5 reasons you should print your photos today

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My siblings and I, on my youngest brother’s 1st birthday.

I want to talk about something very near and dear to my heart; the importance of printing photos. Not just the amazing professional photos that you have done once every 5 years, or at momentous life occasionally, but the every-day-snap-shots that you take with your phone or point & shoot camera. The moments that feel so trivial and insignificant at the moment that they barely get a mention on Facebook or instagram. Those photos are the moments that make up our real lives, yet it is becoming rarer and rarer that those images will ever make it to print.

Here are 5 good reasons why you should print those snapshots today:

Because photos make great gifts. 

You want to make your Grandma the happiest grandmother on the planet? Send her some 4×6 prints of yourself, your kids, your last vacation, your house, your garden, your friends, your life. She will bring that little stack of photos with her to church, and bridge, and the grocery store, and show them to everyone who will give her 5 minutes of their time. Carefully flipping through, explaining, and showing off every single image. Grandparents LOVE photos. So does everyone else.

Wondering what to give your sister who is notoriously tough to shop for? Find a cute photo of you guys at your recent camping trip, or dig out a photo of you two from your childhood, have it framed nicely, and give that. She’ll love it. Trust me on this; There are very few people in your life who wouldn’t be pleased to recieve a nicely framed photo for Christmas. It’s a fact.

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My incredible Grandparents. On their 3rd date.

Because nothing beats flipping through an old fashioned, basic photo album.

Remember being 14 years old, and sitting down with your ‘baby album’ in your lap, and flipping through all of those plastic-encased photos of yourself as a dirty-faced baby? Remember pulling one out of the sleeve, and asking your Mom about who the guy with the mullet was? Or where you were? And remember the answer to those questions triggering all sorts of awesome early childhood memories?

Not having photos printed of the boring, every day moments & events in our lives is robbing our children (and grand children, and great grandchildren, and great great…. you get the idea) of this experience and those memories entirely. It’s also robbing YOURSELF of that photo-flipping experience.

Look, these fancy ‘Photo Books’ are great. Having your stunning professional wedding albums done up in an $800 flush-mount album is wonderful, and certainly something you should do. But what about the every day moments that make up the other 99.8% of your life? The quick snaps of your kids in the bathtub, or the out-of-focus shot of your husband chasing the kids in the backyard where they all look so-damn-happy? Those moments are important too. Equally as important, actually. Have 4×6 prints made of all these little, seemingly ‘insignificant’ moments printed and stuff them into a cheap album from Walmart. Your children will thank you for it 10, 20, & 50 years from now.

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Because nothing makes a house feel like a home quite like framed photos.

Know what I love? I love going into a friend’s home for the first time and moving slowing from room to room, picking up framed photos. It’s similar to the photo album experience above, only you are only seeing the best bits. When people frame and hang/put up photos around their house, it’s because they feel like that moment, that person, that memory is exceptional. The photos that a person frames around their home tells you a LOT about someone.

On the flip side, have you ever gone into someone’s home and noticed that they didn’t have any photos up? Know what it feels like? A hotel room. Not having photos up makes a home feel sterile, un-lived in, un-loved. There are very few decorating techniques that immediately warm a space up as instantly as putting out framed photographs.

It makes your kids/friends/partner/nanny/mother in law and everyone else feel good about themselves.

Have you ever gone into your distant Aunt or Uncles house, to find a photo of you (usually one that you have never seen before) framed on their mantle? How did it make you feel?
Flattered? Loved? Valued?

Printing and putting out photos of the people that we care about tells the world “Hey! I care about this person enough to dedicate 5″ of real estate in my home to them!” It is one of the countless small ways that we can show people that we love them. It makes them feel wonderful… and I am all about making the people I care about feel wonderful!

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Because technology is volatile & ever changing. 

This is the most important reason. If the above reasons were enough to convince you to run out and print every photo off your iPhone TODAY, I hope that this it:

iPhones get lost and stolen. iPhones fall into water and get destroyed forever. Servers crash. Home computers get lost in fires and floods and robberies.

You know all those photos you have on CDs, sitting on a dusty shelf in your office? Do you realize that computers today aren’t even being made with CD drives? Within a year or two (if not already) you will not be able to read those discs even if you wanted to because the hardware require simply will not exist anymore.

This is serious and real, you guys. We are losing precious memories and moments of our lives permanently on a daily basis, and we won’t realize until it’s too late. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to print off photos of your baby’s first birthday in a year or two. Don’t assume that in the “year or two” that you are waiting technology won’t change, or your device won’t somehow be compromised.

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4 generations of matriarchs. My mother is the infant.

So, what should you do?

Create and album in your iPhone & Desktop called ‘Prints’. Every few days, go through the images that you have taken and move your favourite shots over into that album. Wait until you have 50-100 images, and then mosey on over to Snapfish.com and have a stack of 4x6s printed.

What will you do with this steady stream of 4x6s? Well, you don’t need to keep every photo for yourself– you can mail some to your Grandma (see above), or anyone else you love. Stuff the ones you keep into a cheap album from Walmart. Or! If you can’t do that, just toss the prints as-is into a small, plastic bin. It doesn’t need to be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. You don’t need to spend 100 hours scrap booking these memories (though you can if that’s your thing). The point here is to simply get PHYSICAL prints of your favourite snapshots while you still can.

Put your albums/boxes of 4×6 prints onto a shelf where your dusty bin of photo CDs used to be… And sleep soundly at night knowing that 80 years from now, your great/great great grandchildren will be able to hold in their hands these every-day-memories that have since become priceless family heirlooms.

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One thought on “5 reasons you should print your photos today

  1. Oh, Tamara, I love this post. I agree with you 100% and you still made me want to order all of my digital photos RIGHT NOW because you are right – they do get lost in the virtual world and we easily forget about them. Or we take it for granted that our hard drives will always work. Thanks for the reminder!

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