So, as some of you know, I make museum-quality silver gelatin hand-printed family portrait photographs using real film in vintage wood cameras. It’s a specialty for sure and the photographs are not easy nor inexpensive to create.
A friend said to me that I’d be lucky to give a photograph away, that no one wants family portraits anymore, no one has home galleries of their families, and no one cares about family photographs nowadays.
Q: Is that true? Does anyone here have family pictures hanging at home? How about young people, new families? Do you?
It seems to me family is everything and we’d be wise to have high-quality portraits made of each other. Created while they’re alive and in their prime. It lets us keep them always nearby and even shows how important they are to us. And it’s how our future generations will know us.
I have some portrait sessions with the big camera lined up into the fall so I know there are some people who want family photos. But that friend insists there aren’t many, that most people are happy with their phone snapshots. “Good enough is good enough, even if they’re not very good,” he said.
I disagree but what do you think?
My Sister always did it while her Daughter was growing up, she has them all over her house. Now that my Niece is an adult starting a family of her own, she continues the tradition. Yes, they are pro shot and very lovely … I don’t think they are film though.
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When I was married the first time, we got a family portrait made every year. We were skint, so we did it at Target. They were fine. Not wonderful, just fine. One year my wife really wanted a pro portrait so we hired one and went to his studio. The results were of better quality, but not so much better that it was worth the extra money. Perhaps that photographer just wasn’t the right one for us.
After the divorce I always had a portrait made with me and my sons at Target, plus portraits of each of them individually. Then one year I realized: I have all the gear I need to do it myself. So I did. I’m a documentary and landscape guy, but my own portraits _blew away_ anything I ever paid someone else to do.
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They’re good and they’re yours, you made them. Very nice, Jim.
I don’t have any – but I don’t have a family really. Plus, looking at the photostudios around here, the photos always look the same, always boring to my eye and never on film. But I more and more think, that I should have a professional photo taken from my mother and me: on film, hand printed. I just have to find a good place in Berlin.
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I think this is true; people do not hang family portraits on the wall. But honestly, I always felt it was dumb. I see no point in it. As valuable as buying expensive flowers and chocolate and reserving dinner at a fancy restaurant on February 14. You can affirm your love for your loved one at any time of the year.