I have had this on my heart to write a blog like this for a while. It really started to gnaw at me when we were at a funeral recently. Morbid, I know. But, looking at the pictures at that funeral reminded me of what a precious gift I have been given - the ability to capture memories of moments in time, of loved ones. What really struck me that day was a beautiful portrait of the woman being celebrated, along with all the snapshots of family and friends with her. It made me think of how many family memories we don't print anymore. The images on this day were from the days of film, when everything was printed. Now, we count on our memories being kept on facebook or in the cloud. But what happens if those fail. Remember how thrown off people were on the day that facebook was down recently? What would we do if that was permanent? My push now is to provide my clients with prints and products that will be keepsakes for years to come.
Another thing that pushed me to write this blog finally was when my husband was looking at pictures from when he was a teenager, of him and his dog. He said "too bad we didn't have better cameras back then" and my response was "at least you have the pictures printed", to which he responded with "true". We (myself included) take so many photos but don't print them.
So...that leads me to the question that is the title of this blog. Why print? Let me ask you some questions.
Did your parents have an album or a scrapbook of pictures of you as a baby? Something they always threatened to pull out and show future love interests? Mine did (and my mom definitely made a book of the worst pictures to give to my husband). And I loved holding and flipping through those embarrassing pictures of me. And of my siblings. Those happy memories of my childhood that I don't necessarily remember are a treasure that I hold close to my heart. They are proof of happy times even in the face of struggles of adult life.
Do you love to get a physical letter or card as much as I do? I love to get actual mail. I think we all do on some level, but I am absolutely terrible about remembering to put things in the mail on time...birthday card? I will buy it and send it a year later (true story!). But think about how awesome it is to get a physical piece of mail, not just an email or a facebook message...something to hold on to. Now think of a picture that is printed. That you can hold in your hand and feel. It's not going to get the virtual likes of facebook, but you can hold it close to your heart and show it to the ones with whom you are close enough to invite into your home.
Do you know how much kids love to see their pictures on the back of the camera (or cell phone)? They always ask to see! How much more do you think they would love to see photos of them (and their family) on the walls of their home? What a treasure to be able to remind your kids of their loved ones by showcasing photos on walls or mantles. I have been reading a lot of photographer's comments about research showing that seeing printed photos of themselves helps build self esteem for children. I will admit I did not fully research this, but it does make complete sense to me.
My last question is... how much do you enjoy reading a book to your children? I don't have kids myself, but I love reading books to the kids I see as an OT, or to my friends' kids. Compare that to sitting and looking at an album of your wedding day...it's a book of your love story. I love to look at my wedding album. It takes me back to that day as if it were only yesterday instead of five years ago. I cringe to think that my early clients got only a disc of images from me rather than getting a beautiful keepsake album to show their children and grandchildren. Now, wedding albums are a part of my wedding collections and also part of collections for family sessions. There is nothing more wonderful to me than being able to hold a book and flip through the memories of life events.
I hope that reading this helps you to understand why I don't just give all the digital files anymore. I used to, but now I want to provide a higher service to my clients (who are my friends and often start to feel like family). I now love to view images together online so that I can hear the reaction, and we can talk about what would look great on the wall (or in an album). There is no greater honor to me than being able to share beautiful artwork with my friends so that they can treasure it for a lifetime.