There's a lot of shopping going on this time of year! Everyone is buying presents for their friends and family.. which makes me think quite a bit about the amount of money we all spend on things we don't really need. Everyone does it. My garbage is full of uneaten food at the end of the week (for some reason nobody likes to eat leftovers around here). There is a closet full of Legos in my older son's room (which he builds once and then never touches again). And my 3-yr old prefers to make footprints in the snow for hours over playing with toys.
The truth is, we don't really NEED a lot of stuff. The things we spend money on often end up being forgotten about. I can't tell you how many times I bought something only to find that exact thing in a seldom-used closet. And then there are those large-purchase items that we outgrow or want to replace in 5-10 years because our style changes or they wear out. I'm talking about furniture (like my dark brown couch that seemed like a good idea at the time), cars, computers/laptops, big-screen TVs, designer handbags, etc.
And I'm sure you know where this is going. Photographs are not one of those purchases. You'll never regret a family photoshoot and good family photos! They will be in your family forever and your children will love having these images for eternity. (I am only half-sarcastic about the previous statements)
The truth is.. you can regret buying just about anything. But as we live, gain wisdom, and learn from our mistakes, we realize what's important (and worth spending money on) and what isn't.
And those things aren't the same for everyone. One person might cherish professional photographs of their family, while another loves their new vintage car they will keep forever or a wedding ring that will be passed down to their granddaughter. But photography can definitely be one of those things. It's at least a contender... as long as you get a tangible print or artwork out of it. Because one thing is for certain, digital images can disappear all too easily. You need a screen to view them, and someplace to keep them online or on a hard drive.
Photographs, the real physical kind, are something we've had since 1826. And you can bet that we'll have them for another 200 years without question. It's the reason why I provide archival museum prints to all my clients. It's hard to imagine what will be important 10 or 20 years from now, but I like to think that the families I work with will still display their photographs in their homes, enjoy them on a daily basis, and maybe even pass them down to their children as they have children of their own.