I hear it time and time again, “Oh, I don’t want printed product….I ONLY WANT THE DIGITALS.” And my response has stayed steadfast over the years how, “printed photos are the only way to ensure you have the images…that technology is constantly changing and your digital files will become obsolete etc etc”…blah blah blah. I lost you already, didn’t I? Because in this time, printed art has become a forgotten art. People are leaving their digitals on facebook & instagram or their computer hard drive never to be printed. MOST people will never print their digital files. Ever. Until you lose your digitals, you might never know the importance and value in printing them.
Case in point.
Today, a facebook memory came up on my page. You know, those “On This Day” memories where it brings up some random thing you did or saw years back. Often I laugh looking at the memories thinking to myself, “Oh that was a good time,” or “Oh my god, what was I wearing?!?!” Lol. And sometimes I don’t even recall the memory because it was something super insignificant that facebook had, just that day, made into something it never was.
So today, as I scrolled on my phone and the “On This Day” memory popped, I saw a beautiful black & white image I had taken of my then 1 1/2 year old daughter in my hobbyist photographer days. It was an image I had been so incredibly proud of years ago before I was a professional photographer, one that had lifted my spirits. It was a photograph that gave me a taste for the ongoing, developing passion I had behind the camera that ultimately lead to me becoming an accredited photographer years later. And today, I smiled when I first saw this memory, this image of my baby girl 7 years ago. Forever frozen in time, a moment I can’t ever get back. But then suddenly I felt like I was being punched in the gut. The oh so familiar feeling of regret washed over me.
I remembered I had never printed that digital file and my computer had crashed a year after I took it. Gone.
My external hard drive that once stored this photo, had long since corrupted (something about a baby throwing it on the floor I think), and all my old CD’s with images burned on them were too scratched to extract any photos from. So there I was, staring at the tiny screen on my phone knowing that would be the only way I’d ever see that photo for the rest of my life. A compressed, pixilated digital image of my daughter that I GRIEVED not printing on a large canvas.
What many people don’t realize, is that images online are compressed to the point where they shouldn’t be printed. They look terrible printed, and quite honestly, do not do the artist justice. Please, for the love of all good things, do not print a photo you copy & pasted from social media. You need a high resolution digital file for your images to print the way they were intended. Besides, if you are going to have beautiful wall art decorating your home, ensure it looks the best that it can!
So today I felt overwhelmingly saddened and remorseful when looking at a digital file I will never be able to print. Sure, I have learned my lesson over the years and have printed plenty images of my kids, one being a 30×40 of them together. Yes, my home is littered with portraits of my now 13 year old son and 8 year old daughter. But it’s because I have paid the price. I have lost many years of memories from crashing computers and corrupted usb sticks. So perhaps I have well made up for my guilt & shame by printing ‘large and in charge’ wall art.
And of course since becoming a professional photography business, I always secure digital images for my clients in multiple places with multiple back up options. If only I knew then as a hobbyist photographer what I know now about digital files…
(Here is a sampling of my kids in print! Yes, I am a big believer in large wall art)
This is part of the reason I so passionately believe in offering clients a full service experience where my focus is creating printed art for the amazing people I photograph. I WANT you to smile every time you walk down the hall and see your canvas of your children. I WANT you to sighhhhh and touch your heart when you see that stunning newborn portrait in your baby’s room. I WANT you to cry tears of joy when you look at the family portrait in your living room with grandma who has since passed away. Because you have your loved ones right there! You have beautiful memories masterfully highlighted on your walls in the form of photographs. You have an heirloom album that makes you laugh every time you finger through the pages. You won’t have to worry about only seeing your favourite image in a pixelated form on social media, knowing you can’t ever print it with any semblance of quality. You have archival printed art that will last for decades and decades!!!!
Have your portraits printed and printed well. To last. Because in the end, that’s all you may have of your memories.
I’m reminded of those stick figure memes of Bob where he makes good decisions. We should all be like Bob.
Much Love & Light,