Hey Everybody! This week I wanted to talk about the importance of printing and what to print. When I started photography film was the only option for taking photo's. You would take your roll exposed film to the drug store or some lab and have the film developed and you usually got a print with each exposure. So for each roll you would typically get 24 or 36 small 4X6 prints that you could look at. So you had lots of prints. They eventually ended up in shoe boxes under the bed and the prime ones ended up in some sort of photo album with the little sticky corners that you used to stick them into the book. If your my age you know what I mean. When my parents passed I had boxes of photo's to look at and remines about. You know look here you are at 5yrs old on your GI Joe bicycle. You could see photo's of your parents when they were young or even as teenagers if your lucky. Photo's of Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. You can spend hours looking at these boxes of memories with your family. But what do you have since digital came about? Probably not much. You may have extensive files on a disc somewhere but sharing them isn't as easy or tactile as a photograph. This is a big dilemma for us and to leave something of ours to the past. My mother had Dementia in her later years and I took a lot of her family photos and digitized them and put them into a family book for her to look at. So of course the answer to this problem is to print. But what? How much?
And I am as guilty of this as anyone else not printing enough. I thought I would print my own prints but found messing with printer heads, ink, paper that there is a lot to it and although I bought an expensive printer you must print a lot to keep it printing well. And of course I haven't. I tried cleaning the heads many different ways but couldn't get it to print like it did when it was new. I have pretty much given up on printing things myself. So where do you print? There are many labs that you can send your stuff to or even Walmart or Walgreens although I wouldn't recommend for important stuff. I have my own website and can order prints like anyone else so I've started ordering prints. 5X7 mostly and maybe a larger one now and then. I display them for a while then I put them in the shoe box for later generations to dig through. Over the last 6 years I have been making end of year books. These books contain the best of my photography for that year . During our annual Holiday party at the end of the year My photography club brings in their books to look at and share. After that they end up on a book shelf at my house. But these books will be great for my grand kids to look at in their later years when they grow up and are interested in such things. But this is just my photography it doesn't have the photographs that we take every day of each other post to social media or just have on our phones. I had a book made of all my Facebook photo's and yes it had a lot of my photography on it but it also had family photo's and photo's of friends on it it was pretty cool and I had it made from a company on Facebook. I have also made project books from big projects that I have done like visiting all of the state parks in North Carolina in a year. I've got a big trip coming up this summer and will probably make a book just out of the trip. So I think that books are a great way to print your photo's. We have come a long way from 4X6 prints from the drug store. We can have canvas's make for very low cost. Groupon is a great way to find deals on Canvas prints and certain photo's just look good on canvas and some do not. There are many photo labs that can put a photo on anything from car keychain to coffee mugs, shirts ,blankets, and you name it. They can be great gifts for someone to cherish forever. You can have your photo's printed on Wood , Acrylic, even glass or metal. There are lots of cool ways to print your photo's. The point is to print in some fashion. I need to print some larger prints for my house to spruce up the old place. The point is that you don't need to be an expert on printing you can send it off and have great prints that will last long after you're gone. So until next week keep shooting and get outside and print!