Is your Family Trapped in the Cloud?

Recently I was asked why I no longer offer images from my sessions on a disk or flash drive.  So, I thought I would take a moment to share the truth about digital files vs print.

We are surrounded by cameras.  We have them on our phones and iPads.  There are small point-and-shoots, disposable cameras, modern Instax cameras, or if you’re really fancy, there are DSLR’s a plenty!  We take pictures constantly.  I am a mom of 2 very active kids and I, too am always clicking away.  We want to document every second of our lives.  But where do all of these pictures go?  Maybe they’re being posted on social media.  There are so many ways we can share our photos these days with the swipe of our finger.  Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, text, email…you name it!  Our devices are full of pictures.  I will confess that if you were to go through my phone, you would find tons of pictures.  But, what are we doing with all of these images?  If you’re like millions of others, they will stay on your phone or in the “cloud” somewhere until you run out of space and have to “just delete a few” to make room for new ones.  How many of them have actually been printed and displayed for you and your family to enjoy?

As a photographer, I completely understand the trend of giving out digital files to “save”, or so that you can print them on your own, but my question is why?  If those files are not printed, they will eventually go away.  It’s sad to say that countless times I have run into clients who have shared that they still haven’t printed any of the digital images from their session.  Months or even years have passed and those images are still in digital format.  All of the time that went in to preparing for their perfect session and the joyful connections and smiles we were able to capture are trapped on a disk or in the virtual world.  Maybe the idea is that they’re safely stored somewhere, and they can just be printed anytime.  What they may not know or even think about is that digital files are not archival.  Professionally printed images are.  Fact:  You can expect a digital file to have a life expectancy of 10-20 years if stored properly.  Professionally printed images, however, are archival to 100 years or more when stored properly.digital files vs print, sycamore newborn photographer, Sycamore Family Photographer, Dekalb Family Photographer, St Charles Family Photographer, Print your images

The Safest Way to Preserve your Memories is to Print them

So let’s talk about digital files vs print.  You can always make a new digital image from a print.  You cannot however, print from a corrupted file.  What happens when your hard drive or CD/DVD fails (and it will in time)?  If you haven’t backed up those images you may have lost every image you saved.  The average life span of a hard drive is 5-8 years.  Add to that the fact that technology makes media file types obsolete over time.  As of 2015, new computers don’t even have CD drives anymore.  So even if your files manage to last the maximum 20 years, the technology of tomorrow may not support these file types.  Want proof?  Try to find a slot on your laptop or computer to pop in that old floppy disk from college….see what I mean?  Technology is changing fast!

I recently read an article that said, we are the MOST photographed generation of all time and yet there will be no pictures for our future generations to see.  How sad is that?  Now, maybe I am more of a photo enthusiast than most, but I don’t want my kids to look back in 30 years and have nothing to physically touch and visually remind them of their childhood.

We are the MOST photographed generation of all time and yet there will be no pictures for our future generations to see.”

One of my favorite things to do, especially now that our kids are getting older, is to flip back through our old photo albums.  As much as it pains my heart to see how fast the time is flying by, when I look at our pictures I get to take a tiny trip back in time and remember all of the ages and stages that we have loved so much.  Our kids love looking at the photographs too.   Did you know that research has shown that having images of your family displayed in your home helps to boost children’s confidence and self esteem?  It’s true!

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It has been estimated that more photographs have been taken in the last five years than in all previous years combined since the invention of the camera but how many of them have been printed?  We are more likely to lose all of our digital images due to a corrupted hard drive than a house fire or natural disaster.

So, why am I posting about all of this?  To get you thinking.  Do you still have those digital images from your last portrait session sitting on your hard drive or a cd in your drawer, or…gasp, maybe you never even downloaded them?!

For your every day images I encourage you to get a slip in album or even a shoe box and start printing off your images. There are so many neat online printing companies. Some even give you prints for free!  In my next post, I will share some fun ways to have your images printed and displayed for you to enjoy.  For your family portraits, I encourage you to hire a professional photographer that assists you with choosing images to display on your walls or in albums that are archival and heirloom quality.

Take a look at these displays.  Which would you rather pass down to your kids and grandchildren?  It looks a little silly, but this is the reality of the digital age we live in.

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Suzanne Krull Photography is a full-service, portrait photography business. What does “full-service” mean?  It means that I will literally guide you throughout the entire process so the prints and heirloom products that you purchase are well thought out. From your wardrobe, to the location, to where to display them in your home… I will help you every step of the way.

If you are ready to invest in your family’s memories, I would love to help you create beautiful images that will last for generations to come.  Contact me today to find out more information about booking your session.