We’re in danger of becoming the lost generation. Whilst Neil Armstrong only featured in five images taken on the moon, you probably took more selfies getting ready this morning. How will the most photographed time in history endure? People think that images saved on “the cloud” are safe forever. What is the cloud, apart from a server sitting in a building somewhere - servers break, data gets lost or the programs we use to open those files no longer understand the data.
Google’s Vice President Vint Cerf warned that you should start printing out treasured photographs or risk losing them; stating the 21st century could become a second "Dark Ages" because so much data is now kept in digital format. He said that future generations would struggle to understand our society because technology is advancing so quickly that old files will be inaccessible.
As I sit here looking through my grandparents’ wedding album from 1945 that statement is certainly true. In an ideal world we should do both. I love the fast food nature of social media that Instagram and Facebook affords, but we really must start to think more carefully about what we’re leaving behind, about what we value.
As a photographer I take more images than most, both for you my lovely clients and also for my own family. From the age of six months I photographed my daughter everyday until she was seven years old. Every single one of the 2648 images were printed in albums to be treasured by our family. To lose these photographs would be unthinkable. Photographs are incredibly valuable to me.
Last year I visited one of Italy’s top photographic printers. The tour around the factory reinforced why I love print. The ability to hold something so special, to trap a moment in time and make it tangible. It’s why you should think carefully about having your wedding in some form of print; be a beautiful album telling the whole story, or a fine art print to hang on the wall.
I love the flexibility of digital but I adore the feel of print. It’s not a photograph until it’s printed, treasure it.