Airdrie, Alberta Childhood Photographer | The Significance of Printed Photographs

Recently I have been helping my folks "right size" their home. While sifting through old boxes, tucked away from daily life, I found a surplus of photographs from years gone by. I felt immediate connection to my youth, my parents, relatives and friends who have since passed on. It is not unordinary for me to be entranced by old photographs. This activity, (if you can call it that), is something I have done since I was a child. I have always been fascinated with photographs, and holding these prints in my hand reminded me how significant physical photographs are to our lives.

Airdrie family photographer

How it Started: The Box That Inspired My Career This is the box. When I was 8 or 9, maybe even younger, I would sit under our basement stairs and look at old photographs. I was most enthralled with the images my dad had captured. They were "artsy" and purposely composed and told me a story rather than a historical account. I could feel the image, even though I wasn't there. I could feel what the photographer was trying to capture. I thought these photos were the coolest thing ever. And I wanted to learn how to make them.

Why print your photos

Reclaim and Activate Memories with Physical Documentation While looking through these photos, I realized how much I have been forgetting. How disconnected and distant we are today from our past memories. Sure, we have phones, hard drives, USBs and clouds full of digital files. But these are not a constant in our daily lives. We don't revisit our memories anymore. Digital images are not, here. We can't touch them, we can't experience them with our senses. We can view digital images, and then just swipe them away. We can turn them off, delete them, forget. How will our children experience our past? I mean, will they sit under the basement stairs and try to access an old Dropbox folder so they can casually sift through images of uncle Bob skiing and their parents in a company picnic race? I'm guessing no. I'm willing to guess they won't even know what they're missing. That's my mom in the 1950s!

Print your pictures

I cannot express how important these old photographs are to reclaiming my memories. It's so easy to forget. Especially when we have nothing to hold or experience. Visually experiencing physical photographs helps the memories stick in your brain. Because holding them and touching them is an experience in itself. If it were not for that box of old photographs, I likely couldn't pinpoint when I chose to be a photographer. That box and those prints were an experience and memory for me. A digital file has never done that for me. I can honestly say I can't even recall the most recent digital image that went into my line of sight.

Introducing Our Children to the Past I have three children and it pains me to admit that opening this box of photographs was their first experience with people in our family's past. There are the living and present family members, but those of the past have been tucked away for 30+ years. The significance here though, is that we have them. We have these physical prints and now my children can build the connections with who and where they came from. Here are my grandparents in Edmonton, Alberta, sometime during the 1940s.

Edmonton, Alberta 1940s

My son, who is 3, was literally blown away that his Grammie was a baby, just like him.

old family photo

I imagined my children having children. And their children too. And now I can't imagine how they will continue our story without physical history. Hard drives fail, cloud storage systems compress and reduce image quality, and technology changes. Raise your hand if you have digital photographs saved on CDs that no one can view now. We need to print our photos. We need these stories in our daily lives. We need to embody our memories so they don't just time out and drift away into an algorithm.

1960s ballet class

Soldier WW2 on leave

A Picture is Worth One Thousand Words: We Don't Need One Thousand Pictures So you may be scrolling through your pictures now and thinking, "That's way too many to print". You're right. In the age of digital photography we have become accustomed to capturing and storing limitless pictures. We don't need them all. They can have value for us right now, but not every single one is worthy of embodiment. So how do you choose which pictures to print? Well, first of all, hi. It's me, your professional photographer. This is what we are trained to do! As your photographer, I am trained and skilled in lighting, posing, and staging photographs that tell a story. Your images will not only capture a memory in time, but also evoke emotion every time you view them. As a professional, I offer knowledge and access to the highest quality printed photographic artwork. Hiring a professional will ensure your photographs are not just prints, but timeless heirlooms to be passed on, generation to generation. Like the good old days! In addition to investing in professional photography, your snapshots are worthy of print as well. You know those images you scroll past, or that pop up in your Facebook memories, and you swoon, "Awww!"? Print those! The picture that wins the honor of being your profile picture? Print it! The images that make it to the Christmas card, print them! First steps, first day of school, first time skating, first hot dog...print them all. Put them in a photo album. Put that album right in your living space. Let your kids flip through them. Let them take the photos out and hold them in their hands. Nourish their need for connection and identity. (Also, please write the names and dates on them. I can't tell you how many of these old photos have people in them who are nameless). The Science

Okay, so I won't get too far into the science here. But for conversational value, science uses photographs as a tool. Studies have shown displaying family photographs in the home improve self-esteem. It is psychologically beneficial to see ourselves as part of the family, with smiling faces in tender moments. To witness daily a memory that brings joy and feelings of love. And to feel that our identity is part of something bigger. A photograph displayed where children can view it every day builds a sense of self worth and belonging.

80's childhood

Here it is! The time is now to get those images printed. They are priceless heirlooms for your future generations. And honestly, they can be truly therapeutic for us right now. Also, LOOK! They even did cake smashes in 1955!

Airdrie cake smash photographer