Documenting the process of building a custom photo frame
Matted photo print sitting on wooden frame.

If you have been here any time at all, you know that I believe in the importance of the printed photograph. I care so much about it that I began building my own picture frames by hand. They are a big part of what I offer.

But I also grapple constantly with the impact these products have on our environment.

The fact is, we don’t actually “need” them – photographs and picture frames are a luxury. And we’re getting to a point here on our beautiful-but-stressed little planet where all luxuries are suspect. My work is no exception.

Looking back, I have always tried to steer away from a materialistic life. My parents were of the hippie generation and I think that era really idealized an existence in which material goods were of no importance. Some of that trickled down to me.

But the more I live and learn and read and dig into what it means to be a human and a part of planet Earth, the more I question and (hopefully) refine that dogma.

When wanting to learn about living gracefully as part of our environment, I often look to indigenous cultures. We do not generally think of these societies as materialistic. But if you look closely, they very much valued the sources of raw materials, the craftswomen and craftsmen who made their material goods, and the finished products themselves.

So that got me thinking – what if the problem is not materialism, but consumerism? Maybe we place so little value on material goods that they have become disposable. Because they are disposable, we have to consume more of them.

What if we placed great value on quality products?

What if the sources of raw materials were treated with reverence?

Would we still shop at big box stores? Would Amazon Basics still be a thing?

I doubt it. Who wants their identity tied too closely to that?

(Disclaimer – in our household we buy our fair share of Amazon products. No purists over here 🙂

To bring this back to where we started, I do believe in the value of the products I offer after your photo session. Like those glass photo cases I featured a few weeks ago. And even more so my handcrafted picture frames. They are created with love of the process and the product.

They are full of soul.

How do I share that love with you? With 20% off handcrafted photo frames when you purchase through your photo session gallery! I rarely discount my frames (because they are a LOT of work) but my 2024 session clients get 20% off retail.

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