Does printed photography even matter anymore in a digital world?
So cards on the table, I'm a photographer, which means it's probably pretty clear which side of this argument I fall on but please, humour me. Yes, real images that you can hold and feel in your hand matter, despite the digital world we live in, images that we can look at without the bright lights of a screen are possibly more valuable than ever. In this post I will share not only why I believe print photography matters but why I believe we we should all fight for its survival.
We thought digital cameras revolutionised the world of photography but that was before smartphones. Now as a culture pictures are plentiful and cheap. It's impossible to really put a figure on it but some experts estimate 1.2 trillion pictures were taken on phones in 2017 (compare this to 80 billion taken in 2000). Most of these pictures will never be anything more than a couple of megabytes of data, they will never be held by a human hand, if they they are lucky they will make it to social media but even here they become lost in a sea of pixels.
Why this is good for print
You might think this digital world frustrates me as a photographer but that's not true at all. I love that everyone can easily snap their moments of joy and that people can share their images so easily, I do it as much as anyone.
The great thing about digital images is it means you only have to print the pictures that you really want to keep. No more weekly trips to snappy snaps with a film of 25 pictures and only 2 decent ones, no more piles of shoe boxes full of pictures you don’t really like, no more pointless landscape pictures or out of focus heads ending up in landfill. now you can take 100, pick the best one and choose quality over quantity.
The problem is most people don't.
That one picture that was the best just gets the honour of being saved from the digital dustbin. It might get shared on Facebook but it doesn't actually become anything real.
This is what I would like to change.
If we could focus on the benefits of digital for print instead of screaming doom then as an industry we would do more to ensure the survival of print. You see in a world of Kardashian duck faces people crave something real. The recent resurgence of polaroid cameras is testament to this. Teenagers are currently asking for the same cameras that I was as a teenager. Despite the digital revolution this goes to show how little has actually changed.
Protect your photos
The truth is that while your pictures remain in social media world, the cloud or even on your pc hard drive they are never going to be as safe as a piece of paper. For a start as technology evolves, the way images are stored will change too, we are used to storing pictures as JPEGs but increasingly HEIF is becoming more common. People used to back up their pics on dvd but now its becoming harder to even buy a computer with a dvd drive. So if all your pictures are digital how do you even know you will be able to access them in the future.
Photography is art, or at least it can be. Most of those 1.2 trillion pictures were probably far from art but you have the choice to create it and print it when you see it.
Hiring a professional photographer allows you to capture perfect moments and to celebrate the beauty of photography, hanging pictures on your wall like they did it the ‘old days.’ if you are looking for something real, authentic, high quality and beautiful that you can see, touch feel and cherish forever then consider Capture This Moment, for weddings, family and business photography.