Exist in Pictures…Guest Blog by Photographer Kellie Carrposted by Jennifer
I am SO EXCITED to finally have Kellie Carr write as a guest blogger on stsranch.com. Kellie has been a good friend of mine for many years and she is one of the most amazing photographers I have ever worked with. She not only takes fabulous senior, family, and wedding portraits in her hometown of Burwell, Nebraska, but she also travels to Texas and many other states as well shooting for all kinds of events! Kellie has been the official Miss Rodeo America Photographer as well as the National Finals photographer for the Quarter Horse News. She also is the main photographer for all our STS Ranchwear lifestyle shots. Needless to say we love Kellie and the amazingly talented photographer that she is!
For Kellies first blog post she wanted to share why it’s so important to take the time to have professional shots taken of your family! Check it out!
Exist in Pictures
I hear it all the time as a professional photographer.
“Oh my husband, he hates taking pictures.”
“We can just get the kids, that’ll be good enough.”
“I hate how I look in pictures. I’ve never taken a good one, so why take any at all?”
“I’d love to have some photos done, but I need to lose 50 lbs. first.”
Excuse after excuse. And really….none of them good. I have been photographing the Smith Family of STS Ranch for several years now, and let me tell you a little secret – Stran, despite his many experiences as a model, isn’t a huge fan of getting his picture taken. Jennifer isn’t always thrilled with how she looks. The boys have both gone through their awkward stages. And Selah, well…..sometimes she just refuses to cooperate. One time, she threw herself into a sobbing heap on the floor when we were trying to take pictures!
And still…..we take them. Every year. Sometimes multiple times a year. And we print them. Some of those prints are still in their lovely, acid-free boxes, but they are there, documenting each stage of life and each change as the years pass. We look back now and giggle at some – what WAS that location? Looks like Selah was NOT having it that day! Oh my, why was Stone smiling like that?! Boy, Camo (the beloved Aussie), was FAT. Right now, these are things to remember and giggle at. In 10, 15 or 20 years…..man, Stran and Jennifer will look at those photos and love that they have them of their children. And in 50 or even 100 years, their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren will cherish the photos of their Stran and Jennifer, and appreciate that they have something tangible to connect the generations.
Sadly, we live in a temporary world. Few things anymore are made to last. I’m not going to sit here and wax nostalgia by saying change is bad because its not. Change is constant, necessary and usually good. I certainly appreciate advances in technology! However, as the world around us moves to a more digital presence, let us never replace the physical things completely. So many people contact me and want to book a session, expecting to “get the CD” with it. And I tell them – we don’t do that. Do we do digital images? Yes, of course! But in order to get them, you have to get prints as well. Trust me, your grandchildren will thank you.
The biggest issue I have with just “giving a CD” is that people get it and then rarely ever print their images. I have gotten many crying phone calls over the years, asking if I can help retrieve images from 5 years ago that were on a CD. Now it won’t work and they NEED those images. And the photographer? Long gone. Let me fill you in on something – those CD’s? Well, they aren’t the most reliable. For real. I have a huge stack of over 100 that I collect every year that are non-working. And that’s brand new, out of the box. Imagine after spending 5 years collecting dust, thrown in a drawer! Those photos are never coming back, sadly. And right now, USB’s are great! They are much more reliable (albeit much more expensive). But they will also eventually wear out. And there’s something else to consider – with the fast-paced change of technology, how long until USB’s are a thing of the past? What if the only photos you had of your parents were on an 8-track tape? Or video cassette? You probably would have much fewer photos of them.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I love digital images. I just love prints, too. Ours are printed on silk photographic paper, mounted on a hard backing, and have a lifetime guarantee. Touching them, holding something in my hand, makes me happy! And I love digital images as well. They certainly have their place! But don’t forgo prints for digitals. And don’t rule out letting your photographer print them – trust me, our labs are much higher quality than what you can get from a consumer lab.
Lastly – don’t stress so much over every little thing that you avoid photos all together. They might not be perfect, but they will be you. One thing I appreciate about Stran is that no matter how much he dislikes taking photos, he loves pictures of his kids – and knows they love photos of him! He doesn’t complain or make us feel guilty for wanting to take pictures. Even though its not his favorite thing to do, he puts his feelings aside and does it for his kids.
Photos are a way of leaving our legacy for generations to come. Letting them see who you were at that time in you life. You may not be 100% happy with everything – how you look, your hairstyle, your clothes – but put those things aside and exist in pictures. One thing we know for a fact is that every life has an expiration date – we just never know when that is. Photos become priceless heirlooms when our loved ones are gone – what are you leaving behind for those who love you most?