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What is a picture worth?

We've all heard the saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words" but what are your pictures' actual worth, money-wise? Before we all had a camera on our phones we bought a roll of film, went through the roll, then dropped off the film to be developed. We could say how much the film cost and how much the developing cost. But was that really what the pictures were worth? We didn't have backups on our computer or the cloud so frequently when people were asked what they would save in a house fire photo albums were a high priority. So what were they worth? They were priceless of course. No insurance company could pay enough money to replace those images.


So what about today? We have digital cameras, phone cameras that take great pictures, and the ability to share and back up our images like never before. What are they worth? With the ability to capture, share and then forget a picture so easily has the value diminished? Of course not! Each click is an important moment and a valued memory. But we aren't saving them like we used to. Think about the portraits you have displayed in your own home. How many are pictures you took on your phone and how many are professional portraits? Do you look at the professional images and think "wow, that was expensive!"? Or do you see your child's face when it was still chubby and those sweet little baby teeth are on display in a full grin? Do you think "I spent $500 on that?" Or do you think "oh my gosh, I miss that age." What are they worth? Recently I attended a class with Master Photographer Tim Walden. And a sentence he used stuck with me: "Your portrait is worth every penny the day you pick it up and yet it will only increase in value." Most things that we spend money on lose value over time. Not our portraits. What are they worth? We can put a dollar amount on what we paid for them. But not what they are worth.

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