Professional Utah Photographer. Photographer in Utah County specializing in portrait photography, high school senior photography,family photography, newborns, bridals, engagements and individuals.
Photography has become commonplace, virtually everyone loves taking photos and most people do a pretty decent job at it. However there are times when you want to hire a professional photographer to create extra special images for your family. You want to display some incredibly beautiful, emotive images that capture who your family is at this moment in time, you want those photos to represent something spectacular, you have this vision of gorgeous albums, a stunning framed portrait in your foyer, an outstanding gallery wrap canvas hanging over your fireplace mantle.
You begin calling to interview photographers and inevitably you explain to them that you want to print these images yourself. You’re looking for the photographer that will create those beautiful, evocative images for you, unique to you and your family and you want them to hand over the images for you to print. Somehow you’ve come to believe that getting the disc of images is best because you control the process and it’s cheaper to print yourself.
What?! Come again?
This scenario is very representative of the photography market today. Somehow people have been brainwashed into believing that digital files are the best option when, in fact, they are not. Digital images are MEANT to be is a temporary method of storage: all too many things can go wrong with digital media leaving you in a lurch with a ton of images that were never printed; images that will never be displayed in your beautiful home; images that will never be archived and made permanent. Lets face it, for many people, after you get back your disc from said photographer, the disc goes in the drawer to never see the light of day…maybe JUST MAYBE to be unearthed (if you’re lucky) in a year or two with an “I meant to print some of these…” utterance.
Let’s say you don’t bother printing up those photos for yourself and those images stay in the drawer for a period of time. Perhaps these images are of your newborn baby girl at 7 days old (and now she’s 12 going on 13 years, not months, old!). You want to create something really special for her 13th birthday so you finally take that disc of images out of that drawer and put it in the CD tray of your computer to get them printed. In the CD goes as you wait…and wait. No images found. Hmmm… Pop out that CD tray, make sure the CD is inserted and again…waiting…waiting. In reality your images went POOF! They are nonexistent. This particular CD-R from your daughter’s newborn session doesn’t even show any data on it! There is no data on this disc!! Now you’re freaking out. So then you call the photographer to order another disc from them to get to your home ASAP but when you call the number it is no longer a business number. Then you go online to find that photographer only to find that they are now out of business! You have no way of getting a hold of that photographer and you had all these amazing images of your daughter you want to print an image for her for her 13th birthday and there aren’t any!! Your scrambling because now you’re sufficiently freaked out. You went to this photographer for the first two years of your daughter’s life, frazzled and more than a bit freaked out you start pulling CD-ROM out for each and every photography session from those two years and poof! one after the other the images on each of those CDs has somehow disappeared! It’s the photographer’s fault! It’s a defective disk! The photographer is a scam artist! A thousand thoughts whirl in your head when the sad reality is:
THAT DISC WAS NEVER MEANT FOR LONG TERM STORAGE
Sounds implausible? It isn’t. It’s actually a well known fact that CD-ROM and DVD-ROM discs are not meant as a long term storage solution.
But wait!! That can’t happen to you…your photographer doesn’t burn images to a CD!! So this scenario isn’t possible. The photographer you use, well they’re smart (and so are you) for choosing to put images on a USB key. Those have to be fool proof – right?!
No. USB storage is a very recent phenomena and knowing how technology evolves chances are that the USB storage key you received from your photographer will go the way of the floppy disc within ten years, give or take. Think hard now, when is the last time you’ve seen a computer with a working floppy drive? Can you guarantee you’ll still have a working computer with a USB port in ten years?
“Oh but I didn’t just LEAVE those images on the USB key…I also downloaded them to my hard drive!”
If I had a dime for every hard drive failure I’ve heard about I’d be at least $100 richer or AKA The Story of Some Sad Photographers
Do the math. That’s a lot of hard drive failures. And they’re very real and scary.
But you need not worry, you have multiple copies of your images on multiple hard drives scattered far and wide, right? Yeah well…
A photographer friend (who shall remain nameless) hadn’t printed up any images of her young children in several years. She decided since they were taking a long trip away from home that “now’s the time to get editing and printing.”
Off they went on their trip, planning on working hard on getting up to date with her photos she did the smart thing: she brought along her laptop, her external hard drives and the back up drives on vacation with them on vacation. You know…so she could do catch up, get some editing done, get some images tuned up and ready to order.
A few weeks into the trip, all seems good, right as rain, she’s excited because many of these images were of her youngest when she was super little and she didn’t have any prints from this time in her life. She’s finally going to get them printed.
She kept her equipment locked up and secure when they were away but somehow someone knew to break into the place where she was storing said equipment (hard drives and back up drives) and someone took it. EVERY last bit of it. Every drive, the laptop, everything. Can you imagine how awful that felt? To lose all those memories?
That’s a tough lesson to learn. I mean she did do the right things mostly, right? She had back up drives of her images…but yet this method still failed her EVEN without the hard drive failure!
Years of images GONE. Zero printed copies of these long gone moments. Probably stuff like baby’s first bath, baby and big sister playing in the bath tub, playing dress up, baby’s first steps…the list of lost images is heart wrenching. Had she had the prints at least she would still have the prints, I’m pretty sure prints are zero value to a petty thief but they are invaluable to the memory holder.
That story is 100% real and it’s 100% sad and there’s a hundred more like it: hard drive failures, power surges that mess up operating systems, house fires that ruin computer equipment. More theft (in homes). A lot of what I’m illustrating happened to those who do and should know better: photographers!
I bet they won’t have to learn that lesson twice.
Professional Utah Photographer located in Payson, Utah
On location-photography and portrait photographer