Have you ever looked at an old photograph and felt nostalgic about the wallpaper? Or seen yourself at 6 years old, wearing your favorite pink bathing suit with the encrusted sparkles, and suddenly recalled how excited you were to wear it every single day that summer? How about the musty smell of your grandfather’s jacket when he walked through toy store with you and told you to pick out anything you wanted? These were once mundane moments, the every day in our lives. We could never have imagined the value their physical memory would have today, just as we can’t imagine these same feelings about today’s moments in 20 years.
Today I’d like to talk honestly about the digital age. I love cameras. The only problem is, by and large, they’re lulling our history to sleep. Even Google’s VP is talking about the coming digital dark age, where very little will be known about who we were as a people and culture, because technology will evolve, and our memories will be left behind.
I don’t want to be all doom and gloom. There’s still time to S.O.H. (save our history), and that’s exactly why being one of my clients is so powerful – I craft every piece of your preservation for you. Album design? Done. Wall design? No problem. It’s easy, beautiful, designed for a lifetime, and it lets me sleep at night, knowing that my clients and their children’s history is well cared for. I’m going to show you how I turn these creations to life, but first, a few more points about why it’s important to print.
- Things disappear on the web. Have you tried to locate something from the 90’s recently? Gone.
- As a mom, the thought of a disk or JPEG representing my family feels about as comfortable as sitting on tacks. We are deeper, richer, more complex, and SO MUCH MORE vibrant than a screen could ever convey.
- A printed image creates community and stirs in-person discussion. Where phones are laid to rest and eyes meet and connections are made. Brilliant.
- The photograph can’t be skipped past or blown by like on a screen. When an image sits powerfully on your wall, it takes time to absorb: the colors, expressions, gestures, dynamics. It becomes a living, breathing, part of your home.
- Many times images feel too personal to post with all of your 1,428 friends on Facebook. I recently experienced this with my son Wyatt’s newborn photography – I absolutely adored his images, but felt that I’d much rather display them in my home than spread them all over the internet. Here, I can’t help but look at them every single day, and am reminded of the 100 things that have changed since his birth 7 just months ago.
- How long has printing pictures been on your to-do list? Months? Years? The longer it becomes, the more daunting the task, the less likely it will happen. Excitement wanes, motivation lessens, and likely they’ll never see the light of day.
- The longer they remain digitized, the more likely they are to succumb to malfunction: your memory card corrupts, the USB is lost, the backup drive fails. What guarantee is there of google or dropbox still being in existence of 5 or 10 years?
- Software and technology is changing faster than ever. There’s already talk of a replacement file type from the JPEG to the BPG, and if support becomes native to new computers, there will be no way to access your JPEG’s in just a few years.
- With every day that passes, your images become more valuable. Printing is the easiest way to avoid losing your greatest treasures.
- The future generation is counting on you to know their history. Yes, you.
So now that you’ve decided to print your images, there’s another barrier you’re up against: the big, wide, world of printing. Should you design an album? Or frame the images? The thought of pulling out a tape measure and a ladder probably makes you stomach turn. And what if you order something and the colors don’t look right? Or the print is bent? Or you’ve managed to print everything but are worried you’ll turn your wall into a pin cushion trying to hang it all?
There’s one answer for all of it. I bet you know what it is.
Coming tomorrow: How you can get your hands on FREE interior design to create the home you’ve been dreaming of (like the one below), in one hour or less. (Consider yourself pinched, it’s not fantasy).
See you in the morning 🙂
Karen is a Boston-based photographer specializing in documenting and preserving family history. You can see more of her work online at www.kkpforlife.com, on Instagram or on Facebook. If you’d like to contact her directly, you can find her at firstname.lastname@example.org.