Why Print Is Still King

So here is why I will no longer be providing a “Digital Only” service …

I know that the majority of budget wedding photographers work in this way “all of the days pictures on a USB stick”. I know that on the face of it, it does appear to be an easy way to reduce costs. However this may not be the best decision in the long term and the reason lies in the future.

My thoughts on this issue were polarized when I visited The Photography Show this year at the NEC and I sat and listened to a talk by Scott Kelby – renowned photographer, trainer and author. A very inspiring talk throughout, but it was the footnote to his talk that stuck in my mind particularly, and it was simply this:

“Print Stuff”

As photographers, professional, semi-pro or pure amateur we all store thousands of digital files. We store them on SD cards, USB sticks, computers, tablets, external USB hard drives, CDs, DVDs and BluRay disks, and now of course all backed up in The Cloud.

Those who have grown up with “USB” and “jpeg” and “RAW” will know little else and will have all the faith in the world. Those of us who have been around a little longer will know that progress over the last two decades alone has been incredible, you could say that we are light years from where we were in the 80s and 90s.

Who knows how long optical discs will actually last? How long will USB be supported as a technology? How long will it before jpeg files are “old hat” and will become difficult or impossible to access?

The truth is we just don’t know, but there is ONE constant in this world, one technology that we can rely on …. Print.

Yes, over time print does fade, but it takes a long time. We all have a box in the loft with a collection of books from when we were kids, always good to reminisce and look back on every now and again. You just pick up the book … and open it.

But in 30 years time when you find the USB stick, or the hard drive, or even the CD with all your wedding pictures on, and you want to have a quick browse and reminisce, what will you need to do to view them? Will your new “nano-pc” or “iPad 38” have a USB port? Or a disc tray? Will you need to download some software from some “Open Source” that will enable you to open those “old fashioned jpegs”?

I don’t just “take photos” …

I consider my role as a photographer is to record a moment of history in your family life. That is a very important job, future generations will be relying on those images to understand their heritage. So it is that responsibility that I take very seriously and insist, yes I do insist, that I produce a book as part of your wedding package.

It doesn’t have to be a fancy book, or a high end album, it may just be a simple hard back book that one day somebody will fetch down from the loft …

… and simply open it.

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