Here’s a topic I feel very passionate about: the importance of printing your photos.
I do feel that digital negatives have a place and should not be excluded. My clients have the option to purchase their digital negatives — but all of them get a print product. If you are someone that only wants digital negatives, let me try and change your point of view.
Let’s start with a disc option, such as a DVD. At the time I write this, you can no longer buy a Mac with a DVD rom and I’m sure the PCs aren’t far behind. Then let’s look at the motion picture industry. When was the last time you saw a Blockbuster or Hollywood Video store? They no longer exist, because DVD’s are just about obsolete. Now, you may be thinking, “Well we have Netflix and Hulu.” But let’s say Netflix is our Facebook. You get your digital negatives and post them on Facebook. You're good to go right? Why do I need prints?
Well on Netflix, movies come and go over time. And we have no say. Because this is rented land. Why would you only have your memories on rented land? Facebook can change their terms whenever they want and even more so, they can close shop, with all of your images being lost. Facebook can be the next Myspace. Improbable, maybe, but I would never let someone else have control over my cherished photos.
One more thing to note is that DVD’s suffer from something called disc-rot. In short, disc rot is an occurrence that causes discs to break down over years, eventually becoming unreadable.
So now, what about USB drives? Well for those of you that are as old as me, you may remember a few other data storage mediums like floppy disc, and zip disc. If a family member asks you, “Do you want to see my wedding or family photos?” and then hands you a floppy disc, what the hell would you do with that? In 10 years that will be your USB drive. Count on it. (Mac has already started to put a new usb port on their new laptops, called USB-C.) If that same family member asked you to see their grandparents wedding photos from 1957 and handed you an album of photos. You need nothing but your eyes to see them.
The first photograph taken in history was by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826. To this day you can still see that photo as it travels around the world to museums. Why can you still see it? BECAUSE IT WAS PRINTED! Still need convincing? Take a look at this video.