It is no question that we live in the digital age. While technology has really helped us move forward in many ways, there’s a few things that have gotten lost along the way. I feel like one of these things is the value of taking the time to make prints.
When the first consumer friendly cameras came out, specifically the Brownie camera that you could “press the button, and we do the rest” there was a high influx of pictures becoming for the every day person. Kodak would take the film you would use, and make a set of prints and send it back to you with your camera refilled and ready to go. I’m sure you have gone through your grandparent’s boxes of photos and looked at all those funky sized but beautiful pictures of the daily life that was back then. Many of these pictures end up in markets being sold as found images that some people collect. If I had the money, I totally would be throwing money and some of these pictures cause there was such a beautiful candidness that I don’t feel like gets captured very often anymore.
Fast forward to this digital age. Film is becoming less and less known, labs are disappearing, digital photography is where it’s at, and even more so the phone in our hands seem to be everything we need on a daily basis. I feel like our generation is realizing why have boxes of photos when we can carry all our images in one place and it doesn’t take up any space? Saying this does give us a very valid point for discussion but I hope I can change your mind or at least convince you to pick out your favorite images to print.
I was reading an article on The Atlantic that mentions that every 2 minutes, we take more photos that ever existed in a total of 150 years or approximately 1.8 Billion photos a day. This is coming off of data from a few years ago, and it is only going off of photos that are being upload online through various platforms so who even knows how many more are just being stored in our devices. That’s a lot of photos right?! And who knows how that number has probably grown!
Try think about how many pictures you post vs. how many didn’t make the cut but you can’t bring yourself to delete them. I know as an example, for Riley’s last Christmas session last year I took probably 200 photos, narrowed it down to maybe 100-125 that I edited, and yet only posted maybe 30-40 of them. I still have those other pictures all sitting in my memory that don’t get looked at often but I can’t delete them because there are little pieces in every photo that I like for one reason or another. I’m sure you have this too. You go on a family vacation and take a plethora of images but only post the absolute favorites for your friends and family to view on facebook.
Can you imagine one day that our children or future grandchildren will to sift through all those images? Sure they don’t take up a lot of storage space but it would take so much time to go through them to find what they want. They may be looking for one specific images but have to go through hours of work to find it. I’ve been currently going through all the images in my cloud recently and trying to downsize and I tell you, it is no easy task. Every folder I get through feels like barely anything when I see I still easily have 2k more left to go just for last year, maybe even more. I pride myself on being pretty well organized but I know I’ve definitely saved more pictures than I need.
I think the value of prints is that because you have to pay for them, you are selecting the very best. It is something tangible that you can hold. It’s the pictures on the wall that help to make a home feel more homey. It kind of makes me think about books vs. e-books and online material. Now I personally am not a reader BUT if I have to read, I’d much rather be flipping through a book and feeling it’s pages than looking at a screen. I might be weird, but I also love how books smell. I don’t mind reading articles online but if it’s a book, I feel like I should be holding it in a book form. I feel the same about pictures. I miss the idea of pulling out old family photo albums and browsing through the carefully selected images. I like that it makes it easy to make an extra print to give to a friend or family member. It’s the tangible element to it that makes it worth it. I think it just makes it easier on other family members too to pull out a picture and tell a story rather then searching for an image in a mess of a digital library.
Printing pictures should be looked at as curating the best moments of your life for you friends and family to see. I’m not saying you should invest in printing every photo you have, but I think it’s great to spend a little money on those special moments that you want remembered. Maybe I’m old fashioned but I feel like it’s so much more engaging to pass photos around that can be held then sitting around someones phone or laptop screen and they click next over and over.When I choose which pictures I print, I keep my children in mind and what photos do I want them to come across and have a smile or a laugh at when they are digging through my box of photos.
Print your favorites, sit around as a family and pass those pictures around. Make those photo album or collages to look at for the years to come! We all love pictures, let's enjoy them to their fullest potential!