With digital dominating in this age, most photographers store copies of their work on hard drives and USB sticks for safe-keeping. That seems like a good choice until you think back to those floppy disks that everyone used in the early ’80s. They seemed like great storage, too, right? As photographer Jan Michele writes, “Who knows what type of digital storage devices will come and go over the next decade?”. But fast-forward a decade and it became almost impossible to even access those files because there were no machines to read them.
That’s why preserving your memories through tangible printed photographs is still the best method.
Printed photographs never go out of style. Both as artistic items and as crucial records of the past, there is no technology that can compete with such a tangible, physical object.
The supercomputers that we all carry around in our pockets today have changed everything. Did you know that each of our phones carries more computing power than NASA had when it first put a man on the moon?
Taking great photos is easy for your mobile phone. But after the picture is taken and stored away on a device, what is the purpose of that photo? How will you enjoy it, look after it, and store it for generations to come?
The answer is print. “Honestly, there has never been a better time to print than now, thanks to technological advances in both digital cameras and inkjet printers,” says Daven Mathies in an article at digitaltrends.com. “We may no longer print every photo by default, but this can actually be a good thing for printing. It is now about quality rather than quantity, and the pictures we choose to print deserve the best treatment.”
The quality of photos one can take with today’s digital cameras, combined with the skills of modern printers, the technology they have available, and the quality of paper available mean that we are living in a golden age of printed photography.
Printing can be a profitable revenue stream for photographers looking to expand their offerings. Read our previous blog story to learn how.
The same emotional allure of printed photography is true for clients and photographers.
Picture two old friends sitting down and poring over their photo albums. Now, picture them swiping through the pictures on a mobile device. Even though they’re looking at the same pictures, it’s a very different experience.
Printed pictures are forever. They can be handled, passed around, and displayed prominently in a home or office. Digital images, on the other hand, feel less permanent, even though they may be the exact same image.
Of course, this is not to say that you shouldn’t be selling and offering digital photographs to your client. It’s by far the dominant mode of working in photography today. But that shouldn’t mean that you don’t offer printed photographs as a core part of your business strategy. Many successful photographers employ a hybrid business model where they give equal value to selling both prints and digital. In some cases, the focus is on taking beautiful photos and selling finished prints with digital positioned as an add-on for the client’s social media needs. Both of those business models can work incredibly well.
Whatever your reasons are, printing a photograph is a life-affirming act that safeguards your work forever, keeps it alive in people’s memory, and beautifies any space that it is in.
What could be more powerful than that?