I’ve been writing this post in my head for quite some time now. It’s just been recent that I have had this “revelation” of sorts, and in no time my passion has sparked and I have become an evangelist. Are you ready for this? Because some people I have told looked at me like I was crayyyyyy cray. But, here goes... I believe in prints.
I used to take the Kourtney Kardashian approach and hardly ever hung framed photos around my house. Typically our refrigerator is a collage of sentiments and photo booth strips held together by pizza delivery magnets, yet the imagery goes no further than the stainless steel facing. But it wasn’t until unpacking our new home in Hawaii that I ran across boxes of old photos that I started thinking.
Here I was, sitting in front of a scruffy box jammed packed with photos, some new, most old. Pictures I took with a disposable camera in middle school. Stacks of film prints from when I first ventured into photography as a hobby. That infamous photobooth shot of my Mom and I when I was five. Images that as I sat there and held, took me back. Made me feel something. Literally had the power to stop me in my tracks and distract me from what I was really doing: unpacking my office. I had forgotten about some of these photos, but remembered quite a few. And really, the forgotten ones were never really “forgotten”. They were always still here. In this box.
These images from my childhood, of my friends and of my “artistic creations” hit me hard. I was thankful for these tangible items. I revealed in the emotion that they curated. Captivated. When was the last time an image on a computer screen stopped me? When was the last time an image on a computer screen stopped me for this long?
On that beige carpet in my office floor in Oahu, I knew I believed in prints. That they won’t die. Because I won’t let them die. Hopefully other photographers won’t let them die. Yes, this is a digital world, so as photographers we must remain relevant, but we also must stop thinking so much about TODAY and look to TOMORROW. Question how the digital age will shape our past in the future. Yes, I want my photos on the internet, yes, I want to store my photos on the internet for safe keeping and facebook sharing, but let’s be for real. How long do we believe these sites are going to last? How long are we going to use these sites? I used to upload all my images to Photobucket just 2 years ago. Now I can’t even remember the password. So many “of the moment” websites hold images of mine (i.e. Myspace) that truth be told, I may never see again. Not to mention, these sites life spans are not up to me, and if someone where to flag a photo of mine on Facebook and they deemed it inappropriate, that photo would be deleted and if I didn’t have it in safe keeping, would be lost forever. Or worse, forgotten about.
I believe in the digital revolution, but I hope I am not the only one who stops believing in tangible images for clients. I believe it is a disservice to our history and our client’s history to only encourage digital negatives. Yes, digital is relevant, but at what cost to our future’s past? (Seriously. Stop and think about that for a minute.)
There is something about a Bride’s family photos that inspire me. They are classic. Timeless. Family history. A moment in time marked, printed, and passed from generation to generation. Why are we so quick to give that up? For instant gratification? For “conveince”? Since when was our impatience so much more important than preservation? I can’t help but think which social media website, form of digital storage (i.e. dvds and USBs), or technology will be the next floppy disk? What if your photos were on a floppy disk right now? What if your Mother’s wedding images were on my old Facebook Fan Page that inadvertently got deleted by Facebook? (That’s a whole ‘nother mess!). The digital age is always changing, so as important it is to stay current, we also need to recognize that being a slave to ever-changing technology could be an unfortunate weakness in our businesses.
I believe so strongly in tangible images (via prints or albums) that I am working on a way to incorporate them into my collections seamlessly so everyone gets them (and with more film, this should be easy peasey!). We take images to always remember, why run the risk of remembering just for a little while?
With that being said, I plan to not stay with the trends, but strive to be ahead of them. I will store info “in the cloud”. I’ll utilize photo sharing software online. That’s what clients want today. But I’d also encourage clients and professionals alike to not get so wrapped up in today’s technology that we lose track of tomorrow and eventually regret it.
Shew! I could go on about this for days. When I start to ramble, that’s when you know I’m passionate about something. And if I’m passionate, I must be on the right track even if there are people that would beg to differ with my point of view. Below, an image I shot of Jose Villa’s marketing products...some PRINTS! :) Lookie how pretty they are!