I know I am guilty of this, but it is something that I am consciously working on. I have actually moved back to film cameras for a lot of my photography, specifically so I can have a tangible document (a negative). It still makes me nervous that after shooting something on a digital camera, and going through all my back-up procedures (a topic for a future post), I really only have a bunch of ones and zeros on a magnetic disk (or two or three). My feeling is that if you don’t have a print, you don’t have a photograph. For this reason, all of my wedding and family portrait sessions include a complete set of real photographic proof prints.
One of the great things about digital photography is our ability to pick and choose the pictures we want to print. If you shoot fifty pictures at a birthday party, you don’t need to print all fifty, just pick your five favorites and print them. But, don’t forget to print them. The follow through is where we get into trouble.
I would recommend setting up an account with flickr (did you know you can order prints through flickr?), Costco, Adoramapix, Winkflash, Snapfish, or any of the other online print providers and start uploading your favorite pictures. A quick tip – the printing is cheap compared to the shipping, so wait until you have enough images to make it worth the shipping costs, or if you live near a Costco, you can order the prints online and pick them up at the store.
When documenting your family, it is critically important to have these memories archived in a tangible way. If you are shooting digitally, you no longer have negatives to fall back on, so prints are your best way to ensure that the memories you have captured will be visible for generations to come.
Sigma 50mm f2.8 Macro
ISO 100, f4.0, 1/60