It's no secret most of us get caught up in the digital age. Just about everything we do is virtual. A constant flow of emails, zoom calls, spreadsheets, and maybe the inevitable server crash. Sure most of it is the evolution of society's technological advances, and the rest of it is probably just FOMO. But how is all this technology affecting our families?

Here's a question, how are all those photos on your phone doing? You know, the 30 pictures you took at on the park swing, or the ones of your dog wrapped in a blanket. I'm sure, like most us, you've filled up your phone's storage more than once, and you've had to make the tough decision: which files do you keep, and which ones do you delete? For that matter, when was the last time you even looked at those 16 photos of your dog sticking his tongue out while he rolls on his back - just like he did a minute ago?

With digital photography is easier than ever to have hundreds, if not thousands of pictures. That means, you have a lot of photos to choose from. So what's the best way to get off the phone, and start keeping your favorites as physical heirlooms?

wall art family portrait photography living room couch boston

Before you buy another USB of 100+ digital files, think about what do you plan to do with it.

Will you print off 1 or 2 of the images, and file the rest away? How often will you search for those images and look through them again? How will you share those digital files with your friends? Will you post them to social media, or take out an album of all your favorite moments? If these questions cross your mind often, than check out the info below to find out why printing your photos may offer you a much more valuable experience.

You'll see them often

When you print your photos, you're more likely to display them where you will see them regularly. Be it on a wall, in a frame on a bookcase, or even in an heirloom album. You have access to the photograph each and every time you walk through the door. Guests may come over and admire your precious moments, which have been preserved in time forever. Heck, you might even want to create a fun collage of a variety of images!

You can pass them around

Let's pretend for a moment- you've finished your work week, it's time to spend time with the family. Your children or grandchildren are finally old enough to ask you about your life and hear your stories. You reminisce about some great times you had with old friends or how you had that indoor snowball fight that one Christmas. But they want more. They want to see how life existed for you. Then, you remember. You go to the coffee table, open up the drawer. There, in medium blue leather wrapped around stiff cardboard with gold edges, is your family album. Ready to be opened, passed around the room, and relived. Memories, good times and hard, random pictures of places you've been. All at an arms reach. No charging the ipad, remembering old passwords, logging into different image storage apps, none of it. It is simply there, waiting to be handled

You can pass them down

When you order printed photographs through a professional, you can almost guarantee they will last for years to come. In fact, when printed on archival paper, with non-acid inks, most photos can last a minimum of up to 500 years! Now, couple that with an album, and you will be able to pass down the stories you tell your children to your grandchildren, and their children after that.

You don't need to pay for more cloud storage.

They are yours. Displayed. In real life. They are no longer just another file, or a mess of pixels. Prints are a physical product that you can touch. They are something you can physically receive, and pass around the room while everyone points at them. They are art. No more running out of storage space, buying hard drives, upgrading your computers, or worrying about your storage malfunctioning or worse, being stolen. You can remain calm because you have the moments that matter most, right where you want them.

Give memories life

There is something beautiful about seeing your creation on a printed surface. The feel of the paper between your fingertips, the shimmer of the light as you maneuver in space, the delicate weight of ink on paper. Your image has been brought to life. It is no longer a board of pixels on a screen, existing on a hard drive. You now can activate your physical senses for something that may have been lost in time.

The power to reproduce!

Pixels on a hard drive. That's all a digital photo really is. It is nothing more than pixels, data, an intangible file. What happens if you lose that file? Is it gone forever? Did you know that digital files get corrupted every day? What about the ever changing technology - Floppy disks, CDs, USBs, etc. Sure, you can backup your images and put them on the cloud or buy new hard drives every year. But the truth of the matter is once your image is corrupt or obsolete, you can never replace it. How do you preserve such a dear memory? Are you sensing a pattern here? When you print your images, you have a record, an archive if you will, of all those files. They can be stored, forever, without corruption. When printed from reputable print labs with quality ink, they will not fade. When using photo quality paper, they will not crumble. With your print in hand, you can always make more copies, and even a new digital file, but you can never again print a corrupt digital.

scattered wedding photo looking through prints from above flatlay

Quality prints are part of the experience.

You've invested in something. You've paid your hard earned money, that you work for every day, for a product. Now, let me ask you, if you just paid for your dream photo shoot, top tier, no expenses held, and you get back to the sales office and they say, "Your pictures look incredible! Would you like to select your favorite photos and have them printed" You think, "No, I'll just buy the USB stick". What might be your first reaction? You might at first think, "wow this is great, I'm getting all my photos!" A day or two goes by, maybe a month, and that USB stick is sitting there on your desk, next to that empty cup of coffee. You look at your wall, there's nothing there. So you plug in the dusty USB. You start shuffling through all the tons of great images, it's almost overwhelming.

Maybe you decide to get some printed down at Costco, and get them back, only to realize the color is off, the paper is too thin, and overall it's just not satisfying. You paid top dollar from your photographer to get all 50+ of your images, and what did you do, you printed off 2 or 3 of your favorites on your own, and they look nothing like they are supposed to.

Although the story may be dramatic, its not uncommon. Far too often, clients will run off with the digital files, thinking they got a great deal only to realize the struggle when it comes to finally printing their favorite images. When you order prints through your photographer, you are not just paying for the slice of paper with ink in a wood frame. You are leveraging their services to guarantee that your prints will look pure and true. Your photographer will have calibrated equipment, and an understanding of how colors will look, or how to retouch an image that is sized to fit a small canvas vs a large wall print. If anything in the process wasn't right, you would not even know it, because your photographer would be able to correct it before you ever receive it.

Even as a photographer, I still get excited when prints arrive from the lab. Unwrapping the packaging, and sliding the photos out to see the final product is something that can only be described as pride. It is something that previously had not existed, and now it can be seen, enjoyed and passed on. Pride in my work, and pride of what I have created. Printed photos represent so much more than a product. They are something all photographer's dream of. That inspirational moment, when you, the client, receive the beautiful art they created on your wall, and smile from ear to ear.

Trust your photographer

When you get your print through your photographer, the level of service will be 10-fold what you will receive from your local drugstore. Sure, you can go down the street to CVS and get some 4x6 prints for 33 cents, and that might be fine for some people. But what you are getting from a print lab like this, is ink that will fade over time, incorrect color matching, and no control over the end result. Using a photographer for a print service, might seem like a hefty investment. But the value is in the experience. You won't have to decide what kind of paper to use, or what size image will be best for your lifestyle, you won't even have to think about the ink selection.

Your photographer has the knowledge to guide you and present to you, the best option to suit your needs. Your images will not fade because the photographer will use inks that don't run. The color will be as bold as the day you took the photos because the lab will be able to reproduce the correct color profile from the camera. The print will have the appropriate texture, size, weight, and shine. And as for the ease of experience, no photographer would dare hand you a product that does not meet their own standards.

When was the last time you had your photos printed? Did you do it yourself or order through your photographer? I'd love to hear about your experience!