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The power of prints

A while back, my sweet friend Natalie Franke wrote a blog post about prints. About the fact that our digital world has made it less and less urgent to print our images because the files can find a home on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, etc. And as a photographer who spends so much time working on images for other people, I’ll admit that it takes more of an effort to print images of and for my family than it would if I weren’t a photographer. It took me eight months after we received our wedding images to finally order ONE canvas for our walls. But over the past few months, after receiving hundreds of 4″x6″ proofs with my negatives from Richard Photo Lab, I’ve realized that there is nothing that makes an image come to life like holding it in your hands.

Photographs aren’t meant, weren’t designed to live on a DVD, flash drive, or online gallery. Limiting an image to digital storage only would be like settling for email and Facebook messaging instead of getting together for a girls’ or guys’ night with your friends. Prints MATTER. They matter for us, for our children, for our grandchildren- for the people that come after us, who want proof that love DOES conquer all, who can look at a photograph of their grandparents’ wedding day, knowing that these two souls have a story worth telling. These artifacts, these records of a single blip of time, they MATTER.

Washington DC wedding photographer- why prints matter- Abby Grace Photography

Maybe the lack of prints these days is just a byproduct of the increasing chaos of everyday life around the world. Or maybe it’s a result of being overwhelmed- your wedding photographer sends you 700 images from your wedding day, and you’re thinking “how on earth am I ever going to choose which ones to frame?” Or maybe you don’t know where to print your images.

Here’s some encouragement- just DO IT, already.

As a kid, I loved sitting down and combing through all of the albums my parents filled with images of us. Even though the photos weren’t professional, even though they were crammed into an album my mom probably bought at Wal-Mart, I loved looking through them. Can you imagine if my parents had just settled for the negatives? If they thought “we’ll get around to making prints some other time?” And now, with the negatives lost somewhere along the 20 years since they were captured, all we have are these prints. These 4×6 memories of my brothers and I, of Seth’s cherub-like chubby cheeks, my three-year-old self’s bowl cut, Ethan’s blond hair and that mischievous glint in his eyes.

I’ll make it easy for you- MPix is a great place to start. It’s online, it’s easy to navigate, and the quality is much better than what you’d find at a Kodak kiosk at Target. Or even better! If you’ve had professional photographs taken, order from your photographer- chances are they’ve provided you with an online gallery specifically for that purpose, and the quality of their images will be top-notch. I know a lot of photographers (myself included at times) who’ve all but given up on prints, because with the rise in demand for digital images, people just aren’t taking the time to put those images on paper. People, this is crazy! I KNOW when you booked your wedding or family photographer you weren’t thinking “I can’t wait to upload these photos to a Facebook album and stop there. It’ll be so great to log on and reminisce ever few days.”

Do yourself a favor- when you get home tonight, take 20 minutes to pick out 10 photos you’ve been meaning to print. Then sign up for an MPix account and make it happen. Tonight. Not tomorrow, not “sometime this week.” Tonight. Just DO IT, already.

Washington DC wedding photographer- why prints matter- Abby Grace Photography

Happy Tuesday, friends.

[…] and you’re so overwhelmed that you never even get around to choosing a batch of favorites to print and frame or immortalize in an album. Am I correct? You’ve done this? I thought so. Because […]

[...] my couples the chance to relive their weddings while the memories are still fresh. Excited couples order prints of their wedding photos, which is what I want them to do! Non-excited couples let their images sit on the flash drive, [...]

David Abel - January 30, 2013 - 6:43 am

Great post Abby! Prints are important! Its why we created our Ikea wall (http://www.davidabelphotography.com/blog/2012/ikea-art-and-you-the-necessities-of-printed-photos/) seeing a photo on the computer or ipad is one thing but to see it printed and framed is a completely different experience!

Michelle - January 29, 2013 - 5:25 pm

It took me months to get around to printing the pictures you did for us, and I still haven’t done anything with them, but at least I can hold them. I’m going to go dig up a frame for one right now. Thanks for the kick in the pants :)

Dad - January 29, 2013 - 4:32 pm

Truth dat, I still have hundreds of positives of our trip to China 20 years ago and I want more pictures but who has the time????

Karen Field - January 29, 2013 - 3:45 pm

I had never heard of MPix before. I’ll have to have a look at it. This was educational for me. We need to pick out a picture from Ethan’s wedding for our wall. Good blog! Mom

Jean - January 29, 2013 - 3:32 pm

You are so right! I need to make an MPix order soon!

Vanessa Marie - January 29, 2013 - 3:05 pm

Totally pushed me to finally get those prints! Ordering!

Carrie Holbo - January 29, 2013 - 12:32 pm

Right on, sister!

Kandi Hodges - January 29, 2013 - 10:15 am

Oh, what a great post! I have nearly gone bald learning about printing processes, but oh, it is so worth it to see beautiful images come to life as they roll off the printer. I love it!

Amanda Brendle - January 29, 2013 - 10:14 am

Seriously couldn’t have said it better myself. And I can always use a reminder that it’s so important to print these puppies out! Even just the “for fun” snapshots of daily life.. not everything has to be a pro picture. One of my personal favorites is the last picture I have with my whole family, shot with my point and shoot camera by a stranger in a parking lot after we went out to dinner one night in 2010. I have it framed at my office!

Emily - January 29, 2013 - 9:43 am

So true!! I have so many pictures of my boys, just waiting to be printed! Thanks for the reminder & inspiration!

Jessica Fike - January 29, 2013 - 9:25 am

Great post!!! You’ve inspired to preach for prints, too! :)

Rebekah Hoyt - January 29, 2013 - 9:13 am

So true Abby! The power of holding a print in your hand is something quite unlike anything else. I’m so glad you suggested MPix – I’ll have to remember to share that with my clients as well!! :)

Erica Hamilton - January 29, 2013 - 9:06 am

Amen to that, Abby! The physical photograph is so important and very rewarding to hold an look at them years later, especially since technology is expanding fast, you don’t want to take a chance to losing your family or couple’s memories!

Wendy {Weswen Design} - January 29, 2013 - 9:03 am

You’ve seen my house….. so I wholeheartedly believe in this! It makes your home so much more cozy and “home” when you utilize all that beautiful photography! Just do it!

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