Last week, we had a huge snow storm that took down trees and killed the power to many Westport neighborhoods (Greenwich area was thankfully mostly spared). My house ended up not having power for over 24 hours. During that time, we snuggled by the fire, brushed teeth with cold water, and charged our cell phones using my laptop (apparently you can do that).
After about 8 hours, we gave up and abandoned ship, so to speak.. but one thing became very clear. In this day and age, we rely heavily on electricity and most of all, our devices. Once the batteries ran out, the iPads and phones were just solid bricks of useless technology. All the entertainment they had became completely inaccessible. And when you think about it, the fact that we need our computers and phones to see all our photos nowadays, means we are relying on a third-party device for something that we would, in theory, want to be available 100% of the time at any point in the future.
The image file format we use (.jpg) was only just created in 1992. We often forget that most of us (at least the people that are my age!) didn't grow up with omnipresent computers, not to mention cell phones and iPads. Thirty years from now, who knows what our devices will look like and what file formats they will be using (seriously, we could have holograms by then). So while keeping our memories on hard drives seems like the best place for them right NOW, it might not be in the future.
And that brings me to the printed photograph.
The earliest surviving photographic engraving was made in 1825. As far as time-tested technology goes, that's pretty damn solid. Paper has been used to preserve our writings, stories, and people's memories for centuries. And the best part, you don't need any special gadgets to view it. So when the power goes out, digital formats change, or companies go out of business.. you are still guaranteed to be able to view your images. Most of all, I feel that printed photographs simply bring more joy into our lives. And when they're printed on fine art photo paper, well, that's even better!
I know for a fact that the families I work with really enjoy having their images printed and ready-to-go (so to speak) when they leave the Studio. And I bet Lauren, Alice, and Lucy will certainly appreciate having beautiful family photos when they're older, too.