Printing Photos in a Digital Age

by - 16 June



I stopped printing photos as soon as I got my first digital camera and started posting pictures on Facebook. I no longer saw the need and soon enough digital photo frames burst into the scene to diminish our need for physical photographs. 

We fill hundreds of pounds worth of SD cards every year and there's still never enough room. Why do we do this? Because photos are available to us in excess, so much so that we save even accidental shots. Photos are now as easily accessible as well as disposable to us (take snapchat's self-destructing photos for example). I know that I have that camera icon without having to unlock my phone so that I never miss a beautiful shot. Instagram acts as my digital photo album to reminisce on the memories of precisely 52 weeks ago.


Madness for Memory 

I have full SD cards lying around everywhere, and regardless I still make another amazon order of the next GB up. I also have a hefty external hardrive sitting pretty on my desk so that every few months I can fill it with photos from my phone to relieve myself from the anxiety of having that "MEMORY FULL" message on my phone. My external hardrive is 2TB, that is terabytes! 

Dropbox offer a lovely 50GB for you to automatically back up files and photos from your laptop and phone. I don't want to get into the Dropbox vs external hardrive debate now as being the organised person I am I use the both for different reasons. There's so much out there that I find myself with the duplicate photos everywhere not knowing whether they've been backed up in four different clouds storages or not. I find that with all this madness for memory we forget to look back and enjoy our actual memories. 





Real Memories

There is something much more gratifying about holding your photo prints in hand than it is about the likes you get on Instagram. There's no need to remember your Dropbox, Onedrive, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram password anymore. You can decorate a scrapbook and frame your best photos.

Polaroids are the ones to thank for the re-emergence of print photos. They've reminded us of the feeling we've long forgotten and got us obsessed.


In an age of instant gratification managing your camera roll of 273,585 photos and deciding which ones to print is just too time consuming. The polaroid lets you have the moment and the photo at once. It's an old camera in a time before camera reels but it works perfectly for our selfie stick waving generation.



How I Organise Photos

Every 3 months I clear out my phone of all the blurry shots and back up the rest in folder by season or momentous event on dropbox. For example: "Summer 2014" or "Emma's Wedding May 2015". Here's my other uses for dropbox:
Dropbox - saves Uni/work files from my laptop | share files with friends

I also use an external hardrive of a massive 2TB to keep my YouTube videos and the odd phone videos. 

External Hardrive - saves my YouTube videos | phone/camera videos | phone/camera photos.

All this makes it so easy to select the photos I actually want to print without spending a fortune of 437 photos of one event. Apps like FreePrints have also made it easy to print photos from social media and your phone collectively. There's also so much more online.



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