A New Year and a Very Important Resolution | Family Photo Albums
I can’t believe it… it seems like we just rang in 2014, but here we are- welcoming the start of 2015! Last year was fantastic and I am so excited for all I have to look forward to in 2015. I have welcomed so many new couples to the line up this year and I have a lot of wonderful things planned for the growth of Jennifer Smutek Photography. I really think 2015 will be an amazing year!
I am going to start this first blog post of the new year on a very personal note.
There a saying in the photo industry: “It’s not a matter of if your hard drive will fail, it’s a matter of when your hard drive will fail”.
This past summer, not one, but BOTH of the hard drives on my mirrored RAID system failed at the same time. I can’t tell you the feeling I had when I walked into the office and heard a faint buzzing sound. I knew then that one drive had failed, but I thought that I was prepared and that the mirrored drive would have me up and running in an hour or two. I can’t tell you the disbelief I had when I realized that both drives had failed at the same time. What are the odds? (I should’ve played the lottery that day)
Now, luckily, I am a professional, and I know better than to have all of my back-ups in one location. Of course, I had everything backing up off-site, thanks to BackBlaze. And even though I knew I would have my files in a matter of days, I was still nauseous and on the edge of my seat while waiting for my files to restore. For client work, I had an additional back-up of finished JPEGs on another hard-drive. But, you know what I didn’t have backed up anywhere else?.. my personal family images. Pictures of my Grandmother, who recently passed away… the images of my son just seconds after he was born… our trip to Maui… our honeymoon… all of those images were on that RAID system, and had I not backed up off-site, they would all be gone. Forever.
Go ahead and let that sink in.
To say that this was a wake-up call is an understatement. I tried to picture my son growing up with so few images of his first four years of life. Because, after-all, very few of those images ever made it to print. I would just upload them to Facebook and be done with it. And, truthfully, I think most of us are guilty of this today. Without prints, Facebook & Instagram will be the only ways our children will be able to view their childhood photos. That just saddens me.
It was this realization that forced me to finally follow through with something that I had been meaning to “get around to” for years: Printing family photo albums. I always stress to my couples just how important it is to get an album of your weddings images. I even wrote a separate post about it over the fall. And yet, here I was not printing albums of my own. After-all, your wedding is just the start of your lives as a family- there are so many other wonderful memories that should also be archived and enjoyed.
So, as soon as I was back up and running, I decided to just get on it and order family photo albums. I designed them by my son’s year- so each album starts in July (when he was born) and ends in June. We have had them for just a few weeks now and I can’t tell you how much we have already enjoyed them. Even our son, Simon, will ask to get them off of the shelf and leaf through them. He loves looking at the pictures of all of his “firsts” and all of the fun things we have done together as a family. I have no doubt that he will enjoy these well into adulthood, and hopefully share them with his family one day.
So, friends, while you make all of your other resolutions for 2015- be it weight loss or a more organized home, promise me that one resolution that you will make and keep, will be to make albums of your family photos. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Here is what the first two of the three albums we have look like.
This shows the cover and spine…
Here are a few of the layouts An example of a printed spreadHere you can get an idea of the thickness of the pages and the binding. I used the Lifestyle album that I offer to Mitzvah clients as well as Lifestyle Session clients. I love the way they turned out!
I can’t wait for the next one!
P.S. If you are not already backing up on line, I strongly recommend that you make that resolution number 2! I highly suggest you check out BackBlaze or CrashPlan. Both are fantastic systems and are more than affordable, even if you aren’t a professional.