You Don’t Know What You’ve Got til It’s Gone – {Charlotte, NC Family Photographer}


 Today is my dad’s birthday. He would have been 83 years old today. It has been 14 years since he passed away. One night I said goodbye to him on the phone, and the next day he was gone. Forever.

 I won’t pretend there still aren’t tough days. I miss him. With each passing day, month and year it does get better, but I still miss him. I was pregnant with my first child when my father passed away. None of my children had the chance to meet him.

 Over the years, I have come to rely more and more of the photos I have of my dad. I rely on them to tell stories to my children so they can come to know him as I did. The pictures remind me of the love he had for me and the good times we had together. I realize how lucky I am to have pictures of me with my dad because without the pictures the memories do not seem as real.

 Some of my favorite photos of my Dad and I come from my wedding day. It was one of the best days of my life and I know how happy my dad was to be a part of it.  When I was married, 17 years ago, digital cameras were virtually inexistent. I have a 4X6 proof of each photo from my wedding and the negatives. A few years ago , in an effort to protect what I knew was so precious, I had the negatives converted to digital files on a disk. I quickly made four copies of the disk – one for my us, one for my mother, one for my in-laws and one to store in a safety deposit box. I guess you could call me a little OCD but I know if anything, anything ever happened to those pictures I would be devasted.

 Things are different now, we are living in a digital age. We are watching our kids grow up on the computer, and not so much on our walls, in albums or frames on a shelf. Every day that our photos sit on our computer or our Iphone is a risk that those photos will be lost and never seen again.

My reason for writing this post is because I have found a greater and greater percentage of clients wanting only digital files and not actual prints or wall art. As a consumer of photography myself, I understand the need and want for digital files. You want to know you have the pictures at your disposal at any time.   But, do you really have the pictures? How many people actually print the digital files or do they just sit on your computer? What will you do 10 years from now when your computer will not read JPEG files?

 I cannot encourage you enough if you have digital files to please take the time to order at least one print of each file. Digital files are not permanent, they are not the same as a hard copy print. Digital files will not last forever. At some point computers will not recognize JPEG’s. Or your JPEG’s could go corrupt. Or your computer could crash. So many scenarios could happen but if you have a print you can always make a copy and/or have it converted to a digital file.

 Most people don’t realize the importance of protecting their files until they have lived through the unfortunate experience of losing them. If your computer crashes and you lose your files there is no bringing them back. You will have a faint memory of those photos but they are gone forever.

 As a service to my clients, I am here to help you. Whether you need a recommended lab to print from or if you just need some advice on protecting your files. I would happily spend the time helping you before I would ever want to see you risk losing precious photos.

 I do believe you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. Don’t find out the hard way. Protect what is precious to you. And if you don’t find your photos precious yet, I promise you someday you or someone else will when that person is no longer with us or the photos are gone.

 In celebration of my Dad today here are some of my treasured photos from my wedding day which I could not live without.

Happy Birthday Dad…