I got an amazing, heartfelt email today from a past bride, which made me cry.

Dear Dawn,

Nine years ago you took this awesome photo of my father and me on my wedding day. I was kissing his cheeks, and it was only me and father in the photo. I’m forever thankful that you told us to pose that way and you took that photo, because he passed away Sunday on his 49th wedding anniversary. He was battling cancer for five years and getting old. Looking back on my wedding photos and especially that photo are priceless. Thank you you for your talent. Keep up the good work!

Best regards, H

This fills my heart with sadness and joy at the same time. This wonderful woman lost her father, which is the worst thing ever for a daughter (I know too well), but she has printed images with him that she can cherish forever. This is why professional wedding photography is so important. Not only does she have good quality photos, but they are printed, so they’ll last over a hundred years before they start to discolor. Long after that, the negatives will still be close to perfect. She can enjoy them throughout her life, and future generations can learn about her father, Papa, or Grandpa, or Bubba, or whatever little children call him. Those children will grow up, find these images, and be able to look through them, to catch a glimpse into past generations’ lives. That’s priceless.

THIS is why printed images are SO important. Digital files are not archival. They will eventually corrupt, probably within ten years. Because we shoot everything in film and give prints, our work is automatically archival. If you have CDs in a drawer that haven’t been printed, ESPECIALLY wedding and family photos, make 4×6 prints of all the images so you and your family can enjoy them for generations to come.