family photos in boise
Why, in a world of digital copies, you need to be a physical print
March 28, 2018

Working on my personal file storage, my computer started yelling at me. 

Of course, not physically yelling, but you know, that kind of yelling where things are stalled, you get that ugly wheel of death and you don’t know how long it will be until it stops? The wheel tells us that things are moving slower, or I am trying to do things too fast.

close up of barn wood frame for client viewing

In my case, this time, I believe it is because my computer is really full. Full of data, full of pictures, full of applications. So it is moving really slowly. 

I could get a better computer. I could upgrade my memory or my GBs or whatever it is that will make my computer perform better. Believe me, when I say, computers and I don’t mix well. I have to really do my research before I do anything. And most of the time, this research consists of talking it over with my mom before I make any sudden moves. My mom has a degree in computer technology and I figure she is a good place to start when I have questions.

But in this case, I think my computer needs a deep cleaning. Cleaning from the inside out. Really a hard-core kind of thing where I get rid of a lot of unimportant stuff I don’t need anymore. Old files my son doesn’t need for his school anymore, old pictures I have no intention of ever doing anything with and don’t need to keep. (Believe me when I say- there are a lot of those and they are not easy to part with.)

looking at a wall portrait in the wall of a home

The one thing I have to remember about those images I need to delete is this; I don’t need them all. 

Yeah, don’t shoot the messenger here. I mean, really, we have come a long way in life but in this sense, I feel we have gone backward. Let me explain. 

Back in the day, if you wanted to see what pictures you took, you had no choice but to take them in and get them printed. There were no options to see the images in your camera first, let alone see them in a space like a computer and just keep them stored for all eternity. When it came to prints, we either were the kind of people that were intentional about our picture taking and didn’t have that many, or we were happy photo-shooters that just took a ton of pictures and hoped for the best and saved them all no matter what. Were their eyes closed? Yes. Keep it. Were they not looking at the camera? Nope. Keep it. Was the image way overexposed because the sun was too bright? Yes. Keep it.

Side view of example barn wood frame for clients to see

People that hold prints in their hands are happier and more self-assured in life. It’s just fact.

In my own family alone, I can tell you how much more fun it is to actually look at a family album in print than to see those same images on the computer in a digital file.

Now, I am not telling you to delete all the images on your computer. No, I am not. What I am telling you is that studies have proven that physical prints can make people not only happier but they can also raise their self-esteem. People have a hard time getting rid of pictures in print. There is something about prints that we cannot part with. And I think when you throw in the idea that people have a higher self-value when they have printed images of themselves that they get to see every day,  self-esteem and self-confidence are all a part of this package.

As much as I want to be that person that can get rid of all the files she will never print, I can’t do it.

I will never be able to print all the pictures I have on the computer. But I know that having the prints of the ones that are the most important to me will never be a waste of time or money spent. As I wait for my spinning ball of death to stop spinning, I will have plenty of time to think about what images I want to get rid of and why. While there is an importance in keeping the files in case of future emergencies, like getting my prints again in case of fire, I will always know that the prints are the most important thing.

So don’t just flip through them to look and leave them there, flip through them to decide what to print so you can get to them easier and see them more often. Your brain will thank you. 

Much love,


P.S. If you want the best guide to printing you will ever see, then go ahead. A free download that you can trust to give you the most important info in the right order to make this an easy task.

And yes, if you want to contact me for a session of your very own, please do so. I never throw away your images. Just in case. 

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