During a seemingly ordinary portrait session, something fun and meaningful unfolded. I was photographing Sadn when her father, who brought her to her session, was inspired by a portrait of my father I have on display. He casually asked, “Would you be able to take a portrait of me, too?”
I’ll share more about his story further down - because what he really wanted was a replica of his father’s photo. This unexpected request reminded me of the power that printed photos have in preserving a family’s legacy.
Here’s a fun memory between me and my daughter a few years ago. She was five years old and asked what her great-grandma looked like when she was younger. I was happy to reach for a photo album filled with generations of portraits. We flipped through the pages together, comparing faces and smiling as we said who looks like who.
Moments like that are why I focus on providing printed photographs and digital copies to every client. I recognize the convenience of digital files but also know the value of printed portraits. Printed photos get handed down through generations and preserve your family legacy.
In this blog, I’ll share more about Sadn’s session, how her father’s portrait reminded me of the power of prints, and show you her gorgeous printed photo album!
But first, let me give Sadn a proper introduction.
Sadn is a sophomore at Westerville North High School and was curious about participating in the Equity Project I did in partnership with the school. Unfortunately, the project had already wrapped up, but she was still interested in having professional photos taken. So we set up a day for her to come to my home photo studio for a proper portrait session.
Before her session, we went over what works and what doesn’t for hair, clothes, and makeup. I usually tell clients to keep things pretty natural to how they typically style their hair and makeup. I also suggest not wearing false eyelashes that are too big to their session because they can create dark shadows.
She worked with a local professional makeup artist for her shoot, Reynarey, who knocked it out of the park. She went a little glam on her eyes, and everything looked fresh, clean, and polished for her final portraits.
Preserving Generations with Printed Portraits
Okay, back to the story of Sadn’s dad. He brought her to her photo session, and once we got started, he began browsing portraits I have on display in my home and studio walls. He was particularly interested in a portrait of my dad and asked if he could have one like it. Of course, I was happy to do this for him. It only took about five minutes to move him through a few poses and expressions, and he was done.
Later that day, I received a message from Sadn. She sent me a photo of her grandfather and said it was a photo that was very meaningful for her dad. She mentioned he was so happy to have one to match it now. Here’s the thing - I had no idea I was recreating an older image, but what a fun story!
When I saw the image I was replicating, I noticed it was printed on photo paper (pretty typically for back then.) Since they had ordered a canvas print of Sadn’s dad, I wanted to make sure the photo would match in material to the original photo when they put it on display, so I included a free 8x10 print. Now, if they put them on display, they’ll look more cohesive.
Families Willing to Get in Photos
I’m so glad Sadn’s dad asked to have his portrait taken. Not only will it be a matching photo of his own father’s, but it’ll also be a portrait (and story) that Sadn and her family will love having years from now.
I think it’s important to note here that her dad wasn’t in any way “camera-ready,” and it still worked out perfectly.
When family members are willing to step in front of the camera for a few photos at their child’s session, it’s always a photo that’s appreciated later. This sometimes looks like doing a whole family shoot alongside a senior session or a parent hopping into a picture during a senior session. I never charge extra for this, but I always encourage it.
Heirloom Quality Portrait Albums: Starting and Continuing Your Legacy
Sadn ordered an album of her session and a canvas print of her and her father. They put their canvas prints side by side on their mantel, and I love it!
Printed photos are a daily reminder of our loved ones. They connect generations, like the photo Sadn’s dad cherished of his father for all these years.
Product Highlight: Portrait Albums
I absolutely love the quality of the portrait albums I create for clients. If this is something you might be interested in, here’s a little rundown of how that process works.
After your session, I upload your photos to an online gallery, and you choose your favorites. Any images you love will end up in your album unless it’s a portrait that is simply too similar to another. From here, I create a first draft layout digitally and send it over for approval. If changes are requested, I can move anything around and make the changes you want.
On average, each album is ten pages or five spreads, which holds between 15-30 photos. I want you to really be able to see the photos, so I don’t put more than five photos on a spread. Can’t bear to see photos left out? Then we’ll add more spreads!
Once your layout is approved, you choose your album cover material. I have samples in my studio I will show you during your shoot. And I can send an email with samples if you need a reminder of what the materials look like.
Lastly, you get to customize your album cover font and text. Most seniors get their name, school, and graduation year. Since Sadn isn’t a senior yet, she just put her name in a gorgeous script font on the cover.
These albums are archival, meaning they’ll last for generations to come. The craftsmanship is something you have to hold in your hands to truly appreciate.
And don’t worry - as much as I love printed photos, I also know how much we all love to share digital photos online. That’s why every photo you order comes with a matching digital file.
To learn more about my printed portrait options, check out the blog posts below.