You're walking out of the kitchen after grabbing a quiet dinner by yourself, past the family room and glance up at the mantel – there is that set of canvas portraits that have been sitting there for over 10 years now. Your kids, ages 3 and 5, playing and being silly, just as little kids do.
Now your kids are 16 and 19 years old and you haven't seen them in days! They are much too busy with school, sports, part time jobs and their friends that your paths just don't cross more than once a day anymore.
What if someone offered you $50 for those canvas portraits of your children – would you sell them? $500? $5000? Of course not – those portraits capture a special moment in time, a time that you can never go back to.
Photography isn’t one of those things we regularly budget for, but it's something that I myself consider an investment.
It's not an investment like the traditional sense. These days, everyone is trying to make smart financial choices, saving money and spending wisely.
Let's say you won some money in a lottery, football pool or just an unexpected bonus … how would you spend it? An extra $5000 could be spread pretty far in my house!
Probably some new electronics, because that's what my husband always wants! The latest and greatest computer or smart TV.
I'd probably purchase some clothes for the kids, because summer is here and I know they can't fit into last year's wardrobe. Maybe a new purse for myself.
And of course, let's spend some of that extra cash on a new family portrait. After the portrait session, I choose my 3 favorite images – not just capturing what they look like, but their fun personalities and this busy time in our lives with 2 little ones under the age of 5. The images are printed as large canvas gallery wraps and placed above the fireplace mantel.
Fast forward 10-15 years – a reasonable time for any investment, right?
My husband's electronics were replaced years ago! The latest fancy TV is up on our wall and that old smart TV is now in the kids den, delegated to play a few video games when they are home for the holidays.
My investment of children's clothing was sold in a garage sale years ago – maybe made $50 in total. That purse might still be sitting on a shelf somewhere, dusty and tattered, but I did use it for many years.
Those canvas portraits? Still sitting above the mantel. I had family portraits taken every few years, but never did replace the pictures on the mantel. Instead, I enjoy looking back and reminiscing on those good old days.
If someone showed up at my house and offered me $5000 for the portraits, I would never take it! Why? Because you can always buy new clothes and electronics. But once your kids are grown, you can’t buy portraits of their childhood.
There aren’t too many things you can buy today that will be guaranteed to be worth more to you in 15 years than they are today. A beautiful portrait of your family will never go out of style and is in fact priceless.
In my mind, that makes it a wonderful investment.
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