Why Photo Prints Matter
The reason why photo prints matter has been a controversial topic since the invention of digital cameras. Kodak made its first digital camera in 1975, but consumer digital cameras emerged in the early 2000’s. To put time into perspective, Steve Jobs released the first iPhone in 2007. The iPhone, better known as a smart phone, has since changed the world of photography. The world has more ways than ever before to take photos and share them. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer photographs are being printed and preserved for future generations.
Film Photography and 7 days
I grew up in an era of film cameras. It was not an era of instant gratification. Film was bought and inserted into the back of the camera. The exposure roll most likely had 24 or 36 frames. Nowadays, I see people take that many selfies before they find one they like. With film, you took your photograph and hoped you captured the moment with correct exposure. You had a few options once your film roll was finished. The most common was to send it in the mail and wait. I can hear all the millennials gasping. Yes, I said, wait. One week was the turn around time. One hundred and sixty-eight hours of waiting.
There are hundreds of reasons why photo prints matter. For this two part blog post, I’ll write about why I feel photo prints matter most.
Photo Prints Will Always Exist
The photographer is really the one to blame. Yes, you read that correctly. Photographers that specialize in prints, like myself, often get discouraged when clients only want the digital files. Once digital cameras entered the scene, photographers started prioritizing the wrong things. We, like everyone else, prioritized instant gratification instead of lasting memories. Most photographers pushed having digital copies instead of a family album and prints on professional paper that would last decades. Don’t get me wrong, a digital back up is a great safety precaution. Photographers and the people they photographed didn’t stop to think about how technology would keep evolving over time. As a Nashville family photographer, I keep reminding myself how quickly technology has changed. When’s the last time you played music on a CD? My point exactly.
Me as a little girl. Circa 1982. Photo taken by my mother on a film camera.
Technology Is Always Changing
In my lifetime alone, there has been the floppy disk, VHS, Cassette, CD-ROM’s, DVD-ROM’s, hard-drive storage and portable drives. Nowadays, computers are being manufactured with no way of reading a CD or have an optical drive. What are people going to do with all those photos sitting on CD’s and USB’s that they never printed and rarely view?
What about social media technology? Sure, I share my iPhone pics online, but what happens when trending social media sites are no longer around? I thought ‘myspace‘ would be around forever. Since the public doesn’t own social media sites like Facebook or tik tok, there’s no guarantee we’ll always have access to our uploaded memories.
Every print from my childhood can be held tangibly. Those physical prints and albums don’t require a screen for viewing or a website to log into. Plus, when I’m looking through printed photographs or an album there’s no distraction. When I’m on an electronic device and receive a notification, my concentration is gone. I start wondering what email I received or friend request I have pending.
A Nostalgic Legacy
Printed photographs have the ability to transport people to a time and place with people they cherish. When you see a certain photograph, do you think about going home? Do you think about certain smells and tastes? It’s built into our DNA. Feeling this nostalgic comfort is why people go to the same restaurants and have holiday traditions. The majority of people don’t go to a new restaurant every time they eat out.
My mother created a legacy for me. Prints from my youth bring emotions and feelings alive. I cherish all those boxes filled with printed memories. Would I have the same nostalgic feeling if my mom gave me a box of hard drives?
You too can do this for your family. Have you started to create a legacy of your children and your children’s children? If not, it’s not too late.
A photo taken of my grandfather showing me his big catch. Circa 1982. Photo taken by my mother on a film camera.
Photo Prints Create Positive Emotional Benefits
Did you know that when a child visually see themselves in a photograph, it tells them that they are in a safe place. Seeing themselves in a photograph with parents and siblings tells a child they are part of a family unit. A study done long before digital cameras, showed serotonin levels in a child’s brain rises, thus creating reassurance and comfort. The study also noted that one of the best spots to place a family photograph is in the child’s bedroom. The study proved that a child sleeps deeper and more sound when seeing their photograph right before closing their eyes.
This will wrap up part one on ‘Why Photo Prints Matter’ by Nashville Family Photographer Darcy Ferris Photography. Part two coming soon. In the meanwhile, if you are interested in booking a family session, click the banner below to know more!
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