Digital vs Prints – The Epic Battle Continues – Alliston Photographer
Yesterday I tuned into the season finale of This is Us. If you don’t know what this TV series is then you live under a rock! This new series follows the lives of triplets, Kevin, Kate and Randall, their parents and their families. It jumps back and forth between present time and their parents past. What I love about it the most, is that it really develops the characters and it makes them highly relatable. If you haven’t watched the finale yet, I’m going to be revealing some spoilers so don’t read any further!
At the very end of the show, Kate is looking through a box of photos and she pulls out one of her mom Rebecca and its a beautiful capture of her singing. That photo moves Kate so much that she declares she’s going to get back to what she loves most– singing. Then it flips to Randall who is pouring through an old photo album of which he now adds a picture of his father William who has just past away from cancer. This is what I gathered from these few clips. Tangible printed pictures remind us of who we are. It allows us to see into the lives of loved ones we have lost. It leaves us pieces and memories that will never be forgotten.
We live in a world in which almost everyone owns a camera. Whether it be the camera on your phone, a small little pocket camera or a dSLR camera, everyone seems to have access to some type of camera. We are always at the ready to capture all of life’s moments. We document it all. I am guilty of it for sure! My phone never seems to have enough room for pictures and I’m constantly deleting pictures to make room for new ones. But the problem here is that a lot of my captured life’s moments are staying locked up in a virtual world- never to see the light of a print. I read somewhere that we will be the most forgotten generation because all of our pictures live digitally.
I wanted to write a brief little article to outline some myths of both prints and digitals. I am a firm believer in prints and albums so I’ll try not to make this post too biased!
Digital Myths & Truths
1. Sharing – I need all the pictures to share right now!
- For real though- this is why we like our phone so much as our primary source of photos, right?! The ability to share what happened in a split second and post it to instagram or facebook for all to see is so easy! We can easily tell a story and have our loved ones share in our lives. I’m finding lately that less is more. I’m learning to leave my big camera at home when we go out and also to leave my phone in my purse when we are doing an activity. I’m learning to spend more time in the moment actually seeing the memories through my eyes and not through a phone or a lens.
2. Timeless – Now that we have our photos digitally we will have them forever.
- For a time, but not forever. Technology is changing rapidly. Technology fails. Files get lost and pictures get lost too over time. Who knows if in 5-10 years time if our files will be able to be read? My laptop is no longer equipped with a CD drive. It’s becoming dated technology. A lot of us may still have our photos sitting on CDs still waiting to be printed.
3. Cheap – It’s easy to get digital files.
- If I can make a digital picture on my phone how hard can it be for a photographer to give me a digital file? It’s just as easy as pressing the button and then handing over the files. As a photographer, I’m here to say that the final product that you may see on Pinterest or Facebook is the result of a photographer putting their vision to life in the editing process. When I take a picture of a moment, I have an idea in my mind of how I would like the finished product to look. For me the magic comes to life during the editing process. Editing is where the bulk of my work is reflected and that’s why the price of my digitals accurately reflect the time and effort that I have put into creating your images.
Print Myths & Truths
1. Costly – It costs a lot to buy prints much more than digitals.
- While prints may initially cost more to purchase than digitals, when you add up your own personal costs of getting a good quality print and frame you may be sitting at the same expenses as purchasing from your photographer. When you purchase a print or an album from a photographer you are getting the best of the best.
- Most photographers will have spent hours finding the perfect printing lab that matches their vision and brand. They will ensure that you have the highest quality of product available. The print that you get from your photographer will have the most realistic colour, come on quality paper, and simply be awesome! The album that you will receive will be timeless and will be something that your children and grandchildren can look at over and over. I once heard in a pod cast that everyone knows how to turn pages in a photo album even grandmothers- grandmothers may not always know how to work your iPad to view your digital photos. There is something always so special about a tangible printed product.
2. Loses its Value – Prints lose value, fade or get wrecked after time.
- If you take care to treat your printed products well, they will last for a long, long time. When I was working at a university, one day everyone brought in their wedding albums. I’ll never forget the co-worker who brought in her wedding album. She had been married over 40 years and her album looked like she received it from her photographer the day before. Because this was such a beloved and treasured item to her and her husband, they had taken great care of her album. All those years later, her wedding day stories were still being told through printed form.
3. Printing Digitals Myself – If I get the digitals, I can just print them myself.
- Now this topic kind of ties in with the first one but I wanted to elaborate a bit more. When you print at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart or even Costco you are not going to be ensured the same quality as if you would have through your photographer. These places are not often colour calibrated which means that the colours that your photographer or even you may see on your screen of your prints will come out very different at these places. I find Walmart to be very contrasty and red/yellowy. You can see visible differences not only in colour but in paper quality.
A photography session is definitely an investment. It’s an investment of time spent getting your pictures taken, the final products you purchase whether digitally or printed, but most importantly it is an investment of memories. Don’t simply bypass this investment because you are too busy or don’t want to spend the money, memories are so much more important than this! These are memories that you will cherish for many years to come.
Here’s a quick video of my own album of my last pregnancy and of my sweet little newborn daughter. I’m so thankful to have this album!