Monday, September 12, 2016

digital photo storage is a back up, not a goal

If you learn nothing else from this blog, let it be this.

There's kind of a trend right now, a focus on how many ways we can back up our digital photos, how to safely store them, how to make sure they are secure.  But I'm afraid we're missing the point.

The point of taking photos is not to store them somewhere.  The point of taking photos is to be able to look at them, read their stories, and recall happy memories while doing it.  

The gift of photos is that they can allow you to re-live a moment, to enjoy something all over again, to fall in love again, even to grieve and heal.   That happens when we interact with the photos, hold them, see them, and love them with their stories.  

That doesn't happen by saving them to an external hard drive or some paid online photo storage place.

Think about it like this:  Back in the "olden days" we would take pictures with film.  Then we'd go get the film developed, and we'd get back 2 things--#1 physical photos and #2 negatives.  The physical photos are what we wanted.  They would allow us to see our memories right in our hands.  They show who the new baby looks like.  They captured the wedding day.  The physical photos are what we took the pictures for in the first place.

Now, the negatives were also valuable because they were the backup in case anything happened to those precious photos.  So we made sure we stashed those away somewhere safe.  Think about photos in digital form that way:

When you take photos, focus more on how you're going to preserve them IN PRINT rather than focusing so much on how you're going to preserve them digitally.  And, yes, certainly preserve them digitally (external hard drive, flash drive, CD, online, on your computer, etc.)--and it's safest to preserve them digitally in TWO ways because technology is so fickle and always changing.  Just never lose sight of the fact that the digital storage is a backup.

The most meaningful way to preserve photos is in print. 
 That's because print is where you can preserve the memories that make the photo mean something in the first place.  Print is how they get seen and loved, how they make a difference, how they are enjoyed.  

So you definitely want to print your photos in a high-quality way.  Be sure you are including the stories of the photos when you print them, though--otherwise, half their value is gone!  The details of the photo need to be preserved just as much as the photo itself.  Who is in the photo?  Where was it taken?  Why was it taken?  What are the memories that are associated with it?

These days we spend so much time looking for the best way to preserve our digital photos digitally.  

I hope you're now looking for the best way to preserve your photos in PRINT!  Check out my favorite heirloom-quality options and see which one is your favorite.

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