In this digital age, the majority of us just aren't bothering with photo prints. But that's a huge mistake. And here's why: barring a disaster that burns your house down or a flood that sweeps through your basement, your photo prints will be a highly viable means to share your family stories for at least your lifetime and probably longer. My grandmother passed away almost 6 months ago at the age of 90. But her childhood photos are still with us, in great condition, and continue to tell the story of her life. Some of those photos have been around almost a century and we can still see the faces of our ancestors, see the clothes they wore, the cars they drove, so many interesting and amazing details of their lives. Without those prints, the memories would surely fade into oblivion.
Hard drives fail. Cloud storage providers go out of business. Smartphones get lost. And DVDs are inching their way to extinction. Photo prints are a long-term, solid and reliable option for backing up our images, especially when stored properly.
Another advantage to printing photos is the quality time it ensures your family as you tell your family's stories. When images are flashing by on a screensaver or in a slideshow, they're intangible and they move quickly. When you're holding prints in your hand and passing them around to family members, time moves slowly, stories can be told and you have a physical memory in your hands. Viewing photos on paper is a completely different experience to viewing them on a screen. And in my opinion, a more valuable one.
Speaking with the lovely Naomi Hattaway of 8th & Home Realty yesterday, I found out a very important set of her family's photos, from a period of time they were living abroad, are stuck on a hard drive that's dead. That hard drive is the ONLY place these photos are stored. They're not in the cloud and they were never printed. We discussed the possibility of some IT genius working a miracle and retrieving her images from the drive, but if that's not possible, those images are lost forever. If her family had actively printed those photos as they were taking them, they'd at least have hard copies of the images that could be scanned and digitized today.
Many of us worry about the physical space these prints take up, the potential clutter they can bring into your home. But when stored properly, your prints don't have to take up a lot of space. Through an APPO member like me, you can purchase a large Legacy Box that holds up to 2,400 4x6 photos. If you printed 100 of your favorite photos from each year, it would take 24 YEARS to fill it up!
In the spirit of inspiring you to get printing, here are two cool apps that make printing photos straight from your phone foolproof. How's THAT for convenience???
Groovebook was featured on SharkTank and was recently acquired by Shutterfly for $14.5 million. From their app, you can upload up to 100 of your favorite photos every month and for only $2.99, they will send you a book with glossy prints that are perforated so you can tear them out if you choose. You can select multiple copies of the same image if you want prints to share. The books are mailed monthly (you can cancel your subscription at any time) and you can also order additional books if you want to share an entire book of prints with family and friends.
Free Prints is another app that allows you to print up to 85 4x6 photos each month for FREE! The only cost to you is shipping (starting at $1.99). There is a charge for additional copies of your image (think duplicates or triplicates) and also for sizes other than 4x6, but the pricing is extremely reasonable and I was quite pleased with the quality of the prints I received.
So give these apps a try and let me know what you think! Also, comment below and tell me whether or not your family has been printing your digital images. As always, if you have any additional questions, please contact me any time!