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Why Prints Matter | Kingwood, Houston, The Woodlands TX Senior, Family, and Wedding Photographer

This day in age, many families are debating whether or not they should take professional portraits, let alone purchase prints and wall art. But before you decide to just take the digital images, you may want to read this.

"We are the most photographed era, with the least number of prints, albums, and artwork."
Far left: Great-Great-Grandmother Arvie/R.V. (1882-1960)* & Far right: Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Winnie (1860-1953)*

Far left: Great-Great-Grandmother Arvie/R.V. (1882-1960)* & Far right: Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Winnie (1860-1953)*

In September 2016, my husband and I took a trip to Jasper, Texas (our hometown) to visit Melo’s Happy Place and celebrate his second birthday. If you don't know by now, Carmelo "Melo" is my stillborn baby boy and the name and spirit behind Melo and Me Photography. Surprisingly, I did quite well and held the tears in like only a strong Mom can. Even though I know quite well that the ability to hold in tears does not symbolize strength alone.

As painful as it was --it was also refreshing, and while there I stopped by my grandmother’s house. On the way out, I noticed a basket of what looked like albums, and so of course, I opened it. I’ve always been eager to look at pictures and would compare the feeling of rummaging through several photo albums to a kid waking up on Christmas day.

There, in the basket lied memories of my late grandfather, great-grandparents, great-great grandparents, and great-great-great grandparents.

The feeling I felt of touching photographs that’d been passed down from generation to generation was breath-taking. I stared at them the way kids stare at gifts, reminiscing on my childhood and the black and white memories that escaped from the pages of the albums.

Great-Great Grandfather Joe “Papa Joe” Fent (1887–1967)

Great-Great Grandfather Joe “Papa Joe” Fent (1887–1967)

I am so grateful that my family valued photographs so much that they decided to leave a piece of our family history behind for us. These are the only photographs my family has to remember our ancestors. Even in a time, where many African-Americans were slaves with no record of their ancestry, and could hardly afford to purchase their own homes or land, my family still managed to preserve their history through photographs..and for that I am forever grateful. 

Studies show that this is the most photographed generation, with more than an estimated 1 trillion photographs taken in 2016 alone. You’re probably thinking that’s a good thing right? Well, yes..and no. As we all know, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Sure we’re taking photographs, but are we really preserving those memories by keeping them on CDs, DVDs, and USB drives that could potentially become obsolete in the next 10 years?

“According to a nationwide survey conducted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA), 42% of people (ages 30-44) will likely look back and wonder where photos of their childhood, holiday get-togethers, relatives and friends have gone decades from now.”

The survey also revealed that “nearly 70% of people no longer have photo albums” and 53% of people said they haven’t printed a photo in more than 12 months or longer.

Second from left (first man): Great Grandfather Mace and his siblings  (1907-1953)

Second from left (first man): Great Grandfather Mace and his siblings  (1907-1953)

So what does this mean?

In 1910, flash drives, CD/DVD-roms, floppy disks and other technological mediums that could possibly hold digital files in today’s age, did not exist. But can you guess what my great-great-great-grandparents did have to preserve their memories? Prints. 

Because even with technological advancements and changes, prints have always served as family heirlooms. These photographs serve as time-capsules encompassing a piece of each of my family’s memories. Looking at them on the computer or phone is great, but touching them is even better. 

That’s why I’m proud to announce that Melo and Me Photography now offers our clients family heirlooms to pass down to generations!  Signature albums, heirloom boxes, and canvases make great art pieces to display in your home.

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Ask me how you can invest in family portraits and photographs that are guaranteed to last more than a lifetime. I take the time to shoot each session and vision with your family’s style in mind. You deserve prints to pass on to your descendants. Let me help guide you in selecting the perfect artwork for your home, by completing the form below. 

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How to Slay Your Senior Session with Confidence! | Houston, The Woodlands, and Jasper, TX Senior Photographer

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Get to know your photographer. Seniors who take the time to get to know their photographer feel more relaxed and comfortable, than those who meet their photographer for the first time. The Pre-Session Consultation, is just a fancy way of saying we get to know a little bit about each other via a chat, phone call, or in-person meeting.

Bring yourself, as in BE YOURSELF).  If you don't remember anything else from this post, please remember this --be yourself. This includes being true to yourself and who you are. Trust me, if you're not being yourself at the session, it shows. It's okay to step outside of your comfort zone, but you definitely don't want to display serious facial expressions when you're normally smiling or goofing off. In order to get great photographs, it's important that you're relaxed and comfortable at the session. 

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Plan ahead of time. It's important that you plan for the session ahead of time. Waiting until the last minute to book a photographer, could leave you in the position of not having photographs to document this important time in your life. And, in the event that you are able to book a photographer at the last minute, there's still so much planning that goes into a session and you certainly don't want to scramble through boutiques or stores trying to find outfits for your session. 

Dress to impress. Clothes should be fitted prior to the day of your session, so that you know exactly how they fit. Make sure to get rid of the wrinkles prior to the session. Blouses and bottoms should hang neatly on hangers. Avoiding clothing with large logos or graphics because they take away from the person in the photo.

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Don’t worry…be happy. Last minute pimple show up the night before or day of your session, that's okay! I’ll take care of your acne and blemishes so there's no need to worry. All you have to do is show up to the session and have a great time -I'll take care of the rest! 

Professional hair and makeup artist. A professional hair and makeup artist can completely transform your senior session. They are trained professionals and know how to cater to your needs. You'll have less time to stress and worry about your hair or makeup, and more time to focus on being pampered like a queen! *Bonus: schedule a makeup and/or hair trial a few weeks before scheduled session. *Ask us about including hair and/or makeup into your custom senior session. 

Don’t forget your props! Sports equipment, jersey or uniforms, musical instruments, and books are just a few props that can really tie your personality into the session. They can also add meaning and originality to your session. No props? Not a problem, you'll rock your session either way. 

Get a good night’s rest. Often overlooked, many seniors tend to forget to get a good night's rest; however, it's more important than you think. The more rest you've had, the more time you'll have to enjoy and have a great time at your session. You're also more likely to feel comfortable and have more time to focus on the details. 

Take care of the necessities. This may go without saying for some, but it's worth it to include anyway: 

  • Clean shave. Unless of course, hairy legs and lots of stub are your thing.

  • Guys, it's best to get a haircut at least 6-8 days prior to the session.

  • Bring a hairbrush or comb. It works great for fly-aways and touch-ups.

  • Nails should be manicured, while skin should be moisturized.

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