Last week, we covered why where you print matters. This week? Why printing at all matters. I have a confession to make, it’s something I’m actually pretty ashamed of. I’m terrible about printing my pictures. Seriously folks, it’s pretty bad. So what I’m about to say isn’t me trying to sell something to you, it’s not about me trying to make a few extra bucks. This is a genuine hope that what I’m going to say will go to your heart.Isn’t that packaging gorgeous? That’s what you get in the mail from me when you order prints. It’s so much more fun opening that up to see your beautiful pictures than opening an envelope to see a flash drive, right? Okay, back to my story. Starting at the beginning: My husband and I have been married for three years. When we first go married, I printed a handful of prints from the wedding and reception, stuck them in frames, and finally had something on our walls. Of the 200+ images that we received, we probably had physical prints of maybe 30 (20 of which are super tiny in a collage). Other than those prints, what do we have? A flash drive. It looks so cute, sitting in a pile with several others in a little caddy on my desk. We get so many compliments on it! That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch it 😉 Really though, it had been eating away at me that we didn’t have physical copies of all of the images. Fast forward a year, we have our first child. Miss A was the perfect little model baby for me. I was lazy about printing her birth announcements, which ended up being more like Christmas cards when I finally mailed them out. I tried to convince myself that four months wasn’t too late for them, but I’m pretty sure it was. Anyway, she’s two now and guess what? No prints of her newborn photos, or much of her first year. Family pictures , for some reason, end up on my walls a lot quicker than anything else. We have two wonderful wall galleries from two different family photo sessions. Though I still don’t have prints of all of the pictures we received, there are at least eight from each session. Okay, okay… so what am I getting at? Here’s the problem with keeping your photos on flash drives, cds, or other digital storage: technology changes. I bought a new iMac back in June and guess what? There’s no disc drive. So what am I going to do with these?Aren’t those discs cute? Really though, what’s on them is fantastic. Three different sessions with Carmen Garza Strong Photography, and another with Jenn Lawlor Photography. But where does having these discs sitting in my drawer get me? Nowhere. Thankfully, I still have my laptop which has a disc drive. I can at least still access them. Apple also sells an external disc reader so even if I do away with my laptop, I won’t completely lose access to them, yet. Let’s take it back a few more years… What about all those floppy discs that we’ve got lying around? I have no idea what are on them, and never will. I haven’t been able to find a reader that will work with any of my current computers. I’m sure I could probably take them somewhere and get access to them, but the likelihood of me actually doing that is… not happening. But look at these pictures from Carmen:I love them so dearly. Just as I was writing this, I found a few more that I don’t have prints of that I want to get done. Now, which is prettier? Those cute little discs and her thank you cards (which are really cute), or these beautiful pictures? Not sold yet? There’s more to come. My parents’ 26th wedding anniversary was Wednesday this week. Can you imagine if my parents only had “digital copies” of their wedding? They wouldn’t have photos like this to pass down (or scan and share on Facebook 26 years later). Side note, isn’t my mama pretty?Over the summer I finally got around to printing. I printed both our wedding photos, and Miss A’s first year in gorgeous albums. Even though they still don’t have everything I wanted in them, they’re so so so much better than nothing. These albums are gorgeous, and definitely something that will be passed down to our children. I’m still planning on printing every picture I have on my hard drive at some point in time, but since we’re talking about thousands and thousands of pictures, it’s going to be a slow process. (That’s what happens when you procrastinate).
So here’s my final point: Technology changes. Digitals aren’t good forever. Prints are something timeless. You can’t “accidentally format” your wall gallery, deleting all its contents. Your dog won’t swallow that beautiful 20×30 canvas you have hanging above your mantle. Your toddler (hopefully) won’t take your album for a swim in the toilet. Though there are things that can happen to your prints and products, having them available to touch and see on a daily basis is priceless. I only have two prints from both of my husband’s homecomings from deployment, all of which are in albums. Those days were some of the happiest days of my life, and I don’t have prints to show for it.
I hope that you can take this to heart. The next time you have photos done, think twice about just purchasing the digitals. Opt for a print, and a big one. I recommend printing a small 4×6 or 5×7 of every image in your gallery, just so you have a copy of it, in addition to whatever you’re planning on putting on your walls or gifting to family. Even though I love having those digitals, having prints feels so much better. Do you have prints on your walls? What is your favorite photo of yourself? Is it printed? Tell me about your walls, I’d love to hear how beautiful they are. God Bless <3 Victoria