These days, everyone wants the digital files. I get it. You think by owning the digital copies of your photos they are safe. You think you save money. The truth is, very few digital files actually get printed. The truth is, digital is not permanent. The truth is- prints can be way more valuable to you in the long run than digital files. Here’s why:

1. Technology changes. Remember discs? If you had a professional session in the last ten years ago or more, and digitals were part of the package, you probably got a disc with your images. These days, how many computers have a disc drive? Technology changes at a surprisingly fast clip. Prints are constant. Prints are meant to last. Technology is not in the business of longevity. It is by definition, meant to change and evolve. Often at the expense of stored photographs. 

2. Technology fails. Even for professionals, technology fails. Hard drives fail, discs can be corrupted. If memories are important to you, prints, with a digital backup is the way to go. If hard drives fail, prints can always be copied via digital scans. 

3. Prints can be passed down through generations. Digital copies tend to be forgotten, lost, or neglected. We’ve all found old photos of our family and friends, stored in a box in the attic or closet. It can be really amazing to see life lived decades ago, via old photos. These days, how often does a family have an old shoe box of prints or a photo album? I’m guessing not as much as with generations before. That’s a shame, if you ask me. A family legacy can be stored on a phone these days. It’s just not the same. 

4. Where you print matters. Making prints at your local CVS? Costco? That’s cool and all if you are doing fun projects and you aren’t thinking archival, but they won’t last. In this case, you get what you pay for. The technology that box stores or chains use is completely different than a pro lab. They may look good for a few years, but they will fade and change color. Pro labs use archival inks and paper, ensuring that your prints will last decades if treated properly. You will spend more, but get more value, exponentially. 

5. A print becomes part of your life. You can touch it, gift it, archive it, display it and celebrate it. It is not something that lives on a device , out of sight, out of mind. It becomes part of your story. This is not to say that digital files are not important. They are, if you print them. They are a great backup plan. They just shouldn’t be your only plan. 

Annmarie Young Photography

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