Rumors of the demise of prints and wedding albums

Started Feb 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Rumors of the demise of prints and wedding albums
Feb 10, 2012

Call me old fashioned, but for me, the print is the thing. No matter how convenient online galleries on Flickr and Facebook seem, and regardless of how good a photo looks on a large television set or an awesomely calibrated computer monitor, something magical happens when one of my photos wears a mat and stands behind a nice piece of glass, held together by a simple black frame.

Experts have long predicted the demise of prints now that digital is the only game in town. Just today (2/9/12), Thom Hogan is pre-mourning Kodak’s soon-to-fail stake in photographic prints. "The future of displaying images isn't on paper," he tells us. Thom is a smart and savvy guy, especially when it comes to photography. He may well be right. I just don’t see the sense in his prophecy coming true.

While we can embrace and even rejoice in the many other ways we can distribute and display photos, we need to ask what in the world we need with more and more megapixels or increased high ISO capabilities, if all we’re going to do is show a 640 pixel wide – if that – picture on a computer screen. Rather, it would seem that a camera like the much hailed (and wailed, but that’s another story) D800 would benefit exactly those who need to print -- and print big.

When it comes to wedding photography, we struggle with a similar issue. Burn a disc and hand it over to the bride and groom, or provide them with an album? Which will hold more long-term value? Which will be an heirloom, an inheritance to be passed down to future generations? Which will be reviewed and treasured decade after decade? Can we say that wedding albums will suffer the same fate as printed media? Or will they be an exception? Time will tell, but my heart hopes generations to come continue to appreciate and desire the value in a wedding album.

If you have been shaking your head ever since you read the first sentence of this post, humor me with this homework assignment: head out to a local gallery where high quality photographs are displayed in those nice frames I mentioned, pick your favorite, stand in front of it for 60 seconds, and imagine how that same photo would look on Facebook. For extra credit, find a family or friend’s wedding album – a good one – and go through the same exercise.

Here’s a prayer that rumors of the demise of prints and wedding albums are not only premature, but roundly incorrect.
Seeking the heart and spirit in each image

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