I’ve got got terrabytes of digital images of my pets, past and present, and while I look at some of the files from time to time, the photographs I look at the most often are printed photographs. They are the most accessible – I see them in my living room, on the way up to my home office, in my kitchen – pretty much everywhere.
Physical prints have a undeniable allure; seeing a photograph in the context of the house, holding the printed photograph, and the joy it brings as it transports us back to the moment the photograph was taken. It’s more than a mere image; it’s a tangible memory, a snapshot of time filled with emotions and stories, something that we can literally hold on to, feel, and share.
While the digital age has brought convenience and instantaneity to photography, it has also brought forth concerns about the longevity and accessibility of our cherished memories. Digital files, stored in the myriad of devices and platforms, run the risk of becoming obsolete, corrupted, or lost in the shuffle of technological advancement.
Accessibility and Sharing: Digital photos, often relegated to the confines of our phones, computers, or the cloud, are not as readily accessible to our friends and family as a photo album or a framed picture on the wall. They don’t offer the same spontaneity and shared experience as flipping through a photo book during a family gathering, laughing, and reminiscing together.
Passing Down Memories: Digital files are also less likely to be passed down through generations. Think of the treasure trove of stories and memories encapsulated in old family photo albums. In contrast, digital images, trapped behind screen locks and passwords, might never see the light of day for future generations to discover, explore, and connect with.
Technological Obsolescence: Moreover, with the constant evolution of technology, there’s a looming threat of digital files becoming inaccessible. Formats change, storage media become outdated, and files can get corrupted, making the memories they hold susceptible to being lost in the sands of time. This is something I worry about a fair amount. (No, really; I do!) Remember when you might get a CD of images? How many computers these day have CD readers? How many external CD readers are compatible with newer computers? And flash drives – USB-A drives. My new laptop only has USB-C ports. I have an adapter, but how long before those don’t work? Certainly I can (and do) upload photos to the cloud, but that is a guarantee that unless you have my password, you won’t see 99% of my photographs.
The Power of Prints
Printed photographs of our adorable pets are not just memory keepers; they are conversation starters, mood lifters, and constant reminders of the love and joy our pets bring into our lives. They serve as beautiful, personalized artifacts, adding warmth and character to our homes.
Longevity: Prints, if stored properly, can last for generations, allowing our descendants to explore, understand, and feel a connection to their heritage and familial bonds. And before you ask if your grandkids, and nephews/nieces will want to see photographs of your pets, the answer is “yes!” Seeing photographs of relatives’ pets makes the people relatable in a way that is hard to replicate through story-telling alone.
Shared Experience: Physical photographs offer a collective experience, fostering bonds as they are viewed, talked about, and cherished by family and friends, allowing our pets’ antics and our shared moments with them to live on in the tales we tell, and the tales our relatives will tell about us in the future.
Tangible Connection: Having a tangible photo to hold creates a sense of connection and presence, allowing us to relive the emotions and the context in which it was taken, something a digital image viewed on a screen does not replicate as well; the tactile bond and real-world linkage doesn’t happen with a computer screen.
In a world rapidly moving towards digitization, let’s not underestimate the value and impact of a printed photograph, especially of our beloved pets. Let’s continue to freeze the playful pounces, the cozy cuddles, and the loving gazes in prints, creating a legacy of joy and companionship that can be felt, shared, and passed down through the annals of time.
Remember, it’s not just about capturing a moment; it’s about preserving a feeling, a story, a piece of our lives. So, let’s ensure that our fur babies’ tales of love, mischief, and loyalty are not just clicked and swiped away but are printed, framed, and cherished forever!
If you’d like to learn more about the archival-quality prints I offer, as well as the myriad of ways to display and keep photographs for future generations, contact me. Yes, I’ll offer you digital files, as well, because having computer screen backgrounds of you pets is another way to ensure you’ll see the photographs, but I really want you to have prints, whether they are loose prints, something framed, a photo book or something else tangible. In 5, 10, 20 years or more, the prints will live on, while the digital files will just be a bunch of 0s and 1s.