Cameras. They’re everywhere. In your phone, on your tablet, you have your point-n-shoot, and maybe even a DSLR. A few might even own a film camera. You can’t escape the selfies, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. People are deluged with photographs. And today, people are taking more pictures than ever before. It’s been estimated that in the past 5 years, more photos have been taken than all the prior years combined.

So what will become of all the pictures that are being taken today?

Did you know that approximately 1 out of 100,000 photographs taken today actually ends up being a printed photograph. The digital world means you can look at those on some computer screen and without one, you have nothing. You probably have countless pictures that are just randomly stored, have no organization or way to locate them.

Perhaps you go to a Professional Photographer and all you want is someone to “take some pictures and give us the disc”.  After all, it IS a “digital world” and it shouldn’t cost you very much. You should ask yourself, “where are my discs today?” I doubt you have your DVD’s or old floppies hung on your wall! “It’s on a disk…someplace…I think…. where did we put that disk again?”.

Why should we print photos?

You can create a smarter, smaller collection. The best part about maintaining a printed photo collection is that you can really whittle down your photo selection to print the best of the best. None of those files where someone’s eyes are closed or those unflattering expressions that could haunt you for decades. The real memories are captured.

A print will always be there, whereas JPEGs & Discs deteriorate. Over time, as you open and close and duplicate a file, the quality of your original file will get worse. Digital media will go out-of-date and the files that you have stored in these will also go out-of-date and become inaccessible. Consider this, for years you have used DVDs and CDs to store things, and Apple has decided not to install disc drives anymore, that medium is slowly starting to disappear. You’ll soon have a generation of images that were stored on discs that may not even be (easily) accessible. How many floppy discs do you see these days?!

All technology can fail. Even if it’s new, top-of-the-line, and well-reviewed, it can combust or be damaged. Your computer’s hard drive might corrupt, you might drop that external hard drive on the ground, your paid cloud storage might go out of business, or it might simply become too expensive to maintain once your archive of images reaches a large size. Backups of backups are always a good practice, and printing those photos is a good backup too.

A photo doesn’t need to be enjoyed on a screen. Being “in the moment” and away from technology is not a luxury that you enjoy all that often in today’s digital world. There is something nostalgic about being able to curl up on the couch with loved ones and look back at a wedding album, or old family photos, without having to flip open a laptop and press the “next” button dozens of times. Plus, who has time to look at 500+ wedding photos on a screen?!

A print lasts a lifetime, and often even longer. Physical prints give you heirlooms to pass down as you move on in your life. Often you are not recording (capturing a moment) and printing (preserving the moment) for today, but instead for tomorrow, for your children and your children’s children. Passing down a box of hard drives doesn’t exactly have the same appeal, does it? We love to have something real and tangible.

 

So why should I buy prints from a photographer, haven’t I just paid them to take my photos?

Time. Clients believe they will get their photos printed. The reality is that life gets in the way. People with children are very busy and the time it takes to focus on making hard decisions about what pictures to print, in what size, and hang where, can feel overwhelming. It falls to the bottom of the priority list and, in most cases, it just never happens.

Poor Quality Prints – A lot of people don’t have access to high quality prints. Often, they don’t even realize there is a difference between print labs. They assume that what they see on their computer is what they will receive. This is less than ideal because then you may end up with poor quality prints with strange colours that will fade over time, or if it’s a photographer’s photo, these then become a representation of their work.

 

So, I have pictures printed… Now What?

Embrace scrapbooking or albums. It’s photo-appreciation for the crafter in you, and can be a great hobby for kids and adults. Design individual scrapbooks or albums to commemorate a family vacation, or create an annual scrapbook in which to highlight the events of the year. One tip? Don’t glue down the photos, as some adhesives can damage photo paper. Use corner squares instead, which hold the photo into position without taping or risk of tearing. Not that create? Why not get a photographer to design an album for you? They would love to create an album of their pictures! Photography is an art form after all. 

Label each photograph. You’ll be able to look back in a decade and not only know who is in the photo, but the date it was taken, and maybe the location.  – This is actually something I already do for my clients, I provide stickers on the back of each print with space for them to write these details.

Have some really important photos? Why not get two copies printed? One for display, and one for a fire safe, if there was a fire or natural disaster, make sure your photos are safe!

So, when was the last time you had photos printed? It’s time to go and find those hidden CD’s and get something printed!

Because truly, prints matter 🙂