We have come to live in a digitally documented world. There is always that friend who will post photos from the night before on social media, much to your disapproval. Or another who snaps photos on holiday, which you flick through despondently while at work. For some reason, you know when that couple you met at a wedding one time is getting married. They too upload a smiling photo, showing off their engagement rings. Memories no longer live in our minds, but instead, are preserved in digital format on screens.
But do these virtual photos suffice as memories? Not only are we obsessed with documenting everything, but also swiping and moving onto the next thing. Snapchat is one of the leading camera apps, and you can’t even save your photos. Since the internet, the pace of life has accelerated immensely. These days we rarely look at a photo more than once. We have more ‘memories’ but they are more fleeting.
The printing industry has unsurprisingly declined in the last decade. But there are some who are keeping it alive. A resurgence has occurred recently, with print apps such as Shutterfly and the FujiFilm Instax camera leading the way. There are still reasons to print those photos that you want to treasure. Here are some of the reasons...
When we look back to our childhood days, it’s not long until a family photo pops into our head. Perhaps it lived on the mantelpiece of Grandma’s house. Or maybe in the photo album that sat on the coffee table. How many photos can you visualize from Facebook that have such a lasting effect? These photos summon up memories of the moment captured. They also hold a special place in the real world that can’t be rivaled with.
What would take the place of that framed family photo on your work desk that you glance at when you want to go home? Or the photo of your children that you keep in your wallet?
It’s good to keep the older generations in mind. Many didn’t catch onto the digital world, so they may be missing out in that Whatsapp family photo group. A framed photo is still a special gift that is hard to beat, especially for a grandparent. A USB with a couple of photos doesn’t quite match up to this slightly more meaningful present.
Decorate your home
From young to old, people relate to photographs on their walls at home. This could be in the form of a cheesy family black and white photoshoot, framed proudly in the kitchen. Or a moody teenager’s room, plastered with photos of friends and ‘emo’ quotations. Those naked baby photos always have a place somewhere in the house. Whatever it is, decorating your house with prints is a great idea. It brings character and wholesomeness to a place, as well as always reminding you of those moments that were captured.
Printing your photos is also a great way to streamline the thousands that you have probably taken. You can pick and choose the very best and print only them. This way, you avoid rifling through those accidental photos of the floor when you want a trip down memory lane. By making a physical album, you spend more time perusing and contemplating your photos. This makes a change from flicking through photos on your phone screen without really looking at them.
These days the majority of us store our photos either on hard drives or online with cloud storage. However, both of these ways of storing have drawbacks and technology can always fail. Hard drives always run the risk of being corrupted or catching a virus. You also need to ensure that your digital archives are up to date with the latest software.
Technology is always changing and updating. Therefore we must stay on top of what is currently being used. Online storage is still a relatively recent thing although very popular. It is usually free up to a point, but there is no way of knowing how much it will cost us in the future. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that this form of storing and sharing photos will be around forever.
These forms of storage are temporal and transient. However having physical prints of your photos is a reliable way of saving them, even if a bit impractical. By printing only your favorites, you create an organized album that is treasured. Of course, don’t forget to store them in a safe dry place where they won’t get damaged.
If you are a more artistic person, you can turn printing into a craft or hobby. Choose different types of paper to print the photos on. You can seek frames of different sizes that you like, or even make one. If you are making an album, the artistic license is all yours. So much for those Snapchat filters, you can make your very own in real life like the old days. In the end, you have something to share and also be proud of. Instead of seeing a photo as an endpoint, it becomes a creative process.
In regard to the quality of the photo itself, printers have advanced immensely in recent years. Now an inkjet printer of around $600 rivals photos developed in a professional lab. Ensure you take the photos with a high-resolution in the first place. Then you can blow those photos up big and they’ll turn out well.
Printing your photos for archival reasons is certainly a wise thing to do. However, the true reason to continue printing those photos is a sentimental one. What we lose with digital photos is that emotional connection that printed photos give us. They are more intimate and take up more of our time. This is important when we live in such a fast-paced world.
The tactility of printed photos is also important. So much of what we interact with nowadays is virtual. Having something physical is, therefore, more special.
Moreover, whatever would you do for ‘closure’ the next time you had a messy breakup if you couldn’t rip and burn that photo of you and your ex? Stalking an ex on social media is far more unhealthy. I rest my case.