My grandmother came to visit a few months ago, and she brought with her a huge file full of incredible photographs from generations ago. We spent hours pouring over the images, and I took careful notes of who was in each photo and how they were connected to our family tree. When she left, I realized how few true portraits I see these days in my family circle. I know there are people out there who are still taking them, but in this day and age it’s more about getting the perfect photo for Facebook, not for your wall.
I’d like to change that.
None of us know what the future will hold. Technology is ever changing, and things that we thought would be around forever have long sense passed (floppy disks, MySpace profiles, film cameras, etc.). Sure, we may think that as long as we upload our images and save them to our external hard drives that they’ll be around forever. But who’s to say, really? I understand that even a physical print isn’t guarenteed to last for generations to come. Things get lost, destroyed, etc. But the odds of being able to look at images off a USB stick (compared to an actual print) in 50 years are slim to none, if I had to put money on it.
My grandmother didn’t remember every detail of my great-great-great grandparent’s lives. But she did remember names, and where they lived. If I only heard those two facts I wouldn’t have much to pass down to my children. But thankfully, I have these beautiful photographs as well. These images are not just a window into what my ancestors looked like. These images show us what LIFE was like, and how different is was from today! What were the hair styles and clothes that were popular? What are the streets like? Were there cars in the background? The images also showed how little has changed. I can still see my eyes going back for generations. I can see how a simple but beautiful portrait can be timeless, and something that can be hung on a wall for years and years, and still somehow fit. You can’t get that with trendy photoshop techniques (although man, I love how artistic we can get with photo shop!).
Consider scheduling a portrait session. Consider what it will be like for your grandchildren’s grandchildren to see an incredible portrait of you, or you and your spouse, perhaps your whole family. Consider the gift our children and their children will have when we all have long sense passed, to be able to look at your portrait and see you as they remembered, even when their memory starts to fade away. And lastly, consider seeing yourself as others see you. A beautiful portrait can offer you that opportunity.
-Erica, Thomas Jayne Photography