Do you remember photographs

* Originally published 23.09.2011*

Do you remember photographs, you know, real photographs, images on nice textured paper, not a glossy computer screen?  – some recent events have made me think about the future, in many more ways than one!

It is now common knowledge that Rachy and I are expecting our first baby and we are ecstatic about the prospect of becoming parents, so much to do and think about on this journey that we have embarked upon.

With a new baby on the way our thoughts turned to making ‘space’ for the little one and of course this means a nursery, so I was tasked with the job of emptying our spare room of everything it contained, no easy task as there was about 10 years of junk in there. Amongst the junk there were also some gems, which partially prompted this blog post – so stay with me!

I always have some very clear ambitions for the photographs I take, maybe a large statement frame, a small desk frame or a collection of images in a beautiful wedding album – ultimately I want the photographs I take to become your family Heirlooms. All the products I supply are hand finished and of a quality that is timeless.

I want future generations to be able to see their ancestors, as a photographer I am a custodian of history, I have a responsibility to ensure we remember the past by recording those special moments in peoples lives. Quite a large responsibility don’t you think?

A few years back my grandmother passed away, she was most certainly my inspiration for becoming a photographer, she was never without a camera and never ran out of film (often to our dismay), yes of course we thought she was a pain in the ass at times but it is only in the last few years we see the value in what she was doing, preserving a part of our lives that otherwise would just be a distant memory.

I have boxes upon boxes of those photographs, each print in an album, clearly labelled on the back with who was in the photo and the date, yes slightly different to the images I produce but each photograph is a real gem of family history.

I have spent quite some time in that room, when I was supposed to be clearing, just looking through the photographs, remembering those days gone by, I freely admit to weeping, as I am doing writing this blog, seeing my late father, holding me as a baby, my mum as a beautiful young lady and mother, my grandparents, brother, cousins and it goes on.

These photographs really are memories we can touch, hold and feel, memories of long hot Summers without a care in the world, Grandma took care of it that those memories would be passed down, as I will pass them down to our baby in years to come. Although grandma was not a professional photographer she showed the signs, getting the shot was all that mattered, even if her beloved grandson was trapped in a stool 😉

Digital photography is brilliant, that is without a doubt but it comes with its risks, especially for our future social history. How many times have you heard someone say they have accidentally deleted images, lost memory cards, hard drive crashes and it goes on. Another thing that I found when I was doing out the room – an image I myself had printed out of my home printer of one of my Godson’s as a baby, faded to such an extent that it was ruined. I will point out that I always use a professional photo lab for my clients photographs!

Another big question – will Facebook still be around for future generations to see the photographs taken on great, great, great grandma’s iPhone?

I found something else in that room and there are images of it below, some reading this blog will have never seen one, some will have seen them but never used them, some, well, some will see the purpose of this blog post simply from the title and the first image – that floppy disc certainly won’t fit in my computer!

OK, I am a realist my clients do want some digital images and for that I can oblige, I offer a set of images resized for Facebook and for email free of charge with any product purchase.

I recently had a portrait client that had bought some images on disc come back to me as the disc had become scratched, luckily I was able to re-produce the disc with my compliments (and stern words 😉 ) the disc had been in the clients possession for quite some time and it had been sat in a drawer with ‘stuff’ piled on it!

Sadly I can’t be with you and your family every step of the way to record your journey, like grandma did for me and my family, she made every frame of her 24 or 36 exposure films count and sent them off to get printed. I can however record and produce images and products that will stand the test of time and become that family heirloom though.

Hopefully this blog post will encourage thought, discs will become obsolete, scratched or corrupted, unframed prints will sit, unloved in a drawer. OK, grandma didn’t get everything framed, they are preserved in albums though, numbered albums at that.

When it comes down to it, I am a business and I will supply what you the client wants as I have a mortgage to pay and soon a little mouth to feed – bare walls do look silly though, what do you think?

I would love to hear your thoughts from a consumer point of view.

You can follow Ian Wood Photography on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to discuss your Wedding Photography or photography of loved ones then please do not hesitate to use the contact form, email me at or simply telephone 01539 739052 | 07968 791584 to discuss your requirements.

| personal | professional | passionate | perfect |



  • Pat Kearns - September 23, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    Very moving Ian. My sentiments exactly. Photograhs are your memories. I have photos of my great great grandmother Uncles. My Aunt in her Nurses Uniform in 1913, plus all the treasured photographs of grandparents Parents and our lovely daughters, Knowing that I will have beautiful photographs of our grandchild too makes me very happy. Pat and Terry xx

  • Holly Hunt - September 24, 2011 - 5:27 pm

    Fabulous post, Ian. You just can’t replace photographs, and nothing ever will.

