Power of a print
I saw a statistic from the professional photographers of America that 53% of consumers have not printed a photo in the last year. 70% do not own photo albums. 42% no longer intend to print photos at all. Shocking right? Maybe I’m just an outlier, because I really love to see our family prints and hang them in our home. I guess I’ve always printed out photos. I’d print out my favorite travel photos and hang them in my bedroom as a teenager and took with me to college. Seeing photos brings me joy!
When I first started photography there were no digital images. Yes, hard to imagine, but true. 40 years ago I got my first film camera and couldn’t wait to see the prints of the photos I took. There were no instant images, unless you had an instamatic film camera.
In high school I had a black and white photography class and it was all done with film and an old school manual camera. We would develop the negatives, make a proof sheet, and make a print of the best images. I liked working in the dark room and seeing the white paper turn to an image. So magical. I still have those black and white images I made and the contact sheets of some of the negatives. Photo prints are timeless
Trying out a digital camera
When I had my third baby I got a digital camera. It was smaller than my film DSLR and we took a lot of photos with that. Problem was my computer crashed one day and I lost the images I hadn’t printed out. I had floppy disks of images and burned some to a CD but now there aren’t computers using CD drives or the old floppy disks. I did make a photo album from the images on the CD and I bought professional prints when we had family photos taken. They are still on my wall and I walk past them every day.
Losing digital images
Have you ever lost a flash drive with photos? Yup I can saw I’m not sure where they went. Digital files also do not last. You can store them on the cloud, but a flash drive or hard drive will wear out. I have been printing out more photos because I like to have prints of the photos and feel the paper and see the photo printed out. It comes to life as a print. Digital images are fun to share on social media and upload to get prints or albums, but I honestly have lost some into the cyber abyss.
Most people store their photos only on a computer or phone. Any dangers with this? Yup. Phones get stolen, phones get outdated, the computer can crash, you could have water damage or power surges with your computer. Some storage services only save lower resolution images, which won’t be enough to print.
Photo albums are to share memories
A few years ago I digitized my dad and grandpa’s slides from 1960 to 1980. How often do people get out the slide projector to see slides? I saw images I’d never seen and it was really an adventure to see the world through my dad’s eyes and also my grandpa’s.
My dad was in the Vietnam war as a medic and he had slides from his film camera of the army and his time in the war. I’d never seen some of these slides. The slides were in an envelope with other slides in a plastic bag in my parent’s closet somewhere and no one saw the prints. When my parents moved they gave me my grandpa’s old camera gear and told me about the slides. I took the slides to the family history library and used their equipment to digitize the slides and save them. The resolution is ok, but what matters most to me are the images and memories from the slides. I sent the images from the slides to be printed and my family was so excited to see them! I made a photo book from the slides and my dad would look at it again and again.
In 1966 my dad lived in Brazil for 2 years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had a film camera there as well and made slides from his time there. There were some amazing photos of the streets there, Rio, and the people he knew there. I made him a small book of the photos from Brazil also. I left white spaces for him to write who the people were and where the places were. It’s a priceless memory and one I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t printed out the images to learn the story behind the photos.
My grandpa Salerno had a film camera and took hundreds of photos. He had the slides all organized in plastic containers, labeled, and organized. Again, I hadn’t seen these because they were stored away. So I digitized those and we printed out images of my favorite ones. There are some of me as a little girl, there are photos of his camping trips to Moab, there are photos of his parents in Sacramento, California, other family, and a history worth seeing. Each photo tells a story and shows how he saw the world and what he wanted to remember in a photo.
Photos tell a story
Do you ever go back and look at your yearbook photos or your wedding album or photos from your vacation? Looking back in time helps us remember the good days and milestones we celebrated. Everyone takes photos from birthdays and holidays, but how many people print out those memories and make a book? When my kids were born I made a photo scrap book for each of them with journal entries and photos of them. I recorded each tooth that came in with a photo. Ok, I might over do it a bit, but babies are only little once and they change day by day. I’m glad I have photos of their first smiles and first steps, their first Christmas and first birthdays. It’s really meaningful. I take a photo of my kids on the first day of school and my 16 year-old asked where the other photos are from the past years. Honestly, I have too many photos on my computer and have a hard time finding them all. I do have an annual photo book I make year by year of our highlights and vacations and birthdays and events.
