In today’s world, it is more important than ever to print your photos. Don’t get yourself in a situation where you have thousands of unprinted photographs stored electronically that are in danger of being lost and never seen again.
I feel strongly about the importance of having printed photographs. My clients well know that I always insist on a printed product, not a purely digital one. But if you need more convincing, then I have come up with 7 good reasons why you should print some photos up:
1. Technology constantly changes
I was married about 12 years ago. A wonderful friend took a video of our day. Yes, a video. On a tape. That sounds so old fashioned now. At some point we meant to get that tape converted to a DVD and now we want to get that tape converted to MP4 format.
Of course we don’t have this issue with the wedding photographs, because we had them printed out. We had some framed to hang on the wall and we put all of them in an album too.
This digital world that we live in right now is pretty fantastic, isn’t it? The fact that we can constantly record our lives, whether it be through a still image or a moving one, is actually mind blowing.
And what happens to probably 90% of these images? They stay in phones. They stay on computers or on hard drives. They stay on CD’s, memory sticks or whatever you store your images on. Maybe you put them in a Cloud. So, they are literally stored in the air.
If you think about how much technology has advanced in recent years, it is highly likely that the photo you print out and put on the wall will outlast the technology that it is stored in. Because technology is changing constantly. But prints stay the same.
2. Technology can fail
I frequently tell my clients that a CD or a USB is not a storage facility for photos. These are a great means of delivering digital images and for storing files in the short term, but they are not reliable long term storage devices. They have a limited life span. And as already mentioned, eventually they will become redundant. My ‘new’ iMac certainly doesn’t have a CD drive anymore, only a USB port. Actually my ‘new’ iMac is now considered old as it was bought quite a few years ago now and I already need an upgrade.
The best way to store photos is on a proper hard drive whether it be a removable hard drive or on a decent desktop computer. Then you should also back up your hard drive or computer with another hard drive. Computers and hard drives can fail. They can be lost, stolen or burnt in house fires – just as printed photos can.
I have lost digital photos from family holidays because the device I had them stored on failed. I wish that I printed them out. I know that if I had gotten around to printing them, I would still have them.
Back in the dark ages before we all owned digital cameras, there was no other choice but to get your photos printed out. And guess what? I still have every one of the photos that I took pre-digital days.
3. Self-esteem and Wellbeing
I once read an article that said having family portraits displayed in your house can actually improve your self esteem. In particular this was true for children. This immediately made sense to me because my kids love looking at photos of us all. Seeing an image of us as a family unit always brings a smile to my kid’s faces. It makes sense that these images are giving them a sense of place in the world and promotes feelings of family pride. It reconfirms identity and belonging.
Looking at photographs of our loved ones makes us all feel good. Surrounding yourself with positivity and happiness isn’t always possible in our modern world. Therefore, having as many things in your home to make you feel good, is really important. Many people choose to display things in their home that have meaning and family photographs play a big part in this.
When you print and display your photographs you can enjoy them every day. Not just when you happen to look on your phone or your computer.
4. Artwork for your Home
Photographs as large wall art in your home make a wonderful statement. But they don’t necessarily need to be large. Think Instagram and small square prints. Printed photos that are by you, or of you and your family can really personalise your home. We can all go out and buy prints of famous artworks (not many of us can afford to buy amazing original artworks). Instead, why not fill that space with something unique to you and your family? Personalised and unique photographs will not only look fantastic, they will help foster feelings of warmth, love and connectivity in your home. Who wouldn’t want that?
I love printing photos for wall art but I am also a huge fan of printing them in photobooks and albums. Photobooks are fun. I love looking through my photobooks and my kids love looking through them too.
It is a bonding experience to sit down with your kids and look through photobooks. When I do this with my children, it usually leads to me telling them a story about something funny they did at “that age”. It also helps them remember things we have done as a family, which then increases those warm and fuzzy feelings. And there is something really nice about doing this with a book on your lap, rather than all staring at a screen. A book or album that is beautifully presented will bring you all much joy. Looking through a book is much more pleasurable than flicking through a phone to try and find photos amongst all of the other junk in there too. Book and photo albums can sit on a shelf and your children can look at them whenever they want to.
I enjoy putting together Photobooks but not everyone does. If you don’t, then you could go and have a professional photoshoot and have your photographer put one together for you. This is a much better investment in your family than the latest gadget or piece of plastic that has no emotional significance.
6. Love ones Lost
Many of us portrait photographers have been asked to do photoshoots for people with limited life span left. Where illness or death is at the door for a loved one and the family books in a session for this reason. They realise how special the time that they have left is. They want to remember. It is an honour to photograph individuals and families no matter where they are at in their life cycle.
I have also had instances where I have photographed a family and then they have contacted me a few years later saying that the person has passed away. They treasure the photos now more than ever as it was the last time they were all photographed as a family.
The last thing you want to do if you lose a family member is trail through numerous old CD’s or USBs trying to find photos. It is time consuming and doesn’t always end well if you can’t find what you are looking for.
I have a close friend who lost her mother several years ago. When she went to find photographs of her, it upset her greatly that there weren’t as many photos of her mother as there was of other members of the family. This was because it was her mother who was always behind the camera. As a photographer, I am guilty of this myself. There are probably 10 times the amount of photos of my husband and my children than there are of me. This is why we always commit to a yearly photography session ourselves at least once a year. As my kids get older each year, I love looking back on the photos of all of us together through the various stages of life.
7. Leaving family heirlooms
Some of my most precious family heirlooms are photographs of my parents and grandparents when they were younger. While we are lucky to have some gorgeous large framed prints of family members, I also have a number of small black and white photographs printed many many years ago.
I cannot really explain how much I adore the old photographs in my possession. They are so unique and are amongst my favourite things of all time. They are loaded with a range of different feelings and emotions when I look at them and in every sense they are a moment in time, never to get back. Captured forever. Our lives are made up of memories and the people we love. We all agree that these people are the most important things in our lives. So wouldn’t you like to leave the same thing behind for your family?
This image of my Grandmother was taken sometime towards the end of World War II. It was taken by an unknown American Soldier. I don’t actually know why she is dressed as a Sailor. When my grandmother handed me this photo, she gave me minimal information with a wink and a twinkle in her eye, telling me it was taken before she met my Grandfather.