Picture this: It's 1999, and 13-year-old Carly sobbing the entire ride home from Nerd Summer Camp, cradling a pile of disposable cameras in her lap, inconsolable until her parents promise to take her directly to Target's 1 Hour Photo desk. Hold that young woman in your mind, and then picture her 30-year-old-self's joy at finding a box of those same photographs buried in the attic and you'll start to get a feel for how strongly I feel about the power of physically printed photos.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m grateful that technology has advanced in such a way that photography is so accessible and shareable; in many ways, it brings us closer together. But something about the printed image—the surrealism of seeing yourself half a lifetime ago, the physical sensation of holding a moment in your hands, the security of knowing that no matter how far technology advances, it won’t affect prints—is special.
After some soul searching, I've decided that in order to give Carly Romeo & Co couples the best experience possible, it's important to me that I include a physical album in all of my packages moving forward. The logic here is that sharing your photos through the internet is awesome, but having images of your celebration that actually live in your space is profoundly different. You can grab your album off the bookshelf and look at it on the couch when your relatives visit from out of town. You can bring your album over to your friend's house who couldn't make it to your wedding because of a family emergency. Your kids can touch your album with their grubby little loving fingers, and grow up in a household decorated with prints that display your commitment to love and community. I want your future selves to treasure your album and prints like I treasure my summer camp photos.
Of course, past couples can also benefit from this epiphany - so keep an eye out for some holiday album and print specials I'll be running. Those of you who never got around to printing your photos (or who did, but want even more) will be able to gift yourselves a nice album or framed print which I hope you enjoy for years to come.
TL;DR: When I first started my photography business, I did a lot of research about different business models and all the services and products photographers offer the couples and families they work with. My gut instinct was to avoid feeling “salesy” and focus on providing digital files for my couples along with a personal use print license so that they could print their images however they want, and I still believe in that freedom to choose how and where to print. That being said: after seeing (and experiencing) the joy that printed photographs bring year after year, as time wears on, computers stop being made with CD drives, and thumbdrives are lost, I am committed to including a physical album and a printing credit as part of all of my packages moving forward.