An heirloom is a valuable object that belongs to your family for years and even generations to come. Something that can be held on to and passed down throughout the family. I'm sure most families have some sort of object they consider a valuable heirloom that has been held on to throughout your family. An heirloom that easily comes to my mind in my family, is an old family bible. It's been passed down through our family from generation to generation and I remember thinking as a child how amazing it was to have something so valuable within my family that I was able to look back on and see things my family added to that bible during their story here on earth. Some of things my family from past generations would add to the family bible were dried up flowers, stuck into pages that contained passages that had meaning to that person at that moment. Another object found within the pages of that bible would be locks of hair. A family member would have a child and they would cut a lock of their hair and insert that on a page with a passage of meaning. It was really neat to see! It's kind of like when parents cut their baby's first lock of hair and add them to their baby album.
I speak about heirlooms because, like this family bible of ours, another valuable object that comes to mind that most families pass down from generation to generation are portraits. Portraits have so much meaning and are really invaluable, especially when that portrait is of someone or something we always want to remember. Something we can't just dispose of. Most portraits really are irreplaceable. If you think about a newborn, or a maternity portrait, or any portrait for that matter, we can not replace that exact moment captured in that time and in that place. With our day and age, we've moved to a digital world, and in most cases, it's been a great thing, but in other cases it's preventing us from being able to hold onto concrete things we like to have as heirlooms and keepsakes. Don't get me wrong, having a digital copy of a portrait is great! I have so many digital images of my own family and I love to be able to go through them whenever I feel like reminiscing, but what happens when the digital world fails? What if those images we took or had taken fail? What if your computer crashes, or your flash drive fails, or that disc of images gets old and you lose some of the most valuable memories you so desperately held on to? Digitals are great in the sense that they make for a wonderful back up, but having that concrete tangible keepsake item is so much more valuable in my honest opinion. To be able to hang on to that item, just like my family's bible, after all these years, has so much importance throughout our lives. That newborn album you have created, or that canvas you have printed will serve you in so many more ways than having an image sitting as a digital file. It's something you will always have that can be passed down from generation to generation. The next time you have a portrait session done, I urge you to have your images printed out instead of just receiving them as digital copies. It is an investment, but I promise you it is an investment you and your family will never regret.