As an avid scrapbooker and photography nerd, it’s no surprise that I think photos are important. In this digital age, photos are everywhere. Not only are selfies taking over social media, but advertisers bombard you with photos and videos on all fronts. Clearly, we know photos are important and value them, so why aren’t we printing them? As a society, we seem to think that posting our photos to social media is enough. Most people don’t feel the need to print them and pop them into real photo albums because they believe they are safely stored online for eternity.
However, what happens when those online sources are suddenly unavailable? Or if these sites start charging to store your photos? This is a situation that I encountered a few years ago! I had all of my photos stored on Kodak’s website. I ordered prints once a year, but had EVERYTHING stored digitally with them. Suddenly, one day I received an email stating that starting one month from now, they would be charging a yearly $99 fee to store your photos unless you purchased prints from them regularly. I had to download several years worth of photos onto my computer and pray that it didn’t lose them!
I was panicking! My digital storage failed me and I was starting over. I did end up losing a lot of photos, but luckily I had printed most of them already to scrapbook them. So, what happens if Facebook or Instagram just ended? Or started charging to store your photos? It’s not a guarantee. These are not reliable storage options. I strongly recommend you print at least a handful of your favorite photos every year, if only the really important events in your life. It breaks my heart to think of someone losing those precious memories!
Is printing a perfect solution? No, but it’s certainly more permanent and reliable than social media. In my opinion, the best case scenario is to keep your photos in three places, stored on an external hard drive, online storage (like Dropbox or a paid site), and printed. This way, if one of your storage options fails (hard drive corrupts, online storage disappears, or a fire destroys your photos), you have two other back up options to keep them protected.
As an added reason to print photos, my kids have a blast flipping through my albums. They giggle at their baby pictures and read the journaling to each other. Seeing them enjoy those photos is so reaffirming to me as a crafter, but also heartwarming as a Mom. Sharing precious memories and creating opportunities for me to tell them stories that they might not have heard otherwise is truly wonderful. I think photo albums and scrapbooks inspire curiosity and start conversations. There’s definitely a difference between swiping through photos on your phone and turning the pages in an album. You take more time and look closer. These printed photos have greater value to us.
And that, my friends, is why I do what I do. I want to keep these memories alive and share them in a deeper, more meaningful way with my family. Keep those things in mind the next time you take a picture. Ask yourself, is this one I should print? Will I want to see this in the future to remember this moment? If the answer is yes, I encourage you to print it! Even if all you do is pop it into an inexpensive photo box, that photo now exists and has greater value to you and your family than one posted online.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!