Hold on to Your Memories - Why Prints Are so Valuable
Print It. Hold It. Experience It.
How Technology is Eroding One of Our Links to Our Past
We are creatures of the latest trends. There is no way around that, and that is okay. We love the newest smart phones, can’t wait for cars to drive themselves so that we can spend more time on those phones, and crave the rapid progression of our surroundings. Everything needs to be smaller, thinner, faster, lighter…
Many of us never see most of the photos we take these days in any format other than on screen, often times a screen that fits in our hand. We take them, if we like it post it to social media and eagerly wait for the public adoration in the form of “likes” and witty comments. And then, far more often than not, it is lost to our timeline, only to be hunted down in the context of conversation and rarely given the chance to start one.
Why I Believe that Printed Photographs Are Important
I suppose there are a few technical reasons that should be addressed. Many of us have the majority of our photos in our phone, maybe uploaded to “the cloud”. Some use CD’s or USB sticks, or just the computer. But all of these are subject to catastrophic failure and most assuredly the phasing out of technology. In the coming years, sooner rather than later, the CD’s and USB devices that we use for storage will be obsolete. It will become nearly impossible to access them as the newer machines and technology will not support them.
Now, both of these options, digital and printed photographs are subject to destruction. Whether fire, flood, or any other scenario, both can be lost. However, with digital, we know that their lifespan is limited. Prints are forever unless they are physically destroyed. And with today’s printing practices, a print will hold its color and original quality for over 100 years.
Photographs are a celebration of time and place, of experience and emotion. Existing as 1’s and 0’s on some storage device does not allow proper interaction to enjoy our memories as they should be. We were given five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound. The display of a digital image engages one of these, sight. Printed photographs also use the sense of touch. When you combine two senses together the memory of that moment becomes stronger.
There is something necessary about putting the images of our lives on our walls and around our homes. Have you ever been in an apartment or house with no photographs? There may be other things hanging on the walls, but it gives off an impersonal and sterile feeling. Photos tell the story of us.
Part of the disappearance of prints is that now we pretty much have a camera with us at all times. It is exceedingly easy to take as many photos as we want. The occasion does not have to be important. We can just snap away and delete it later if we don’t want it. This practice is devaluing prints, as well as our memories.
We print our photographs to hold on to our memories, our experiences, the people that have graced our lives. There is something to be said about sitting down with your family and looking through the family album, and being able to pass it on to the next generation. A USB stick holds no emotional value, but that album does.
We should print are photos because they represent our lives.