I’ve been thinking a lot about prints lately. I guess it’s not super surprising, as they seem to be turning up quite a bit recently. When I was home last Christmas, I went through my mom’s meticulously organized photo albums and asked for copies of some prints from my childhood, which she brought with her when she and my dad visited in March. I’ve also been on a weird organizing kick lately (which I’m not going to question, I’m just going to go with it) and I turned up envelopes of prints I had completely forgotten about. I really loved going through these photos, actually holding them and flipping through them, stopping to reflect on the memories.
Shamefully, though, it’s been probably 3 years since I’ve printed any of my personal photos. Everything lives online now – Facebook, Instagram, my blog, and I’m sure at least 3 other social networks that I have no clue how to use. My own wedding photos (600+) are sitting in a folder on my computer. I rarely go through these – when I want to remember our wedding day, I reach for our wedding album.
Looking at most of my personal photos is a pretty big contrast between my memories and my professional work. When I’m shooting for my clients, I’m shooting for perfection. I’m looking for the perfect light, the perfect framing, the perfect background, the perfect emotion. When these all come together, I feel I’ve done great by my clients.
For my own photos (and I think this is the case for many of us), I’m not so hard on myself. Who cares if the light is in our faces, making us squint, or if there’s a distracting background, or heck, if the photo is a little blurry. It’s more about capturing the memory. I don’t tear apart my own personal photos from a technical perspective when looking through them – I smile because the people I love are in them.
I’m finally getting a point here. Going through those stacks of photos made me realize I need to start printing my own photos again. We don’t know, technology-wise, what the future will bring. I’m typing this post on a laptop which doesn’t have a disc drive. I used to deliver all my clients’ photos on disc, but now I’ve moved on to USBs. Maybe USBs won’t exist 10 years from now. I also know I’m not unique in that I probably have 3,000+ personal photos on my computer I NEVER look through. I just don’t. If I’m on my computer, I’m probably online, have 25 tabs open, and am being distracted by 14 things. But sitting down with those photos – I really focused on those. It’s just different, holding a tangible product, seeing your memory.
So this year – make a commitment to print some of your photos! They don’t have to be professional photos. Take the prints to Costco, or to my favorite online print company, Mpix.com. Make an album. Frame your photos! It was a fun surprise turning up these prints, but I really want to be able to see them regularly as well.
I’m in the process of taking some of those photos and framing them, so I’ll definitely update with the finished product! Stay tuned!