  • Charlotte - October 9, 2011 - 9:54 am

    WOW Ian gorgeous blog post! I am with you all the way…There is nothing better than a real photograph, or a box of old photographs – its a real tonic for all the senses, smell of the pictures, sight of the images, feelings they evoke, the feel of them in your hands – all round perfection 🙂
    Enjoy your journey with your own family!
    Charlotte xxxxxx

  • Allan Thomas - November 17, 2011 - 11:36 pm

    I love old photos Woody, rather than looking at a screen. This blog has tempted me to go digging for old ones of us all growing up as kids. They may end up on Fuzzbuck so watch this space.

  • Catherine Connor - November 22, 2011 - 9:37 am

    I love the images and the fact that you took time and thought to what all professional photographers should be considering. These are treasures and special memories xx

  • Ali Groves - November 22, 2011 - 9:50 am

    Gorgeous blog post Ian – brought a tear to my eye – and reminded me I need to print more images of my own boys. x

  • Kirstie Edwards - November 22, 2011 - 9:59 am

    Wow! I agree entirely, wouldn’t it be nice if everyone saw it this way? Fantastic blog post and glad you found some treasures in your spare room 😉

  • Eddie Judd - November 22, 2011 - 10:02 am

    As a lifestyle photographer myself you have summed up exactly the reason I love to do my job. Looking back through our old albums of my family life when I was younger is extremely important to me. I am very lucky too that my father loved to arrange our holidays in albums. And I am following that tradition with albums of my two little girls. My clients walk away with framed images and albums – I feel very passionate about preserving their memories. We are taking a freeze frame of a family history – love your comment about being a ‘custodian of history’! Great post.

  • Stephanie Callaghan Smith - November 22, 2011 - 10:32 am

    Great post and so true. There is something so valuable about actual prints. I’ve just decided to switch my portrait business to 100% film for that very reason. Thank you so much for your post – it has reminded me that people still do value things the old fashioned way!

  • Jo Pearson - November 22, 2011 - 12:15 pm

    Great post.

  • Clara Wilcox - November 22, 2011 - 12:33 pm

    I am all for the printed photograph; At least twice a year (although I really should do it more often) I sit down with my laptop and select all the photographs I want printed off. Usually a week later my 100 + photos land on my mat and I go about adding them to photo album. I love framing photos and I am expecting over the years all of my walls of my house will be taken up by these wonderful memories!

  • Matt Edwards - November 22, 2011 - 3:44 pm

    Hi Ian, really interesting blog. I am with you and the other commentors here in that you definately cannot replace a printed image. I come from an IT background and I have seen different media come and go so we definately cannot gaurantee that our images will be accesable in the future. I cannot even gaurantee that images I backup for customers on DVD/disk etc will be of any use if/when they are needed. But in all that time, printed media has remained.

    I’ve recently started going through my digital stores of personal images in order to create printed albumns so I have a lasting reminder and I encourage everyone who values visual media to do the same.


  • Rachel Proctor - November 23, 2011 - 12:49 pm

    Ian – your blog has really tugged at those heart strings. When my son was born I never put down my camera. Although I am only a mere amateur, I was impressed with some of the shots I took. From then on I have enjoyed looking back on those pictures in my little boy’s ‘Album of Alfie’s journey’ and like you, felt I had done the best thing I could . . . printed them! Alfie even looks as them himself now and again. I have also ordered his Grandparents (& one set of Great-Grandparents) next years 2012 Calendar with the ‘Greatest Hit’ pictures from this year gone for the fourth year running. As we live over 50 miles away from any of my family, it’s a gift they all now expect each year! They all keep the previous years calendars too and know they get them out now and then to show off their grandson to their visitors. AND – my little family had our FIRST EVER professional shoot back in July. I pick up our frames tomorrow . . . so giddy! Thanks for sharing Ian, never has a truer word been spoken.

  • Tracy Williams - November 27, 2011 - 7:19 pm

    wonderful post – completely true – am off to post link so my friends and clients can read your great words! all the best with baby – nothing like it!!
    all the best

  • […] Do you remember photographs […]

  • Hugh Miller - February 27, 2012 - 9:18 am

    Fantastic post Ian

  • Rob Dunning - October 13, 2012 - 11:21 pm

    A brilliant read and Grandma sounds like she knew that her photographs were going to be shared for so many future generations.

    Good work 🙂

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *