I find that during our busy, hectic and digital lives we forget how much impact a printed photograph can have. We shoot, like, post, and share our images to friends, family and to the World Wide Web but we forget what the meaning of those physical paper images have on our lives. Do not not get me wrong. Sharing photographs on social media sites is not only useful, but helpful in bringing people all around the world together. I am sooo thankful for sites like Facebook, so that I can view the moments that I miss: my brothers new home, my cousins uni graduation and my college girlfriends weddings. Events that I, because I live on a different continent, can not always attend. But PHOTOGRAPHS! Professionally printed or bound in an album are gifts and keepsakes that top all others. Maybe they mean much more to me because I am a photographer, but I feel it is my duty to pass on my knowledge and understanding and joy to those who forget how meaningful printed photography can be. So please read on.
I recently took part in a Art Festival in Munich, Germany called ARTMUC. A 4 day art fair that was open to the public and to young artists of all backgrounds, from or living around Munich. It was a great experience! Not only did it force me to put together a collection of images in large scale form to show to others, but it made me love, enjoy and critique my work as a photographer and artist. I saw how thousands of people reacted to my images. How they felt, what they looked at and what details they took with them. Close up, with their eyes focused and in peace and quiet without other distractions. This was my first large scale exhibition I am so happy with the results. I would highly recommend this event and encourage others to partake in others of a similar nature.
So my lesson for you all. PRINT YOUR PHOTOS! Whether it be at your local drug sote, a pro lab or with your home printer. I realize everyone has different budgets and options but holding a photo in your hands that you do not have to load, charge or swipe is timeless. Your grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends will thank you. And please take them with a camera! Any camera that has a lens and that is not your smart phone or tablet. ( That is a whole other topic that I will stay away from right now, otherwise we will be here for days.) The quality will be better, the image will last longer and you will not look like an idiot zooming and retaking until you hold the device still enough. Kids will only graduate and babies will only be born once. Your hike to the top of mount so and so from the weekend, your grandmothers 90th birthday smile, and your new puppy’s piercing blue eyes are moments that do not repeat themselves.
These prints will hang in your home on the walls. They will be given as gifts to friends and family to pin on the fridge. And will be put together into books, albums and scrapbooks for generations to come to flip through. These images will bring many smiles to many faces on a daily basis, and that is a gift you can not replace. Long live printed photographs!