Recently one of my early couples celebrated their 5 year wedding anniversary! (Holy moly time is flying!) They'd gone to a nice dinner together and came home with the plan of snuggling on the couch and looking at their wedding photos.
The next morning I got a phone a frantic phone call. They'd tried everything, but the CD wouldn't read. So instead of snuggling on the couch reliving happy memories, they'd spent the next two hours tearing their house apart looking for their "back-up"...but she said the honest truth was they couldn't even remember if they HAD actually ever made a backup.
I could hear the tears in her voice as she said "You warned us! You told us to print them! Life just got so busy. I'm just praying you still have a few of the photos somewhere." I do. I have a mountain of hard drives and a strong attachment to my precious files.
But what if I didn't?
Last I heard, a photographer only legally has to keep files for two years. What if I had cleaned off my hard drives or they had failed after 5 years of sitting in the closet? (Which I've actually had happen.)
This situation didn't have a sad ending. But it could have. The digital era is fabulous. And dangerous. Don't let the memories of the happiest day of your life just vanish with fast changing and ever malfunctioning technology.
When you book a wedding (2017) you'll receive a USB and an online gallery. And I'm SUPER excited to announce that your downloadable galleries through me will not expire for ten years. I said TEN! But that's not going to do you a lick of good at your 50th wedding anniversary party.
Moral of this story...
Print your photos.
And I'm not just talking about a few of your favorites as 8x10 to hang on the wall. I mean EVERYTHING.
You can always order an heirloom quality print collection through your photographer or take a few hours and order through a great place like mpix.com. Department stores (Walmart, Wallgreens etc) and a lot of popular online places (Shutterfly etc) are not, I repeat, NOT what you want when you are printing precious memories. The colors are hideous, they fade, they stick, they hurt my soul...
Have an heirloom wedding album designed/built!
Do you ever remember looking through the wedding album of your grandparents or parents? I do! I spent hours looking at my parent's wedding album as a kid. And when my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary rolled around I spent days carefully scanning photos from their fragile but still very tangible album.
Don't want to pay for the wedding AND the heirloom album at the same time? No problem. A lot of my clients come back to me within the first year of their marriage and order an album. I can tell your right now. They aren't cheap. But neither was your wedding.
Having a tangible album to hold in your hands is THE way your wedding-day-story is told. And it's timeless. Don't pour your heart and soul into your wedding day and then leave the memories on a computer screen.
These aren't cheap paper page albums. They are handmade, leather-bound works of heart designed to last for generations. Don't compromise on it.
Keep your digital files backed up to the current technology.
Floppy Disks > CD/DVD > USB > Cloud > ???
If you got married five years ago your CD/DVD is basically extinct...my new computers don't even have cd-drives. USB's are currently it, but for how long? I'd speculate that the next move is that everything will be cloud-based (100 year online galleries maybe?). Which is even scarier IMHO. What if an apocalypse happened? What if your cloud storage company goes bankrupt?
SAFEST BET? MOST MEANIFUL? HARD COPIES.