Print Your Pictures – Digital Images Aren’t Enough Longterm

It finally happened. I got an email filled with desperation. A client who didn’t print her pictures. I could just feel the horror in the words of her message. Her computer crashed, and she never backed up her photos.


For me, it was an easy fix. I hold onto every single image I deliver to a client forever, so I rebuilt her online gallery and sent her the new link. But what would have happened if this were just ten years ago? She may not have been able to get her images again. Her wedding photos, gone, forever. With technology and social media nowadays, the value of the physical product has dwindled with my generation of Millenials. People don’t buy a lot of prints anymore because they can just upload their images to Facebook, Instagram, or put them on a USB drive.

Will social Media Always Exist?

I know it’s weird to think, but what happens when Facebook goes away? Google+ failed, Instagram won’t hold or display massive albums, and our favorite platform of the ’90s, MySpace, is dead and gone. Even if Facebook lasts for eternity and takes over our lives as it seems their corporate goals evolve, can you imagine searching through all your selfies from the past 30 years to find your wedding pictures? What if your kids want to look at your wedding photos? How about your senior portraits? Are you going to make them sift through the same stuff?

Technology Evolves

Okay, say you downloaded your images and backed them up to a USB stick or external hard-drive. That’s great! Let’s look at the same situation: 30 years later, you want to go through your wedding photos. “Where the hell did I put that stupid USB stick?” Or better yet, “Shoot, I need an adapter because Apple’s latest computers aren’t compatible with USB-A anymore!” Or worse – “The drive is corrupted, and this was my only copy…..”

The Beauty of Printing

Do you know what is difficult to lose and looks better with age? A printed photograph. People display photos and albums because not only is it a beautiful personal reminder, but we all enjoy bragging a little bit to our guests. Seriously, who loses a printed image that got framed and hung on the wall? Who loses a leather-bound book that sits on a coffee table to retell the story of their wedding day? People choose to throw out prints; they don’t lose them.

People hire photographers to capture special moments. That’s an investment, and so are physical print products. I never want to hear from another client that they lost their images – it’s heartbreaking for me. I can only imagine the horror they would feel as well. I’m not saying to print pictures of every single image you receive, but find the ones that make you smile and consider finding a place on your shelf for them. You’ll thank yourself in a few decades.

Questions about printing your pictures – contact me for more information.

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