Value is defined as: importance, worth, usefulness of something. It goes without saying that different people put different values on different things. Some people spend a couple hundred dollars a month on getting their car waxed and detailed, while others have literally never washed their car once. Some people spend a couple hundred dollars a month getting a mani/pedi every other week, while others just simply don’t care for that type of service and spend nothing on it. At the end of the year, for some people these things add up to $2400+ but we don’t think of it that way… because we aren’t spending it all at once. Yet, the cost is still pretty steep when you think of it in terms of what is spent in a year… and what you have as a result at the end of that year – a nice looking car, and nice nails if those are things you personally value.

Let’s take it a step further and talk about what some people might spend on furniture, or decor in their home. I heard a story recently about a $10,000.00 chandelier that an interior designer put in someone’s home for them. It’s gorgeous, yes… certainly a statement piece. The same person who purchased that chandelier for her home, had an absolutely gorgeous wall display designed by her photographer with custom framed prints from their session. Two gorgeous displays to be exact… and the bill for that stunning artwork came to approximately $8,000.00 when all was said and done (these were extra large, multi-photo displays). The woman was shocked and began asking about ways she could bring that cost down… maybe by framing them herself. Naturally her photographer was discouraged because the immediate assumption was that the cost was in the hardware… the VALUE for her, was assumed to be in the frames, and not in the images that were captured of her children.

I guess the point of this story (and no this was not our client, or our sale) is that value is relative, but at the same time it’s very interesting to me to think about what people THINK they value. Do you think that if that woman’s house was on fire (and her family was safe) that she or her husband would worry about that chandelier? Do you think they’d try to take it down and save it? Or would they pull those beautiful family portraits off the wall and get those to safety? I come back to this question a lot when discussing the value of photography. Here’s another one for you: when she dies, do you think her children will care about that chandelier and who gets it? Or do you think they’ll want all of their childhood memories and photos of their mother to treasure forever?

At the end of the year when you realize you’ve spent somewhere around $2,000.00 on your nails throughout the year… Would you still find value in a $1,600.00 heirloom album complete with absolutely breath-taking photos of your children?

I implore you to stop thinking about purchasing artwork from your session in terms of the bill right here and now, and consider what that album means for your future generations… and for you as a parent, right now. It’s an investment in your family, and it deserves to be recognized as such.

Stay tuned for future announcements about our Photography Membership and how we can turn that yearly bill into a monthly cost so it doesn’t feel so big at your purchasing appointment, but you can still invest in these heirlooms for your children.

When we lose someone we love, the first thing most of us do is grasp at all of the memories and try to hold them as close to our hearts as possible. We start finding photos, framing them, preserving them so that we can hold on to that loved one forever – they quickly go from “just a quick holiday photo for our card” to our most prized possessions. Why do we wait so long to treasure these moments? Why do we wait so long to preserve them? Why are we so quick to drop thousands on furniture, yet easily turn away at the cost of memories that we know will be treasured for far longer than that new couch… which honestly will be tossed out in 5 years or less anyway? Sure, you can get it done cheaper. But remember – that with lower cost comes lower quality, lack of experience, and most likely – a thumb drive or digital download that will get lost, or buried somewhere miles deep on your computer, forgotten about, and potentially lost forever.

I am so passionate about what we do and what we offer here at Shy Heart Studios, because we do it right. We do it with love. We do it understanding the gravity of what we hold for you and your future.

With all the love and sincerity,


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