On any given day, hundreds of thousands of photos are taken and shared in the quickest blink of an eye. Photos of a child’s first birthday, a day spent fishing on a favorite lake, your grandmother’s smile when you surprise her with a visit. Selfies, photographs of our impeccably poured lattes, dancing at our friends’ weddings, more selfies…Fleeting freeze-frames of things we think we want to remember - superficial snapshots or monumental vignettes of a life worth talking about. But after mindlessly sharing these photos with our social media followers or adding them to our phone or computer’s overworked cloud to view later, what ever really becomes of these memories? Are they destined to waste away deep within the trenches of our computers’ hard drives, collecting virtual cobwebs and eventually being forgotten about completely? Will these photographs ever cross the threshold beyond the digital space and into the physical, material world? And in such a digitally dependent world, should they?
We firmly believe the answer is “yes”. Photographs that make us feel something tangible should be given the dignity to become tangible themselves. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what the walls of our homes would say if we cared to line them with tactile visual storylines of lives well lived.
Here are five reasons we believe you should print your photos (and how to get started).
Has your computer ever crashed in the middle of uploading photos from your memory card? Or your hard drive glitches temporarily? Or you simply can’t find that photo you swear you took? The lightheaded, panicky feeling of losing invaluable photographs is certainly not fun, but it’s likely also not something unfamiliar to you. Technology is great, but the technology is not flawless. It fails, it falters, it misplaces things and it’s a bit complicated to completely master. But printing photos is quite straightforward. Printing your photos eliminates the risk of corrupted files, lost RAWs, and fried hard-drives. A printed photo is real, tangible, and effortless (not to mention cheap!) to store. It is a timeless memory or art piece which can be passed down as meaningful heirlooms, free from any technology-related risks or headaches. Storing our photos digitally should be thought of as temporary - a placeholder until we pick the ones we want printed - instead of an end goal.
2. More Meaningful
Growing up, my home had boxes and albums of photographs from birthday parties, family vacations, and even my parents and grandparents’ childhoods. Flipping through these photos was always a bit of a family affair, and oftentimes turned into an evening full of stories about family and nostalgia and the things held most dear. My parents’ wedding album is beautifully outdated, and it’s become a tradition to look through it together every year on their anniversary and laugh about the very 1980’s shag carpet or my mother’s massive silk sleeves. Simply put, there is just something so inherently meaningful, magical, and decidedly inviting about flipping through physical photos as opposed to swiping through digital ones. A kitchen table piled high with physical prints is far more welcoming than a bright screen, and with most of our lives lived through smart phones or computers, it’s wonderfully refreshing to actually sit down and feel something real.
3. Artistically Captivating
You’re quite limited with what you can do with a digital photograph (share it on social media, email it to friends or family, or look at it on your monitor), but the possibilities with print are truly endless. You can create a scrapbook, design a photo album, personalize a gallery wall, put framed photographs on your desk at work, send photographs to friends across the globe to brighten their day, keep them in a box beside your bed, stick them on your fridge, and so much more. There is also something magnificent about seeing your photos in print versus seeing them digitally. The colors are more true, the feelings are more palpable, your artistic vision more readily understood. The permanence of a printed photo is artistically and visually unmatched.
4. A Quality Investment
It is important to honor all of your time, money, and effort spent on photography by ensuring the permanence and longevity of your finished products. Your work was made to be visible, present, and seamlessly tied into the physical world; it was not made to be hastily stored away within a labyrinth of little blue folders piled high on your desktop. Honor your work, your art, and yourself and finish your investment well. A beautifully printed photo is a stunning act of self-respect and appreciation for your chosen valued art form.
5. It’s Never Been Easier
The current digital age has its flaws, of course, but it also comes with an enormous amount of benefits. One of these benefits is that printing your photos in a meaningful and timeless way has truly never been easier or more accessible for all. "The Lab" at Kolla exists to ensure that the process of printing your photos is not only effortlessly simple, but also beautifully individualized, allowing you to truly stand out from the rest. Kolla offers prints on high-quality Hahnemüle paper, branded passepartouts featuring your unique logo, as well as stunningly minimalistic frames to complete your vision.
In a time where it is so expected to simply store away digital memories and virtual timestamps of meaningful moments, it is more important than ever to do the unexpected and print your photos.
Click here to learn more about Kolla’s printing process and to start your first order.
Written by Niamh Wilkins
Niamh is a portrait and wedding photographer originating from Dublin, Ireland but currently based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Deeply rooted in nostalgia and introversion, she seeks to use photography to celebrate the quiet moments for what they are in the hopes that they will be felt and remembered for years to come.
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