I remember being a child and spending hours looking through photo albums. Pouring over those crinkly cellophane covered pages filled with images of my parents as children, photos of family holiday celebrations with relatives I didn't get to see often, and silly pictures of myself as a toddler dressed in some wild creation. I remember asking my parents questions about the photos and having long conversations with them where they recalled the happy memories that were forever captured on film. Photos have always brought me joy and meant a great deal to me.
These days, everyone has a phone camera in their pocket at all times with thousands of photos stored that may never see the light of day. We post images to social media and enjoy them for a day or two, but then they become just an archived memory swirling around the internet or lost within a computer hard drive. We are losing the joy of printed photos. We're missing out on those opportunities to sit down with our children and tell them stories of when we were children ourselves with the pictures to prove it! And although our children's generation is the most photographed of all time, they are also the generation with the least amount of actual printed photos of themselves. What will they have to show their own children and grandchildren once Instagram and Facebook are long gone?
Here are five important reasons to PRINT YOUR PHOTOS!
1. Higher self-esteem and confidence.
Studies have shown that children who grow up with photos of themselves and their family displayed in their home display higher levels of self-esteem and confidence. Many psychologists sing the praises of printed photographs in the home. “My bias is very simple. I think they (family photographs) should be on the wall,” says David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio. “I am very conservative about self-esteem and I think placing a family photo someplace in the home where the child can see it every day without having to turn on a device or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child this sense of reassurance and comfort." says Krauss.
2. Photos leave a legacy behind.
This one is a little dark, but when our loved ones are gone, we have our memories of them and photos of them to hold on to. I cherish every photo I have of my grandparents, my husbands grandparents, and my late father in-law. Having those images of our loved ones who are no longer with us hanging up in our homes is a way of keeping them with us every day. Although it's something no one wants to think about, one day our children will only have memories and photos of us left as well. The movie Coco always makes me cry and really hits home the importance of remembering those who are no longer with us, both with photographs and stories. "Our memories, they have to be passed down by those who knew us in life in the stories they tell about us."
3. Watching your children grow and change through portraits.
I have photos on my wall of each of my three children from the time they were babies until now. I just keep managing to find more wall space in my home when I print new photos to hang because I can't bring myself to take any down. Children grow and change so quickly and being able to look at the images in my home and instantly be brought back to the moments each of my children were chubby little babies is absolute bliss. I can look at an image of my daughter Norah who is almost five and practically hear her little 10 month old baby belly laugh. I look at a picture of my oldest daughter Charlotte who is becoming so mature and grown up and see her mop of curly dark hair she used to have and see her sweet dimples that have faded over time. My son will be three this summer and the images of him playing with a teddy bear or running through almond blossoms at one year old bring me joy each time I look at them. Watching them change and grow through portraits is truly amazing.
4. Would you rather?
No shade to Target (seriously, it's like my second home) but would you rather have generic art (that you tossed in your cart alongside laundry detergent and a clearance sweater) hanging on your walls? Or photos of your family, the people you love more than anything on this earth? To me it's no contest. Sure, I walk past the cute wall decor section in Target or TJ Maxx and am tempted to buy the painting of a floral bouquet or a framed seashell collection. But the photos of my family will always win the wall space battle in my home.
5. Technology is always changing.
When was the last time you watched a VHS, or popped a floppy disc in your computer, or listened to a vinyl record? Yeah... it's been a while for me too. Technology is changing at such a rapid pace that we can't trust that the discs or usb drives we have our images on will still be relevant (or functional) ten years from now. My new laptop doesn't even have a disc drive or a USB drive! Printed products however, will last many many years. All of the printed products I sell for example, are heirloom quality and are guaranteed to last for at least 100 years.
There are so many more reasons to print your photos and I hope this post has inspired you to dig through your hard drives and camera rolls on your phone and PRINT!