Back in my earlier days, I used to work at a Barnes and Noble bookstore. As someone who loves the feel (and smell!) of a good book, it was a great place to work. But the reason I bring this up is not to get all nostalgic on you or bring up my prior obsessions with the various smells of different types of book paper. We'll save that riveting blog post for another day. Instead, I bring this up because Barnes and Noble, or BN as we used to call it, taught me something.
One of the first lessons learned at BN as part of their customer service policy is to "Always put the book in the customer's hand." They taught us on day one that they wanted us to PHYSICALLY remove the book from the shelf and PHYSICALLY place that book into the hand of the customer. Seems silly, right? But bear with me a minute. With the advent of online shopping we can look at pictures, read online reviews, or product descriptions all day long. But how many times have you browsed Amazon and left feeling wanting? How many times have you just wished you could see the product in person before you bought whatever it was you were looking at? What BN learned long ago is that when a customer makes a real physical connection with a product, they are more likely to buy that product. Why? Because we are sensory creatures. When more than one or two of our senses are engaged with a product, we are more likely to remember that product, and therefore more likely to buy it.
When we engage something with more than just our sight we remember it better. This is why so many people prefer not to read books on their phones, tablets, or e-readers. When we engage with a physical book we can retain more of the content we read. There have been loads of articles written (here and here, just to name a couple) about why physical books are better than their digital versions.
By now you're probably saying, "But wait a minute! Isn't this is a photographer's blog?! What's with all the book talk?" Hopefully, you can see where I'm going with this. These same principles of involving more of your senses apply equally to photography! We always provide digital downloads of our images to our clients. This will never change because we live in a digital age. Having those files digitally makes it incredibly easy to share them on social media, email them to a relative, or store them in a safe place without taking up a huge spot on a shelf. Making our clients happy is our FIRST priority, and without digital downloads, most clients in our digitally driven culture will leave feeling less than satisfied.
We love when our clients show off those images on social media. That's part of the reason we LOVE giving them their digital images! But, once you post all those images to your Facebook or Instagram page, they slowly get lost in the steady stream of your newsfeed, rarely to be seen again. Maybe you'll set one of those images as your microscopically small profile picture and look at it everyday. But the rest of those images are shoved into an album somewhere in a back closet of the vast cyber-universe known as the internet. We know they're there if we ever need to pull them out for some special occasion, but if we're honest, we usually don't blow the digital dust off of them and pull them out of that digital closet very often.
Which brings me to the main point I want to make today...I know, I know...took me long enough, right?! So here it is: PLEASE PRINT YOUR PICTURES!!!!!! (We even said please!) It is SO important because those printed pictures fill physical frames, or physical photo books, or are printed on a physical canvas. You can physically pick those pictures up. Your friends, family, and guests can actually SEE, TOUCH, or even SMELL (hey we never said we didn't have weird friends) those pictures when they come over for dinner or coffee or play dates.
If you ever come over to our house, you will see that we have printed photos in almost every room. We can't count how many conversations have been started because someone saw a picture on our wall. We lost track of how many times the kids randomly grabbed one of the annual photobooks we have printed up using our Instagram pictures and flipped through it for an hour while they remembered the story that went with each of those pictures. We remember how every time we have moved, our new house doesn't quite feel like a home until we get the pictures up.
So we'll say it again: PLEASE PRINT YOUR PICTURES. We LOVE working WITH our clients to provide them with high quality prints, canvas, or photobooks that will last them a lifetime, not because we are trying to sell them something extra or because we want to make a few extra dollars. We do it because we want all of our clients to live in homes filled with beautiful, lasting images that create a sense that they are "home." We want their homes filled with photographic stories they can tell when they have guests over for wine and cookies. We want the people who live in those homes to be able to sit down on a lazy Sunday afternoon and flip through their photobooks and remember the laughter, the joy, and the tears that made them who they are.
Did you know we can not only help you print your photos, but we can also provide personalized consultations to help you use those photos to create meaningful photographic stories in your home? Meeting our clients in their homes, in the spaces they cherish most, is something we hold close to our hearts. We love seeing houses come to life to become warm and inviting homes and we'd love to help you. So print your pictures and put them up! If it feels overwhelming, don't let it! We're here for you and would love to help!