When I was growing up, there was no such thing as digital photos. Everyone had a film camera with 24 or 36 exposure shots on it. I took the photos on with my camera, dropped off the roll to get developed, then waited 2 weeks to get the roll back to see how my photos turned out. There was no instant display or multiple shots to get the perfect image. You had one, maybe two chances, to get your picture, then crossed your fingers and prayed all was well.
And the excitement of going through all the prints when the roll was finally ready to be picked up was amazing! Sifting through the photos, laughing at all the cuteness or ridiculous faces you captured on film was priceless.
Nowadays, we take pictures with our phones, see them instantly, then retake if we decide the photo was off or someone wasn't smiling or we just don't like the way we look. And I'll admit, I am 100% guilty of doing this as well.
But today we tend to forget the most important part of the whole reason for taking photos, and that is the printing of them.
What's the point of capturing your family's memories if you're not going to display them for everyone to see? The answer is, sadly, not much.
Printing photos is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, your kids, and the next generation. Seeing a photo on a wall, book shelf, or even a fireplace mantel gives a whole new meaning to keep your memories alive.
At my parent's house, my mom has a couple of dozen photo albums full of 4x6 or the old school instant Polaroid prints where you can write on the bottom of the photo (you know you remember those old instant Polaroid photos that you had to shake to dry off the ink and hope you accidentally touch and mess it up). Anyway, I love those old photo albums. I love looking at my childhood on print, take the photos out, and have a trip down memory lane.
I want that for my own children and (fingers crossed) their children one day. To show them the prints of photos of their childhood, awkward years, and fun everyday memories to share and reminisce. My own children love going through the photos I've had printed and figuring out how old they were and what were they doing. I just have to get those photos into an album, and I'll be set!
I love the fact as a photographer I can offer my clients the digital prints of their families and newborns so they can print as many photos as they want. I want they to print their family photos and share them. Not just keep them on a hard drive for years to come. It's awesome to see my clients send me photos of their home wall galleries and see their photos on display.
It saddens my heart to think the next generation is losing out of the power of the printed photograph. Nothing makes a house a home like seeing your families history on the walls with photos.
Whether it's a snapshot you took on your phone or your family photos you had taken by a professional photographer, print them out! Display them! Put them in albums for everyone to look back upon and remember the fun times!
And if anyone ever needs a recommendation on where to have your photos printed, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I'll be happy to recommend a some consumer labs to you!
Emily Ingalls is a professional photographer in Round Rock, Texas. Emily specializes in family and children portraiture, family lifestyle photography, and newborn lifestyle photography. She loves traveling, coffee, and martial arts.