The Importance of Printing Your Photos

Connecting with the past.

Posted on 3 min read

Do you print your photos off these days?

At the weekend, my parents dug out heaps of old photo albums; most of them full of snaps I’d never seen before. Family snapshots I didn’t even know existed, to be honest.

From my Nana and Popeye (our maternal Grandad’s nickname from his Navy days) to my Mum’s childhood growing up with my aunties and uncles, to my parents meeting and dating (complete with questionable hair styles to boot), up to my childhood – allowing me to relive memories of holidays, the sartorial excellence that was 90s fashion, and long-lost childhood friends. They were all there in all of their glory for me to appreciate.

You know I love taking photos and capturing moments, places, and memories – but leafing through album after album made me realise that aside from the shots I take on my film cameras, I don’t really print my digital photos off anymore.

When you take the trouble to print your memories off, it’s much more special.

It’s something I’m vowing to do now. I’m going to buy some more albums and print my most-loved snapshots off to ‘keep’ forever.

Photos are more disposable these days, I suppose. With digital, it’s so much easier (not to mention cheaper than film) to snap away to your heart’s content, especially when your phone has an incredible camera on it, but it’s also an awful lot easier to forget that those photos even exist in the first place. They can easily get lost in a sea of snaps – a lot of which aren’t even that important. When you take the trouble to print your memories off, it’s much more special.

Photos are easier to pass down too. Memories can be retold, but photos are a step up from that. If they’re cared for properly, they can be cherished for generations.

Digital vs. Print

My Dad recently emailed me some images of my Grandma and Grandad’s wedding day, 60 years after the event; along with a snap of him as a chunky little baby. Again, all photos I’d never seen before. I’ve got copies of them on my iPad and iPhone now, in a folder specifically for old film snaps. It’s lovely to have them to hand, and be able to access those photos digitally wherever and whenever I like, but it isn’t quite the same, is it?

I’d much rather have a physical copy of a photo as opposed to gawping at a digital snap on a screen.

I guess it’s quite like the debate between Kindles and traditional books. The former option’s more convenient, but it isn’t quite the same, is it? With a real book, you can feel it, you can hold it, you can even display it. The same applies to photos.

It’s harder to cherish images on a hard drive than if they’re in an album or in a frame on your mantelpiece.

There’s a place for both, but there’s a magic that comes with analogue that digital just can’t replicate.

Do you still print your photos off?

Enjoyed this post? You might also like: My Photography Kit 2019, or maybe even Being More Present: Why I’m Getting Sick of Creating ‘Content’, and you can also find me on Instagram here!

An Autumn 2019 To-Do List
The Importance of Printing Your Photos