I'm about to make a plea to our readers that I want to really sink in. Chances are you're a part of the 78% of our blog readers who are sitting right now scrolling through this post on your phone. The reality for most of us these days is that our lives are completely contained on 5.75 inches of glass. We live from app to app able to multi-task our relationships just like we do our emails. We can snapchat, faceook, instagram, listen to music, and log the day's calories in less time than it used to take to call our best friends and complain about the traffic. I'm not going to go on a tangent here about technology, in fact if you know me at all you're completely aware of just how invested in social media I am. I love that my work and my passion is all in the palm of your hand right now and equally love that I can be inspired by the photographers who I follow at any given moment and then with a single swipe switch over and check in with my own clients. I love watching photos of my sons pop up on my wife's instagram feed just minutes after she quotes my 4 year old saying something cute on facebook. Truthfully this post isn't about how horrible technology is, but it is about how far we've come from the tangible.
What I'm saying here is pretty simple. Sadly I can say that a huge percentage of our clients hire us for the end result of loading thousands and thousands of dollars, and dozens of hours worth of art onto a single facebook album where all of their friends will like and share and rave and within just a few hours will likely get covered up by the newest cat video. Our generation all has great intentions but horrible follow through. We want gorgeous photos on our wall - eventually. We want our kids to grow up with photos of their mom and dad to look back on. We want our grand kids to laugh and smile about how pretty grandma was in her old fashioned wedding dress. We want all of these things and yet in the amount of time it takes for the newest hashtag trend to cover up our last instagram post, we've already moved on to the next topic.
The truth is we're pretty blessed to have a super low divorce rate as a wedding company. I know that's a word nobody wants to say out loud but the gross reality these days is that sadly a large percentage of people have problems commiting to anything, much less one thing as large as another person. Being married was never designed to be easy, or efficient. Having a wife doesn't make life more complete, simple, or streamlined. What it does (ideally) is make us better versions of ourselves. It molds us, makes us less selfish, exposes our flaws to a person who can help us grow. It defines us in a way that gives us not only an identity but a purpose. It creates families which in turn create culture (and ideally glorify God throughout the whole process). For all of the things marriage is supposed to do, our society has often taught us that a promise is easily broken. Here's my point - I'm certainly not saying that the tangible things around you can save a broken marriage. I'm not going to try and guilt you into thinking that if you would simply purchase a wedding album, or more prints that your home will be better (though it will certainly be prettier). What I'm saying here is this : If we spent more time focusing on the real things in our lives. The things we can hold, and share (really share, not click to share) - our relationships would not only be stronger, they'd be more meaningful.
I don't sell wedding books because our brides NEED them. I don't go to the trouble of making sure that every custom design is flawless and that our clients have access to the coolest, most artsy book company in the country because it's expected. If that were the case most of you who know me well would know that I would likely rebel on the entire concept just because I hate following trend. The reason our clients should purchase books is because of the time it takes to relive the moments that meant so much on that big day. There's no swiping, no deleting, no interupting texts/calls/notifications when you're looking at your wedding album. There's simply time spent on the couch with your feet on the coffee table and his arm around you laughing about that moment you first saw your dad, or chatting about how young he looks in that baggy tuxedo. These books aren't designed to simply showcase moments you've already lived - they're intended to create all together new ones.
Something pretty powerful happened last night at our house. For those of you who follow us you may know that we just finished building in every way our dream home a few months ago. We've been trying to unpack a little at a time but with two little ones and me constantly on the go there's a few things that haven't quite gotten done. While Melissa was at the office yesterday I decided to hang a photo of us that was taken before we were even engaged on the wall as you first walk into our bedroom. For the first 5 years of our marriage this same photos hung in a similar place in our first little home and something about it just seemed perfect there. I had hardly even noticed, let alone take the time to see how bare that little wall looked before that photo went up yesterday and now it stops me every time I walk into our room. The memories of that day together in my little Fayetteville apartment flood my mind and I'm instantly drawn towards how I can be that guy that Melissa was so smitten with for her even today.
Don't JUST download your photos from me and back them up on a hard drive. Worse still don't use our cloud backup as a home for the photos that you invested so much money and time into. Don't burn cd's and dvd's full of photos you can't enjoy. Invest in the tangible. It's true that we sell some of the highest end, swanky prints you can get your hands on but there's no need to break open your savings if you don't have the money. Save $25 a month in a shoe box. Stash away extra change here and there. Run down to Bedfords and ask for the cheapest 3.5x5 prints they have and print every single photo. Skip a year of buying each other more clothes and shoes and crap you don't need and buy each other your favorite photo for Christmas. And if you want to find a way to push all of those memories, those emotions, and those little moments that defined the day that you two commited to each other - get a wedding album.
If you read all the way through this blog we want to thank you for the time you've spent already investing in us. If you want to order some photos through our online store we've set up a coupon code to say thanks that will be active through the end of February worth 25% off of your total order. Just use the coupon code "tangible" to access that at check out. If you want to print your photos yourself feel free but please do our economy, and our photos the favor of shopping locally and head to Bedford Camera for those prints. The company is full of people who not only care about my art, but also about making sure your photos look the way they should on paper. We're so grateful for you all - thanks for keeping up with us. And for always going the extra mile for each other. We're proud of the couple's lives we've seen from the start and we'd love to hear stories all about what your photos and albums means to you.