How much are your memories worth? I was thinking about this at an obscure hour this morning and it all started with our tv.....the thought process is a little disjointed but stay with me (it was really really early), I promise it will all make sense in the end.
Last week the tv presented itself with a vertical coloured stripe down the left hand side of the picture, then last night it developed two more stripes a call to the repair center some switching off and on of the television and I was advised that panel is probably on its way out, which is apparently quite common. This on a television that is less than 18 months old, and of course manufactures warranty is only 12 months,... and then this really annoyed me.... that manufacturers were only willing to guarantee their products reliability for such a short time...That pride in quality and workmanship is no longer relevant. Because really they dont want us to keep these items they want us to update when the latest model arrives (think of how many people upgrade their phones when the latest and greatest model gets released) , so my opinion (and I am sure many others) is that they dont build them to last anymore..well really what would be the point, welcome to the age of consumerism, its often cheaper to buy a new printer full of ink than to buy replacement cartridges. But I digress, so after the tv's prognosis I figured the weekend would be spent purchasing a new tv and then the thought hit me that the $1500-$2000 price tag for a somewhat decent set really doesnt equate to the throw away, upgrade me quickly, only under warranty for 12 months, build of the appliance. Yet people quite commonly outlay that type of money and more every couple of years to update their tvs , computers or gaming stations etc and generally dont even think twice about the price.
This then led me to thinking about the items that I price shop for and those I dont. I admit, for most things, I am a bargain shopper. The things I perceive to not be of any personal value to me or something that I know will only last a season, I price hunt for. But for the big ticket items, the stuff I know I will want to hold on to, to pass down and to last the distance, my mantra is ......you get what you pay for. For those into fashion think Louboutin and Versace vs Kmart and Target. The save up for and keep and treasure for a lifetime vs the cheap, it will do for now, I dont care if it isnt great quality it will get donated next cupboard cleanout. Which then in turn led me to this, why, when it comes to professional photography, your preservation of precious moments in time, images that will last past your lifetime, your heirlooms, why do most consumers base the choice of their photographer purely on price and not on quality, workmanship or the beautiful empowering experience to be had? Why is the first question always, how much do you charge? It baffles me as to why anyone would want to bargain basement haggle a price for a never to be repeated moment in time. I find it very sad that quite a large part of todays society place a higher value on throw away consumables, than on a tangible experience, that can be appreciated for generations.
So how do you put a value on something priceless? I guess everyone will have a different perception of what "priceless" is, so I cant answer that for you, but I can offer you some advice for the next time you are searching for a photographer. Dont head straight for the pricing section of their website, first take a look at their previous work, can you see quality in the images, (no funny skin colours or branches sticking out of heads, awkward posing) do you resonate with the style of photography they offer, is this an experience you want to have? Check out more than one photographer, compare their styles, does one appeal to you more than the other? Then talk to to the photographer, ask them questions, let them describe your shoot for you, see if you click with them. Make an informed decision, if price is a deciding factor in your choice then consider it last.....remember the experience will be your memory for a lifetime and the photographs will last generations.....how much is that worth to you?