Make sure to get prints made of your digital photos
Make sure to get prints made of your digital photos. You’re probably wondering why I would say that. Technology is always changing. You may have all of your digital photos safely stored on your computer, an external hard drive, on CD/DVD/USB. However, there’s always a possibility that you can A) lose that information in a computer crash or hardware malfunction or B) not be able to access it when technology changes or C) lose data due to ‘bit rot’. A tangible print will outlast any digital copies you have of your cherished photos. We just need to look at old black and white photos that are over 100 years old.
Most people haven’t heard of the term ‘bit rot’. Heck, I hadn’t heard of it until I started to research this topic. To understand what bit rot is, take a look at an article written in The Gardien. They interviewed Vint Cerf. He’s considered one of the fathers of the internet. Here’s what he had to say about storing all of our historical information in digital form:
“We are nonchalantly throwing all of our data into what could become an information black hole without realising it. We digitise things because we think we will preserve them, but what we don’t understand is that unless we take other steps, those digital versions may not be any better, and may even be worse, than the artefacts that we digitised,” Cerf told the Guardian. “If there are photos you really care about, print them out.”
I shoot wedding photography and portraits. My clients end up with digital files. Sadly, many of them rarely make prints. If they do make prints, they get only a few prints made. or if they do. Remember that 25 years after your wedding, you may not have anything to look at. Besides, wouldn’t you prefer to look at your cherished wedding photos in a beautiful wedding album, instead of sitting in front of a computer screen? (That’s ONLY if the digital files actually last that long, or if modern technology is able to read the files.) Surprisingly, 25 years down the road, you may just be sitting together, without any photos. Instead, you’ll just be able to reminisce about your wedding memories because your photos are rendered unreadable. How sad would that be?
Or what about a zombie apocalypse? Ok, yes, I’m joking, but you never know.
Photos Last A Long Time
Here’s a photo of my my maternal grandparents. This photo was taken about 80 years ago. 80 years. Think about that. This little sepia photograph has lasted 80 long years. Will we be able to say that about our digital files? I doubt it. So people, let’s all be smart and start printing our cherished memories. Ge prints made. Make an album. Heck, make a coffee table book. Just make hard copies. You and your posterity will be glad you did.