The printed photo is not dead. It's true that digital images are convenient and what most people expect from photographers, and maybe it's because I'm a member of the millennial/hipster generation, but I believe printed photos will never go out of style.
If you're like me, photographer or not, you probably have hundreds of photos currently sitting archived in your phone or computer, where you can't see and enjoy them. Digital images are convenient for sharing and offer the insurance of a backup, but there's nothing like having prints on your walls and a photobook in your hands.
When a client and I discuss the kind of collection that they want, the topic of digital images vs prints usually comes up. While all of my collections include digital images, I always encourage my clients to also choose a few prints or photobook of their session. I do this for several reasons:
- Experience: which would you prefer- an intangible digital photo, or a set of prints beautifully wrapped and presented to you from the photographer who carefully created the images? With my business, I aim to build a relationship with each client to create an experience and invest in their story, rather than be like any other photographer at the local mall.
- Integrity: professionally printed photos ensure the quality of the photo will not be compromised. Most budget printers (wal-mart, walgreens, target, etc) do not produce an accurate representation of the original image, while a professional lab will maintain the integrity of the photo.
- Fun: there's nothing very fun about a digital file, but having professionally-shot images on the walls of your home or a photobook to show your family is. For example, my photobooks are popular with the parents of my high school seniors because they loving having something to show off to their friends and family, and it's much more fun to look at than an ipad. I've seen this also to be true in my own home, as we have a large family portrait near the front door that has been commented on my everyone who visits our home.
When digital images first came on the scene, it appeared that physical prints would never be seen again, but lately with the growth of brands such as chatbooks and artifact uprising, this is definitely not the case. As more photographers talk about the value of the printed photo, I'm excited to see more people making the most of their images with physical prints.
Is it important to you to have prints or books of your photos? Why or why not?