pictures. Enjoy looking at them together. Make memories looking at the family photo album together.
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions, feel free to comment and let me know what you thought!