“…but where does the CD go?”

While recently chatting it up with another artist friend who had bought the new 27″ iMac, she mentioned she felt a little silly as she asked that very question of Apple’s support team when she got home and realized that she couldn’t find the CD drive. She couldn’t find it because Apple no longer includes a CD drive on their iMac computers.

It’s just one more reason why we encourage our clients to have their photographs printed! Even if you managed to buy a CD of photos, where would you put it? I understand that most people still have a CD drive but that will no longer be the case in just a few short years. Because digital media changes so quickly, it is more important than ever to print your photographs. If you don’t, you’ll be required to constantly update the media and the more pictures you save, the larger that project becomes.

After all, can you still play your iPod on a CD player? Or a CD in a tape recorder? Or a tape on a record player? Who cares, you’re probably streaming live anyway. Get it?

Just like with music, you need to update your digital photos to the most current format [film scan, CD, thumb drive, hard drive, cloud etc.] in order to keep them “archived.” And I use the term “archived” loosely because every time you open those files, they diminish little by little. [For example, making a tape recording while playing a song on vinyl is not going to have the same sound quality as playing that vinyl on a record player. It loses quality.]  And just like a CD can get a scratch or a tape can become tangled, your digital files can become corrupt over time or when moving them to new format. That means they are damaged and lost forever. And I know you think you might be able to stay on top of it. I mean, a disc to a thumb drive seems manageable (as long as the files are still in tact). But when your parents were listening to Chubby Checker do the Twist, the internet hadn’t even been invented yet! Imagine their shock if you said “One day, you’ll be able to watch this on YouTube.” Thankfully music moguls have conglomerates who continue to archive their work so that we can all watch Chubby twist his little hips online. We have companies like Disney who spend millions of dollars and countless hours restoring their films so we can watch Cinderella on blu-ray. And in all fairness, because we see those oldies but goodies updated regularly, we really don’t give much thought to our own creative work that needs preserving. I think it’s fair to say that you probably don’t have access to those teams for your Easter Sunday egg hunts or your Sweet 16 or how you looked just a few months before meeting your little girl for the very first time [click here for maternity].

I understand you want to keep the digital files for peace of mind and they are nice to have as a backup, but having your photographs professionally printed is the only real way of backing them up. Not to mention that your favorite photographs are meant to be seen! They are meant to bring a smile to your face when you are sitting at the breakfast table and look up at a big print of your little one covered in the frosting of his very first cake. They are meant to remind you of the love you have for your husband and the life you’ve built together as you flip through your wedding album. And they are meant inspire you to be confident and appreciate the person you are as you get dressed every morning, passing by your bedroom boudoir wall portrait. Your photographs are artwork that is meant to be seen!

You don’t really believe those digital files are the equivalent to a film negative, do you? If you did, you definitely don’t want to know what a photographer would have to charge you for them!

So, print your pictures. I suggest printing all your photographs small to have as keepsakes and choosing your absolute favorites to decorate your walls with. Your photographer can help you narrow down your decision and give advise on what will work best in your home. But, you have to start by making the commitment to print your photographs regularly.

Kodak Fotomat

Didn’t you just hate running errands when you were a kid?! I remember when I was little, one of those errands usually included dropping off a roll of film or two at the drive thru photo lab. It was part of our regular routine. And when I was in my mid twenties, my mom gifted me the most amazing photo album. It was a full collection of photos of me from birth to age 16. It included things like my mom’s hospital bracelet, dedication certificate and lots of photos! Photos of family vacations when I was a baby, holidays, music recitals, trips, birthdays etc. It was amazing. All those important memories, in one location and passed down to me so that I could revisit them whenever I like and share them with my own family one day.

I’m guilty of it as well. As a professional photographer, I have access to the best labs and even I have photographs sitting on my phone or desktop that need to be printed. We get busy. We wait until we have a bulk order and then forget all together. I get it! But I’m making that commitment with you today to print my pictures! Will you? If it makes it easier, just order 10 a week. Can I let you in a little secret? When people took pictures on film, they had no more than 36 photos per roll! You don’t need to print thousands at a time. You just need to print regularly. Your children and your children’s children will thank you for it. I can’t imagine growing up in a world where years, even decades at a time, of memories and moments are just missing because they were never printed, can you? Comment below if you will pledge to print your pictures!! 

If you want us to create and print your pictures, just email info@shannon-michelle.com for bookings.

[Drive thru photo courtesy of Kodak]

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