Is The Family Album Facing Extinction? 4 Reasons Why You Must Print Your Photos
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Is The Family Album Facing Extinction? 4 Reasons Why You Must Print Your Photos

We live in an age where digital screens are replacing everything but imagine if your computer hard drive fails or you drop your mobile phone into the loo – full of ALL of your kid’s baby pics and now suddenly they’re all gone! It could happen easier than you think so have you really thought about the importance of having your photographs printed?

We have access to photographs everywhere – every piece of technology has the ability to take a selfie and we can take photographs wherever we are. Unfortunately though only a handful of those photographs ever gets display or printed to look back on nowadays. Here a just a few reasons you should print your photographs and not just leave them on your computer or phone.

1. A Social Event That Brings Families Together

It’s makes me so sad to think the ritual around family photo albums dying out. Until recently I too was guilty and didn’t print many photos (I know I know!). But enough was enough. Now each month my husband and I print out around 40 photographs from that month to go in an album which we annotate – for our daughter. And there’s the clanger: photograph albums are family heirlooms. They’re the thing we show our children to teach them about where they came from, events that happened and places they visited. They’re the thing we rush to dig out when a friend or relative gets married, the thing we make a brew or pop a cork and spend time talking about the people and the events that happened on that special day – whether it was a trip to the beach or our wedding. I have many fond memories visiting my granny and grandad’s house, pouring over the photo albums my granny had put together. Today I still love to look at them, to talk about who my distant relatives are – I hope that’s something my daughter will love to do as she grows up too.

2. Family Heirlooms To Pass On To Future Generations

There’s something wonderful about holding a photograph or a book in your hands. The bumpy texture of a lustre/matt print and the smell brings back happy memories of being in the darkroom observing black and white images appear before my eyes as if by magic. I have always loved books, in fact I collect them and believe they are the true fortune of the world. It’s funny how an object can hold such immense wealth of knowledge, that the power of intelligence can be held in your hands. Photographs are very like books, they to contain a wealth of knowledge, of truth (or deception) and beauty. Photographs too are something that are a delight to hold, to turn the album’s pages, to read the story within the image. Prints, books and photograph albums are something that can never be replaced by digital screens, they don’t have the same tangibility, the same feel, the same truth and they definitely don’t have the same authenticity.

3. Don’t Trust Technology – Digital Photo Files Deteriorate (JPEGs) & Not All Prints Are Equal

As secure as technology can be, sometimes it fails us. This can be deliberate from computer viruses and hacking or accidental like dropping your phone in the loo, losing your USB stick or just that the device or computer gets old and worn out and becomes corrupt. The sad thing is that once those files, photos and music are gone it’s very difficult if not impossible to recover them. Each time open and close and duplicate an image file the quality reduces – the best thing to do is print while the file is at its’ best. Having your photographs printed means that even if technology does fail us you will still have a record on paper.

Did you know that most high street photo printers are digitally printed (a bigger version of your home printer)? That if they get wet the inks will run? That the colours will fade and look terrible over time? I would urge you to make sure that if you are getting your photographs printed from a digital device (mobile phone, iPad, USB, DVD etc) that you use a photographic laboratory that prints on photographic paper. (Paper that is responsive to light and designed to be archived for hundreds of years). Imagine if the USB full of your wedding photographs accidentally gets wiped years after your wedding day, years after your photographer has wiped their hard drive – what will you have left?

4. Filter The Best Of The Best, Add Notes & Tell More Of The Story

Digital technology is forever expanding and practically every digital device has a camera built in to it nowadays. That means we are all taking more pictures than ever – far more than we need! Printing your photos means that you can be more selective and choose the best of the best – you don’t need 5 photos of the same moment like in your mobile phone’s gallery.

You can write a little fun fact on the back of the print or next to the pic, labelling the date and place it was taken. This adds to the story that’s created. You can even ad flyers or other clippings to the album to help tell the story.