Why should I print my pictures if I have them all on disk?
Okay, I’m going to really lay out the core of my feelings about the importance of printing your images. Bear with me as my thoughts unfold. They might be messy and disorganized but I’ll try my best to convince you why you should print any picture that you value as opposed to only keeping a digital copy.
I get it, okay. I know it costs money to print pictures. I know that they take up room and it requires you putting them into photo albums or frames and that can be messy and time consuming. I get that you’re busy and that your budget may be stretched pretty thin. I get that it was quite an investment to purchase that disk from your session to begin with, and that you intend on printing those pictures for Christmas gifts for grandparents.
But, here’s the thing… most people don’t end up ever printing their images from the disk they purchased. They like “just knowing” they’re there and that they have access to them. I get that. I love knowing that I have all my clients sessions digitally archived from back when I started my business years ago. I take comfort in that, but if I want to look at those images, it’s pretty time consuming to shuffle through folder upon folder from years past to find what I’m looking for… and I at least have all my files on an external hard drive as opposed to my computer alone! I have clients who save their session disks in a fireproof safe as an extra precaution (and that’s a really great idea). However; here’s the other thing about our changing world and the pace at which things progress… digital formats change. Disks will become (and ARE becoming) more obsolete. Apple now makes MacBook Pro’s that don’t even have a disk drive. The “e-world” is moving at an incredible pace and it can be hard to keep up.
I mean think about it. How many 8-track cassettes (they’re called “cassettes,” right?) do you have? … exactly. And I’ll bet your parents are anxious to get your childhood home VIDEOS converted to DVD as soon as possible. Why? Because that medium has all but gone by the wayside. “But I have them all on facebook,” you say. Great! But what about all the pictures you used to have on myspace? livejournal?
I hope you’re getting my point. I think you are.
All this to say that I think there is no greater investment to retain your family history than actual… printed… pictures. Those things you hold in your hands, organize in an album, frame on your desk and wall. You send them in cards to family far away and then THEY display them on their refrigerators and think of you and your family every time they make a sandwich.
Whenever I go visit family members we flip through old albums and look through family pictures. I love doing that. What happens when my mom comes to my house is something more like, “Mom, I want to show you these shots I got of the girls the other day.” (cue me flipping through images on the computer and my mom says…) “Oh, Sarah! I want a PRINT of that!” You see? People want tangible. People want to hold and to touch and to know that if technology fails, they’ll still have the print. Yes, fires and floods happen but not as often as computers crash or disks are scratched. Your digital files are what photographers call the “digital negatives.” We all have old family pictures somewhere that we love to look at but we sure don’t know where the negative to that picture is. Why? Because that’s not what we want to look at when we want to see the picture. You see?!?!?!
Okay. I need to stop. I’m getting a bit feisty and that I try to reserve only for my family and closest friends. But I think I’ve made my point. I want you to have PRINTS of those pictures you love so much because really, it’s what I think you ultimately want and I don’t believe I’d be giving you the best custom photography experience if I didn’t implore you to take the time to print the beautiful images from your session. And, if you want to guarantee that they’ll last as long as your great grandparents portraits did, I’d be happy to print them for you. My lab guarantees all prints to last at lease 100 years.
I leave you with this… these pictures that I most cherish from MY family and childhood. They’re all throughout this post. My dad was our family photographer and he did a great job at it. These pictures embody memories that I have and I LOVE to look at them in the photo albums my mom carefully placed them in when I was young. I hope we can all pass along albums like that to our children.