How many pictures do you take on your phone every month? Since you’re not here to tell me, I looked up the average number of photos taken every month by cell phone users. 147. That’s 1764 pictures a year. That’s a lot of pictures. Really, that’s a lot of memories. What do you do with all of those pictures? If you’re like most people, they live on your phone or on your hard drive. But what happens if they only ever stay on your phone or hard drive? Even weightier, what if you’ve paid a lot of money for someone to photograph important moments in your life, and they also just live on a thumb drive? Today we’re going to talk about it. And to be honest, it kind of makes me sick to my stomach to even think about what *could* happen.
You might miss an opportunity.
The days of birth announcement cards are not over. I remember thinking about sending out a birth announcement after I had each baby. To be honest, it just felt like a lot of work, especially after I spent hours in labor and we were adjusting to life with a new baby. When I had my son, I DID send out a birth announcement card on beautiful, thick paper. I’m glad I did, because I remember the day I walked into a family member’s house and the announcement was framed on her bookshelf! She told me it was just too beautiful to simply throw away. I agree! Although I hadn’t thought of the birth announcement as a gift, pictures do make great gifts. Whether it’s an album, a piece of wall art, a small framed table print - pictures hold a lot of meaning to people. Don’t miss the opportunity to send or gift a picture to someone and warm their heart. Seeing how my family member treated the birth announcement I sent out ended up surprising me and warming my heart, too.
You might think there will be time later.
I began taking pictures professionally (and professionally, at this point in my career, meant I was being paid something) back in 2007 in Des Moines, Iowa. My first professional job was with a family at their home. I was terrified, but even still to this day, I think I did a really great job. That’s another story for another blog post, though. Around the same time, a friend of a friend discovered I might be a photographer, and she asked me if I would photograph her wedding. I told her absolutely not. I had never photographed a wedding before - not even as a second shooter. For those who don’t know, a second shooter is someone who helps a lead photographer shoot a wedding. She did not want me to do it, I said. She told me that if I couldn’t do it, the photographer would likely end up being her grandmother with a disposable camera. Okay, well, if that’s where we’ve set the bar... I could probably do it. It went well. I delivered the burned CD (the image delivery of choice back then). Thankfully, everyone seemed happy. Fast forward ten years, and I got an email from the bride (I will always think of her as a bride). She wanted to know if I had a copy of her pictures. While moving homes, somehow the CD broke and their wedding pictures were gone. She explained she intended on making an album at some point and just never did. She’d put the CD into a drawer and forgotten about it. Until they moved and it broke. Thankfully, I still had a copy!
And then the worst happens.
I know what you’re thinking. What could be more heartbreaking than losing all of your wedding pictures? How about losing all the pictures on your phone over the past 5 years, for example? If we use the average from above, that’s about 8800 pictures and memories. How many birthdays would be in there? Last pictures of family members who have passed away? Christmas memories? Have you ever discovered that there is no more room on your phone to take a picture? So, you delete things from your phone, because they’re all still safe in the cloud. Or so you thought. I have heard many a tale from friends and family who later realize it’s all… gone. How could that be? But sadly, it’s all connected, and what you delete off your phone gets deleted out of the cloud. (This tip might save you someday - if you ever need to delete anything from your phone but you don’t want to lose it from the cloud, try turning it on airplane mode first. Test it with a throwaway picture… but I believe, at least at the time of this blog post, that prevents them from being deleted in the cloud!). When you’ve had small children during those five years ... and you printed nothing off ... THAT’S heartbreaking. I could throw up just thinking about it.
This might be a great place for a moment of silence. I know. I can just imagine your hands over your face, your heart in your throat. But this doesn’t have to be you. I can help you find inspiration for ways to get those pictures off of your phone. At the very least, it’s always important to have a backup of your pictures. Clearly, a back up saved the wedding day, and it would have saved the iCloud situations. Just to add one ultimate level of heartbreak. Something we rarely think about … but what if you’ve done the right thing? You’ve got your pictures on a thumb drive and you printed off your favorites. But then there’s a house fire. And the pictures burn. And the thumb drive melts. What could have been done? This is when an off-site copy or the cloud can save the day. This is also another area where I’ve got your back. When you book a photo shoot or a birth with me, you receive your own “Client Portal”. It’s a place online where you’ll find all things Hartstein Photography as it relates to you. Including all of your photo galleries. So if the worst should happen, all you have to do is login to your portal and download your images again. It’s an honor and a privilege for me to not only document some of the most life-changing moments in your life, but to preserve those memories for years to come. It’s okay to breathe again!
I hope you found this blog post helpful! If you’d like to see some ideas of what you can do with your images, visit the “Stuff” section of the blog. I’m always adding to it! And if you’re interested in booking me for your maternity pictures or the birth of your baby, visit the booking page. It's an honor to be considered.