Photo albums and prints let you keep these memories not just for you but for your kids, and grand children to come. It’s your family history and I try to keep printing out my family’s photos and not let them get lost in the digital world. An album tells a story of the past (the long past years of your grandparents and the past year you just lived.) It’s all important to record, remember, and see the images in print. An album will not go obsolete like a VHS tape or CD. Albums are like books and will last forever. It’s easy to access, no passwords or turning anything on, you just open it up and enjoy.
As a photographer I know people don’t want to spend very much on photography. They have a friend or relative who has a “good enough” camera and can take their photos. There are many reasons why you should hire a professional photographer but that is another blog post. People walk out of Costco with hundreds of dollars worth of stuff that won’t last. I get that we need food, but so many people spend a lot of money on “stuff.” Isn’t it worth investing in professional prints? Drug store prints and Costco prints are NOT the same as my print lab. I’ve tested the different places and my print lab is quick and impressive with its colors and thicker paper. I get my prints in 2 days from the professional lab. Walgreens is quick but they only have glossy prints and they do not check their work. One of my 5x7 prints I ordered online from them didn’t print all the way. I asked for a refund. Terrible quality.
Costco is ok with their quality (not the best) and it takes weeks to get your prints. They also roll up the larger sizes where as my print lab sends it unrolled. I ordered a 16x20 print from Shutterfly because they had a free print offer and it’s still crinkled and the paper is so flimsy. The image is sharp because my lens and quality camera are sharp, but it’s not a quality print. It looks like a cheap poster.
Professional prints DO make a difference. They last.
There are many ways to print your images. You can make an album like I did of you favorite series of photos. Wedding albums, baby albums, travel books, and other event books are a fun way to celebrate the memory. There are many different kids of albums to try. You can have engraved leather, silk, canvas, metal, and acrylic. The sizes range from 8x8, 10x10, to 12x12. You can have a photo on the cover or not. It’s very customizable.
A family portrait makes a home more personal. I enjoy walking past our family photos every day and seeing my Deppe tribe. You can have prints for your home office, bedrooms, living rooms, family rooms…anywhere really.
Some people really like the look of a canvas print. You can order a 2 inch gallery print from a professional print lab and the quality and color are amazing! It's really a piece of art.
Something new I tried this year was having our photos printed on wood. I didn’t frame them and they are ready to hang on the wall. It is a unique look and something fun to try. The grain of the wood shows through the image.
Living in a digital age
So, think of these stats: 42% of people between the ages of 30 and 44 will likely look back and wonder where photos of their childhood, holiday get-togethers, relatives and friends have gone decades from now, and, reportedly, 67% store their photos solely on a computer or phone. Statistics show that a staggering 53% of consumers have not printed a photo in more than 12 months, 70% don’t have photo albums, and 42% no longer print photos at all. [Data from a 2015 nationwide survey conducted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA)].
It doesn’t have to be this way. We know that everything from candles, bicycles, vinyl albums, and analog film have survived our technology advancements. We have to remember the value and importance of printed, framed, and mounted photographs in our lives and for the generations after us. Children love to see images of themselves around the house, newlyweds have happy memories when they see their wedding photo on the mantle or walls, and our cute pets are sealed in time…all thanks to the power of print.
Why Print Your Images?
- Because your prints are for today, tomorrow and all the tomorrows after that.
- Because prints remind us of what love really feels like.
- Because they’re only little once.
- Because the place to save money is not on the most important purchases.
- Because when there’s a fire, what’s the first thing you grab?
- Because so many photos get lost, or even worse, deleted off of old hard drives.
- Because you can touch and feel your memories.
- Because you put too much work into your family not to show them off!
- Because your family can see you all belong together.
- Because technology comes and goes.
- Because photography is best enjoyed in print.
- Because a flash drive in a drawer is pointless and can get lost.
- Because a hard drive doesn’t create a smile.
- Because memories are tied to touch.
- Because there’s nothing like sitting down by a fireplace and flipping through the pages of a family album.
- Because your parents and grandparents and babies won’t be around forever but their photos will.
Hopefully, you will see the value in printing out your photos with a professional photographer, show your photos, and make those albums that will outlive you. Photography prints are timeless.
I'd love to work with you and give you professional prints and albums.
Questions? Want to get on my calendar? Send me an email.