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Why I Still Print Photos

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In this exceedingly digital age, in a world that covets Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat (or whatever else the kids are all participating in these days), I’m still a big fan of printing.

Yes, that archaic term- the one that all the dinosaurs around here may know well.

In the fine art of crafting the perfect photo for social media (using all those perfect filters with all those witty statuses), I believe we’ve inherently lost something special. It’s something that’s definitively imperfect, something that I fear could be lost forever if we don’t collectively work to revive its magic.

We’ve lost the fine art of displaying photos and enjoying them for our own pleasure, for our own happiness and joy.

Remember when, once upon a time, friends came over to your house and you hauled out your large photo album from when you were on vacation? Or, when you glossed over different picture frames to find just the right one?

And, remember when you had to use (gasp) film to print your photos? I remember that, as a child, my parents would give me ONE roll to use for an entire vacation. I cherished every photo I could take, knowing they were all finite and limited. There was no wasted photo, no test shot, and certainly no goofing around.

And, when you finally went to the shop to print them? You could only hope for the best. There was no retouching, no filtering, no cropping (except the kind you did with scissors, of course). There was only laughing at the silly hairstyles or blinked eyes or poor lighting- and accepting the imperfections for what they inherently were.

I’m a big fan of bringing the art of displaying photos back. Let’s blend the love of all things digital into the blend of all things physical. Let’s get creative with it! Blankets, mugs, cell phone protective covers. Let’s put our favorite photos up on the walls for the entire world to see!

Let’s take them out of the realms of social media and back where they belong- proudly on display for all of our loved ones to see.

Even if they aren’t perfect (especially if they aren’t perfect). Let’s stop living behind this lie, behind these glossy pixels that often only show a fraction of a contrived truth.

I want to see the scrapbooks and the photo albums and picture frames when I walk into someone’s house. I want to see smiling faces around me- not just when I scroll through the social media feed (something that I’m admittedly trying to cut back down on).

Photography is one of the most beautiful arts I believe man has ever created. Let’s not water it down into a competition for the most flawless depictions of self. Let’s not lose sight of the true magic for what it beautifully is.

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