10 May 2012

Guest Blog: Making a Case for Printing Your Photos


We don’t print our photos anymore.  Now that we have digital technology, we don’t have to.  We can keep our photos on our computer, share them online and on the cloud.  Times have changed…printing isn't crucial anymore.  We can get anything we need right off the internet, right?

Why You Should Print
I’m going to make a case for printing.  While I believe photos are for sharing, and I love sharing online as much as the next person, I also believe our photos are for remembering.   There is no better way to remember and re-live your memories than printing your most important photos and keeping them in a place where you can view them and enjoy them!

Digital has created a “disposable” mindset in our society.  Over 85% of all digital images taken never leave the camera and are never seen again.  We delete pictures on our memory cards to make room for new ones.  Many of us fill up memory cards, and simply buy a new one and put the old one in a drawer for storage. 

What’s more, people tend to forget about their photos after they post them online.   We’ve become a “live in the moment” society.



Why Your Digital Photos Won’t “Survive”
We take a lot more pictures these days than in the days of film.  But there will probably be more “hard copy” photos that survive into the next century from the 1920’s than from today.  It’s hard to imagine that, isn’t it?  But consider these facts:

·         Technology failures are inevitable.  Computers crash, external hard drives crash, and memory cards fail.  It’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN.
·         Hosting services go out of business.  They also make mistakes.  Accounts do get deleted by accident. 
·         Technological obsolescence is a fact.  Technology changes quickly, and we’re constantly moving on to the latest and greatest.  If you saved your photos to DVD for backup, don’t count on computers being able to read them 30 years from now.  You need to re-record as technology changes.
·         And when your time on earth comes to an end, chances are your relatives aren’t going to save your old computer, and with it, all your digital images.

The printed photo, unlike the digital photo, isn’t subject to computer crashes or technological obsolescence.  And it doesn’t lend itself to out of sight, out of mind.


 Leaving a Legacy
Of course, with everything stored on the internet these days, chances are future generations will be able to find out quite a bit of information about us and our daily lives.  However, in most cases, the photos saved on the internet aren’t saved in high resolution.  And more importantly, what will be missing are the solid pieces of your story, as told by you.   Your printed photos, coupled with your stories, is your legacy to leave behind for future generations!  So please consider printing your most important photos…the ones that have stories that go with them.  Preserve those stories alongside of your photos, preferably in an album, or at least in an archival photo storage box.  The next generation WILL thank you. 

Michelle Nahom has been working with people and their photos since 2003, offering photo management services.  She currently works for APPO, the Association of Personal Photo Organizers, building a network of independent business owners who provide solutions to those who are overwhelmed by their printed and digital photos, memorabilia and old home movies.  As a photo organizer, her favorite project was a WWII military memoir for a client.  She blogs about photos and memory preservation at www.thepowerofphotos.blogspot.com, and you can also find her on Twitter @CPhotoSolns.