When I first started my photography business over ten years ago, most of my clients wanted gift prints to give relatives, wall portraits, and/or albums to hold all of their favorite images. I used to have a lot of fun with packaging and wrapping! Now almost all of my clients want digital files so they can ostensibly make their own prints.
I know they use them for graduation announcements and Christmas cards, but I worry that the images are going to get lost on their hard drives, or even worse, destroyed when their hard drives fail. In fact, I’ve had several clients come to me over the years asking if I could dig through my archives to find their ordered images.
Why You Need To Print Your Photos
Here are 5 reasons why you need to print your photos out and not just keep them on your computer!
Safety and Permanence. Hard drives fail, images get lost. Prints however tend to last. Professionally printed images will look great for up to 100 years, but even faded images will have tremendous value to your future self and children.
Another reason for prints is that you can quickly jot down notes about the image on the back to provide the names of the people in the image and the context for the image so that the meaning of the image is preserved for the future. Most images from your camera or phone save automatically with meaningless names and those names get transferred to your computer. It takes time and energy to collect them, organize them, and rename them in a way that makes finding them again easy. Check out this blog post if you want to get started on that project!
Sharing Your Stories. Your photographs contain your memories, fragments of your life frozen in time. I spent many happy hours looking over my Dad’s photo albums from childhood and listening to his stories about the various photos. How are modern families passing along these stories and memories in the digital age? You can put your photos in albums or frames, or even a photo box to pull out and share when when friends and family come over.
Meaningful Decor. Another reason why you need to print your photos is that they make beautiful and meaningful wall decor. I have many photographs of my family around my house and they make me smile every time I see them. They transport me back in time, bringing me a flash of joy and simultaneously making me aware of the fleeting nature of time.
Accessibility. Your photographs are MUCH more accessible to you and to others when they are printed out than when they are stored haphazardly on your computer. Plus there is no comparison between looking at an image on your computer versus holding a print in your hand. Now that so much of our life is digital, a print has a certain gravitas and demands more of our attention.
Great Gifts. The fifth reason why you need to print your photos is that they make great gifts! There are dozens of ways to print and share your photographs! One of my favorite photographs to take is the extended family portrait (all of the children and grandchildren) for grandparents. My clients have told me how much those wall portraits are treasured.
You can create albums, calendars, mugs and more!
I suggest that my clients use MPix, which is the consumer division of the professional lab I use. Their prints, canvas gallery wraps, and albums are beautiful. And they often run sales. Many of my clients have also used Shutterfly for prints and Tiny Prints or Minted for cards and have been very happy.
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