Children whose parents display family photographs in the home grow up with greater confidence and sense of belonging, it has been revealed.
Photography in the home reportedly makes children feel valued and gives them a rich understanding of where they come from.
Research conducted by Venture New Generation Portraits found that the number of photographs parents display of their children is heavily influenced by how many photos of themselves they remember in their homes when growing up.
A survey, questioning 1,000 parents, found that the UK is a nation obsessed with keeping loved ones close, with 78 per cent of us keeping between one and fifteen pictures of our family around the home.
However, those who have grown up without photos in the home are less likely to go on to display any of their own children presently, which could in fact be damaging their children's image of self as they mature.
Professor Geoff Beattie, Head of School and Dean of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester: 'We cannot underestimate the power of photographs to keep us feeling linked to others and belonging. They cement us into our networks.
'For children in particular, looking at photographs is part of the socialising process; learning who you are and where you fit into the family. By displaying photographs of our children at different stages of their lives, we are making a very public statement that we are proud of them.'
The majority had a favourite photo and of those, 58 per cent said it was taken with family, a partner or another loved one, and 45 per cent said it reminded them of a happy time.
Professor Beattie adds: 'It's very significant that the two reasons people give for loving a particular photograph is that it reminds them of a happy time taken with family. These things are so important to us.'
Richard Mayfield, Director of Photography of Venture New Generation Portraits, adds: 'Our research shows how important it is to find the time to capture the real essence of a family. In today's time-pressured world it is becoming increasingly difficult to spend good quality family time, however when we look at photographs, we remember how we felt when that picture was taken.
The survey found that 38 per cent of those who grew up with no photos in the house now don't display family photographs in their own homes.
Professor Beattie said: 'When children grow up surrounded by photographs, it gives them a richer understanding of where they come from, which helps with confidence.
'Until recently, people often thought of photographs as almost trivial, but actually they are an incredibly important way of connecting with our sense of self, with each other and with times gone by.'
Previous research has also found that 71 per cent of parents thought that having pictures displayed around the home boosts a child's self-image and self-esteem, with 90 per cent stating that they believe children to be more aware of their own image than 10 years ago.
"...but I only want digital files..."
Reasons for full-service photography
I hear this about 95% of the time. I am guilty of this as well. As a photographer, I take thousands of pictures of my own children. Most of them are digital files, and most of them are on a hard drive somewhere, never to see the light of day again. One time, my dog knocked the hard drive over, and...GASP...EVERYTHING WAS GONE!!! Photographers are not responsible to hold your files after delivery, so what would you do?! CRY! That is what I did anyway...
WHY ARE PHYSICAL PRODUCTS IMPORTANT?
This is your legacy. This is your family. This is you! This is your family's record. By printing your photos and ordering tangible products, you are preserving your family's record and ensuring that your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have your record. You want it in your hands. You want it displayed. You should be proud of what you have created! I practice what I preach. I have walls and walls of framed photos, Story Blocks, gallery wraps, and metal prints proudly displayed in my home. My children love seeing them! They tell people who visit about their photos. At family gatherings, we remember the days together when we took our photos. These are our memories. These are your heirlooms! It is your art. You want to own it.
"But other photographers do digital files only...all I need is a usb or dvd..."
Photographs stand the test of time. It was not that long ago that we had VHS, large camcorders...no cell phones!! Wow! USB drives didn't even exist that long ago! The digital age is upon us, and its future evolution is unknown. Things are being stored on smaller and smaller devices. We have countless logins to cloud storage, social media...these things actually make our photos less accessible in the future. Will you give your children and grandchildren passwords and logins to cloud-based storage when you are old and gray? Are we going to gather our grandchildren around in a circle and pass around a laptop or tablet? (Do we even know if laptops will exist in the future?) One thing is certain in our technology-based world - physical prints, gallery wraps, albums...these things will continue to exist, and it is so important to preserve your history.