Print Your Wedding Photos! Digital Is Disposable!

Print Your Wedding Photos! Digital Is Disposable!

 
 
I’ve written many posts about how to choose a wedding photographer. And in each, I’ve tried to be even-handed, tried to help you make an informed decision. But now I’m going to shed any shadow of objectivity and come down hard on one side of an issue:
 
Get your photos printed! Don’t ask for them on a thumb drive! Don’t download!
 
Why do I feel so strongly? Because prints are good and digital is bad. Simple as that. Let’s look at both sides of that equation:
 
We live in the Age of Instagram. The Period of Pinterest. It is said that a billion photos a day are uploaded to various social sites every day. A billion today and a billion tomorrow. And what’s in those photos? Pictures of last night’s dinner. Photos of you in different bathing suits. Your dog. Your friend’s dog. The dog belonging to the guy down the street.
 
In other words: Nothing. These pictures aren’t meant to last, they’re meant to be glanced at and then forgotten. Looked at and then deleted. Part of the endless stream of bytes that makes their way around around the Internet, bytes that linger for a moment and are then trashed.
 
It doesn’t matter if the pictures are good. The context of seeing them on a screen destroys whatever value they might have. Imagine you had a masterpiece by Caravaggio. A timeless piece of art. Then you took that paining, nailed it to a stick, and planted it in a garbage dump. It wouldn’t look too good, would it? The context destroys the art. Just like on a screen.
 
Now let’s consider the print. Why is this step backward in technology a step forward in beauty, in meaning, and in value?
 
First, because it’s a work of art. A photograph printed by a professional on good photo stock has image quality that nothing digital can begin to touch. It is one of a kind, it is unique. 
 
A print is tangible, it is a physical object. It can be held in your hand and passed to a friend. There’s a reason that Fuji Instax cameras are such big sellers, that Polaroid prints are coming back. People like physical objects, they like things that they can hold in their hands.
 
A print is forever. A good print on archival paper will last at least 100 years. What happens when your USB drive goes the way of the floppy disc?
 
A print can be a gift. Ever given someone a flash drive?
 
A print is timeless, it never goes out of style. Ever dug through a box in the attic and found old pictures from when your grandparents were young? How did you feel? Like you had discovered something special. Like you had found something of value that deserved to be treasured. 
 
It’s that feeling that you’re getting the chance to recreate with your own pictures. Don’t let the chance slip away.
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