What is the value of a portrait?

The value of a portrait extends far beyond the surface of a photograph.

Photography is a service. The photo studio is not a retail store that sells photo paper and some ink printed on it at some markup. When you get a photograph, you are not buying the paper and the ink that is printed on it for $10 bucks. You are paying for the service, the experience and skill and vision of the photographer, and the quality products that are created for you in a custom session designed specifically for you. Nowhere else can you get that as each photographer has different style, skill and vision, and all of this is built into the price of an image. When you hire a photographer, you are hiring because you saw something in their work that you love. Skill, experience and vision is worth beyond the photo paper and a couple of drops of ink on it.

When you proudly display a high quality family portrait on your wall, you’re not just watching your loved ones grow; you’re preserving a piece of art that will become an heirloom, lasting for generations. These carefully framed portraits aren’t just pictures; they’re a testament to your family’s history. What you have today on your wall, your grandchildren will show your great-great-grandchildren. They will still be there when we are long gone. It’s legacy.

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to overlook the significance of tangible photos. Digital files can easily get lost or forgotten in the depths of hard drives, never to be cherished again. Moreover, computer technology changes so fast, we don’t know where we are going to store our images next. Do you remember when the CD was the greatest thing ever invented after the floppy disc to store photos? Today you can’t buy a computer with a CD drive. The old CDs are useless but the content is priceless and irreplaceable if it’s lost. They need to be converted to continue to store the contents, and most just end up in a landfill. How many times have you looked at a CD, or looked for an image you knew you once had, but now it’s nowhere to be found? If you want digital files that you will lose, get a photo session for $400.

There is a place for digital files. It’s on social media for sharing, either in personal applications or for business use. Social media files are never meant to be printed, just shared in the moment. You can do that with a phone and most people do just that. For business use though your images need to be professional, otherwise they don’t work to attract clients, because if you don’t value yourself or your business to look professional, why would anyone else? Digital files often lack the resolution required for enlargements, making legacy prints all the more valuable.

But what is a legacy print?

A legacy print is a promise of longevity. It’s an image protected and printed on museum-quality archival paper, with inks that stand the test of time. The professional frame ensures airtight sealing, UV protection, and shields against dust, moisture, and insects, all working together to safeguard your cherished memories for a century or more. So, the value of a portrait isn’t just in the image; it’s in the lasting legacy it represents. Museum quality print is just that. Acid free, dust, humidity and UV protected to last. Have you looked at your family photos printed in a mall? They start to fade in 10 years. The colours are not as vibrant. Some images are so blown out, it’s hard to see any detail left. Those images cannot be recovered by any technology. Once the detail is gone, it is gone forever. Do you want images that last 10 years? Hire a photographer for $400.

That’s not what I want to sell. I sell museum grade archival qualilty matted prints on acid free paper, framed correctly to protect the work, that will last a lifetime. I don’t even touch them with my bare hands. I wear gloves when I handle my products. One day your family will own this piece. One day people on the image will be gone and some of us will be gone sooner than others. These images will be our most priced posessions. If your house were on fire, these are the first things you would grab. I know I do. That’s where the value of a portrait lies.

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I don’t know what happens to us after we die, but I know that those who love us will miss us.

― Keanu Reeves