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For many of us, taking a photo is as easy as pulling out our smartphone and tapping our screen. But to these community members, snapping the photo is only part of the process; it’s making those memories tangible that truly completes the act. Here, we spoke to seven photographers — who capture everything from travel to their kids in the backyard — to hear what motivates them to make online photo printing a practice, bringing photography prints off their devices and into their lives.
I Print Because...
I Want To Surround Myself With Memories
I make sure to print photos once a month so we can hang images of our favorite moments around our home. My children and I are so well documented, and it’s easy to just post an image of our adventures — but there is something so special about finding your past adventures in print and holding them in your hand. Being able to hang them, tape them up, or frame them makes the memory much more vivid and not forgotten.
It Allows Me To Relive My Travels
I have never once regretted having tangible photos of important parts of my life. I travel as much as possible, and every time I return from a trip, I select some highlights to print. I make this a priority in the first few days that I’m home, as I settle back into my routine. For really big trips, I love to make photo albums — receiving those books in the mail and adding them to my collection is almost as exciting as taking the trip itself. They make the best conversation pieces, and I love being transported back to those sweet memories when I look at them.
My Kids Love Looking Through Printed Photos
I print photos because my kids love, love, love looking through them. Every year, I make an Artifact Uprising photo book, and it's one of my kids’ favorite things to do. They know exactly where they are on the bookshelf, and they pull them down and ask about where we were and how old they were. It's like our own little family history, and I love it.
I Appreciate The Reflection
I think as the world moves more digital, the tangible becomes more necessary — printed photos interrupt the digital flow. It goes against swiping from photo to photo on your phone. It requires you to sit for a minute and focus on just one image. I print at least one photo from every trip, shoot, or roll of film. This has been huge for me, as it requires that I reflect on what took place, versus just rushing to the next thing. Sometimes one image will stick out to me that I print, sometimes it’s several that I make into a book. But the most important part for me is the slowing down it provides — it’s such an important part of my life and work.
It Memorializes Each Year
What I've found helpful in making print a practice is keeping individual photo folders of my children on my phone. At each child's birthday, I'm reminded to create a photo book for them, and then start a new folder for next year's book. It may take several delayed attempts to implement, but over time it will eventually become a wonderful part of your routine.
I Want Tangible Photos In Our Digital Age
As a photographer, so much of my work-related anxiety is attached to the thought of all of my hard drives and cloud storage suddenly vanishing or becoming unreadable, so printing images is a step in my workflow that has become a real priority (especially since becoming a mother). On a personal level, I make it a goal to print a Softcover Photo Book of family photos from my Instagram feed every 50-100 images or so. We now have an entire shelf of albums, and my girls love paging through them. I'm also constantly updating our walls with new framed prints of our kiddos (and admittedly running out of wall space in the process). For clients, I like to surprise my families with a Wood Block & Prints after booking their first session with me. It's such a beautiful reminder that feeling the weight of a physical print is so much more meaningful than pixels on a screen.
Nothing’s Better Than Gifting Photos
I find myself most motivated to print when I take photos that have captured authentic emotions and genuine moments of people I love and care about. Living in a digital age, there's something special about taking time to print photos and give them as personalized gifts. Having a digital archive I can access anytime is convenient, but I think the benefit of printing is that it allows you to really slow down and appreciate the physicality of the photos.
Motived to create photography prints of your own?