You may be wondering "Why make prints at all, unless you actually want to display a particular image?" In principle, digital data lasts forever. Its always there to look at on your computer monitor. You can migrate from one storage medium to another, and from one computer system to the next, and never lose any information. But...
The hard drive on my lap top recently crashed! I kept saying to myself, "I need to back that up soon"! Well I thought I lost 2 recent photo sessions before sending them to the clients. Talk about a panic attack! For some reason, ( I give GOD the credit) after an hour of trying to restart the computer I was able to get to the desktop for about 5 minutes before the screen went black again. HALLELUJAH! Lesson Learned,
Reasons why you should PRINT your photos!
1) If you store your images on your hard drive, it can crash, and fairly soon. You will be getting a new computer. In the next 30 years you will likely get 10 or more computers. Each time you must move the images. If you store your digital images on removable media (CD's or USB's) you will have to migrate to a new storage medium. When you are 20 or 30 years older than you are now will those images actually get migrated?
2) Unless you make a serious effort to organize your digital image files, it will be hard to find a picture later for reprinting. By default files are stored by a long meaningless number as the file name.
3) It ought to go without saying that you can't depend on anyone else to save your images for you. One of my friends put all her photos on a hosting service called Photopoint. Its now out of business, and she has no family photos. This can happen to any hosting service.
4) Think about what will happen after you are gone, and some relative is going through your things, deciding what to save. Your digital photos files will look to the uninitiated like a pile of obsolete software. Remember, 50 years from now, CDs will be museum pieces. Yes, it will be possible to take them to a service bureau and have them copied to current media, that is if the original storage media lasts. But will your grandchildren know that? And will they bother? If the relative sees real family pictures, printed on paper, those are likelier to be saved.
For all those reasons, if you have family pictures that you would like your grandchildren and their grandchildren to be able to look at, I can't recommend that you store them digitally. Digital is great for anything that doesn't need to last more than a few years. Very few people want to make pictures that will last 3 years and NO LONGER.
The moral of the story is PRINT - PRINT - PRINT!
I am Dawn Hopkins a photographer in Greenville, MI. I specialize in Maternity and newborn photography! I have always loved the way photography has the ability to freeze a moment in time! It's those moments that you cherish for a lifetime. Life goes by so fast and to be able to look back at those moments is priceless!