Here’s why print wins over digitals every time. Really, it’s simple. It’s all about our children.
In this digital age, we are in such a rush. Everything has to be instant. It has to happen NOW. It’s the reason we have cameras built into our phones, and it’s the reason we’re so addicted to social media. The addition of cameras to our mobiles means that these platforms can provide us with instant gratification. Within a few moments, you can snap something, post it and instantly start seeing likes roll in.
As a young woman, this was really important to me. Like many other young people, what I lacked in time, I made up for in self-doubt and confidence issues. Posting photos of myself out and about with friends and family meant that I could build an army of followers. Each of them liking and commenting on every image I posted. It made me feel loved, or popular at the very least. Apparently, that was something I needed back then.
Fast forward a decade (and a bit), and I am now a confident woman (mostly) with a world of experience under my belt. I was lucky enough to marry my best friend and have two incredible children with him. Our lives are chaotic and full of fun and love. However, the time issue is even worse now, and it seems to move even quicker.
Something I have found is that over the years, as my priorities have changed, my relationship with social media and photography have too. At this point, I can almost hear you saying “Yes, yes, but you ARE a photographer, so of COURSE, you’re going to say this.” I get it. But my decision to become a photographer came way after my love affair with social media and that “quick fix”. It came after I became a mother.
Using Your Phone is So Much Easier
One thing that I am still guilty of now is taking quick pics on my phone and then forgetting about them. This is WHILE I am a professional photographer, so I really don’t have much of an excuse. But the truth is, it’s just so much more convenient and MUCH quicker for me to take photos on my phone. My phone is on me most of the time, I don’t have to think about lighting or settings. It’s instant.
But how is this affecting our children?
Imagery is one of the most potent forms of communication on the planet. It trumps language every time. You can literally go to any country in the world and show them a photo of somewhere or something and they will recognize all or part of that image. It goes deeper than color or form or what the weather is like in that particular scene. Images can evoke emotion, feelings, darkness or light. If you tried to describe just a few of these things to them without showing them the picture, chances are, they won’t understand a word you’re saying.
Now imagine you have a world of pictures saved on your phone, and you want your child to find their favorite. What do you think they’ll choose? Do you think they’ll find one at all? Would they understand how? If they found something they loved, would they know why? Watch as these children try and access the photos their mums have taken on their phones. Do you see why print wins over digitals here?
It’s So Much More Than Being in the Moment
We’ve all seen the blog posts and articles that urge mums to stop taking the pictures and be IN the images. Your children think you’re beautiful and we owe it to them to make sure they have something to remember you by once you’re gone. Morbid? Maybe. But necessary? Definitely.
So once you have taken those pictures with your little ones, why on earth would you want to make them inaccessible to them? Your memories and experiences are your legacies to your children.
Make it a ‘Thing’
Have the photos on your wall or in an album, somewhere you can look at them whenever you want to. Make your kids pick a favorite or start a photo wall in their bedroom. My 9-year-old son loves collecting holiday snaps and photos of adventures he’s had with his grandparents. He has crudely stuck them to the wall with sticky tack, and the collection is growing. It’s his favorite thing, and we often sit and reminisce over them at bedtime.
We now make a point of printing a few off each time we have an adventure together, and now his little sister wants to start one too.
In comparison to the video above, watch now as the same children receive a package of printed photos of themselves with their families. See the instant joy? Again, here is why print wins over digitals every time, at least for me.
More importantly, there is another reason we must make sure our pictures are on display and studied regularly. No-one lives forever.
It’s a subject people tend to shy away from. Still, it happens to us all. It is vital that you have recorded those memories and can access them quickly and readily for when we want to remember those we’ve lost.
Many photographers (myself included) offer digitals. Again, in this age of instant gratification, it is a popular option and makes sense if you are genuinely going to have them printed. While printing your own throws up a whole collection of other issues, I’ll leave that for another blog.
For now, let’s think about that USB of digitals that you probably paid decent money for. Where is it? Do you even know? Is it kicking around with some dead batteries and unidentified keys in a drawer somewhere? If the answer is a resounding and somewhat guilty “yes”, then go dig it out and find a decent lab to get them printed. You won’t regret it, and neither will your children.
About the author: Haleana Knights is a UK photographer specializing in weddings, lifestyle, and portraits. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Knights’ work on her website, Facebook, and Instagram. This article was also published here.