Hey there, it’s Aubrey with Brey Photo here to shout this from the roof tops: print your photos.
I know right off the bat you’re probably thinking, “Okay, sales pitch coming!” and yes, it is true that every Brey Photo gallery now comes fully stocked with an excellent print and product collection, but this is something that gets deeper into my soul than the $.10/4×6 I make when you place an order through the BP Gallery Shop, trust me.
Actually, what’s sparked this blog post is pure nostalgia. If you’ve shot with me before, you know that one of the reasons I’m so passionate about delivering quality images is because your photos will outlive you. What I wouldn’t give to have more photos of my friends and loved ones that are no longer here! Your photos, not to be dramatic or anything, are your legacy. They are a piece of time, frozen still, to capture everything. The fact that you can hand down a piece of yourself to your children, and their children, and beyond even when you’re long gone, is actually amazing.
Unfortunately, we like to keep our lives on our phones now. People keep things in this giant Cloud of data… but what happens when that Cloud disappears? Stop for a moment. What photos would you have left if, tomorrow, Instagram shut down?
“But that won’t happen,” you say. Okay, where are your MySpace photos?
And it’s not just social media. My mom has tens of VHS tapes of home videos that I’ve never seen. I have CDs of images from my first road trip that I haven’t looked at since I took them. And, I’ll admit, I’ve had several phones fall into several toilets, losing everything on them. We are letting our legacies die on our devices.
Here are 3 major reasons to print your photos from a reputable, professional photo lab:
Prints never go out of style. Unlike the floppy disk, the CD, and yes, even the USB, the printed product retains its value and serves its purpose no matter how many years pass. Our parents and grandparents had no idea that their groundbreaking devices would someday become irrelevant, and we don’t either. A print is a backup of your images for when the day comes that we’re all Cyborgs taking photos with our eye cameras.
Printed media is art. Why are you hanging mass produced IKEA art when you could print a photo of your kid laughing? Someday, you will no longer like that giant poster of that delightful looking ox you’ve never met— I promise you.
Professional products will last. Drugstores and big box chains can produce wildly inexpensive prints for next to nothing, and while I know it might be hard to pass up $.09 prints, I’d encourage you to look through your shoe boxes full of your old Kodak prints that you had developed at the ACME and tell me if they still look the same as they did 20 years ago when they were taken. CVS, Walgreens (aka Shutterfly), Walmart, Costco, Snapfish, and the like aren’t equipped to handle professional photo edits and color grading. They use cheap materials that degrade, fade, and smear. It pains me to see you guys print the images you invested so much in through a box store that turns all your photo’s colors into faded sludge. When you order a product from the BP Gallery Shop, you’re ordering archival grade products that can be physically handed down— plus, since I review and fill every order, the quality assurance is pretty unbeatable if I do say so myself! 😉
I say this a lot, but photos are an investment. Make sure you’re following through with that investment and creating something tangible with it. And I know, you’re bracing yourself after five days of shopping and Black Friday madness for the sales pitch— but there really isn’t one. This is just your friendly tristate photographer begging you to please put “print my photos” next to “exercise,” “eat healthier,” and “drink more water” on your list of New Year’s resolutions.
xo and happy holidays,