With smartphones, tablets, monitors and other digital displays dominating our digital lives, it’s easy to forget that for decades, photography was a tangible experience. Nowadays, not so much. But that doesn’t mean that printing photos is devoid of any value. In fact, I can think of three good reasons to keep printing at least some of your photos.
1. They Last Forever
Well, nothing lasts forever, but a print will almost certainly outlast any digital storage format currently in use today. Properly produced and cared for photo prints can last for centuries. Can we say the same about any other digital technology? Remember the floppy disk? Neither do I. Some day, no one will remember DVDs either, much less how to access the data stored on them. A photo print never becomes “unreadable.” As long as your eyes work, you’ll be able to view them.
2. They’re Private
Just because we live in a social age doesn’t mean that everyone needs to see your baby pictures. In fact, most people probably shouldn’t see your baby pictures (not that you weren’t cute). While there are several ways to ensure your digital photos stay private, even the best methods can’t foil a dedicated hacker or cyber miscreant. Prints, on the other hand, are offline and they stay private. Your house would have to be physically broken into for you to lose custody of them and chances are, robbers aren’t going to be rooting around your shoeboxes and photo albums (they’ll steal your computer full of photos instead!).
3. People Like Them
I was originally tempted to write “old people” like prints, but that’s not true (and, obviously it’s more than a bit insulting). Many people, not just older generations, like to hold and handle a photo print. My son is eight and spends a lot more time thumbing through my photo books when they’re out. He’s a lot less interested in scrolling through photos on the computer. When he has the iPad, he’s far more likely to be tempted into Minecraft than to stare at the family vacation photos.
Of course, it’s too expensive and impractical to print all your photos, but it still makes a lot of sense to identify the “keepers” and make a print or two. Your great, great grandkids will thank you.
(Image: White House Custom Color)