Without printed photographs, memories fade! Bottom line. Shortest blog post ever! Oh but there's so much more...
Short term memory only lasts around 20 second. Also, studies suggest being able to access something quickly makes us less likely to remember it. Apply our world of internet and digital, and these two facts prove we need more tangible ways to remember things. Translate that to photography. How well will we remember the moments we felt so compelled to capture if our brain knows we can flip through the digital images at any given point?
But it goes beyond memory. We've become a society of picture takers without print makers, creating a disconnect. Children need the security and sense of belonging that comes with seeing themselves in printed photographs, by themselves and especially with their family and friends. We have a responsibility as parents to print our photographs, not only for our children but for their children, and their children's children. Without them, the legacy is lost.
Here are the top 5 reasons to print your photographs.
1) Prints Create Tangible Memories
There is something to be said for the relationship between touch and feel and memory. There are plenty of reasons to look at a screen nowadays. Give your family prints and photo albums to look at and cut down on screen time :)
2) Prints Create Conversations, Bring Us Closer
Think of any time you gathered around to look at photographs. Was the room silent? No! You were looking and laughing and remembering, together. Prints not only initiate conversations, they create connections. Remember the days when you had to send the roll of film out and couldn't wait to get your prints back so you could see and share them? Go ahead, grab a loved one and a stack of prints and see what happens.
3) Prints Generate More Emotions, Which Stimulates Memory
It's too easy to take volumes of photographs. That means when we scroll through them, we skim. We look at the "surface" of the image, not the depth of the story. With a print in hand, it takes us beyond the shapes and figures and gives us time to sink into its depth. We start reliving the moment, feeling the emotions, getting into the story of the photograph.
4) Digital Files Aren't Guaranteed
It's too easy to loose digital files; loose them to corruption, loose them to technological advances, or just plain loose track of them because of the volumes we have to manage. What happens if the digital file breaks down and we can't open it, and we've never printed it!? This wakes me up at night at the thought of loosing my children's childhood in picture form. And think about how swiftly technology advances. Will the computer of tomorrow be able to read the digital photograph of today. I'm sure it will, but at what expense in both time and money? An archival photographic print can last for over 100 years after the one-time expense of purchasing it.
5) Photographic Prints are the Gift That's Never Returned
When we want to surprise someone with a special gift, there's nothing like the gift of photographic prints! Seriously, how would someone react if we gave them a disk or a thumb drive as a photographic gift? It requires extra work to even see what we gave them. Whether it's a single photograph in a frame or a photo album, the recipient receives instant gratification, as intended, and as do we watching their reaction. Nothing compares!
So make it a priority to start getting your photographs printed. The sorting and culling process will make you a better editor, and ultimately a better photographer as you strive to capture more important images. This time of year, there are lots of sales on photo albums. Take advantage. Don't get me wrong, there are certainly many advantages to having digital files. But nothing compares to the pure joy of having a photographic print or storybook photo album in hand, to reminisce, to share, and to help remind us of the things that are most important in our lives.