Why bother with photography prints? - Ben Bowles

In this digital age where photos can be viewed instantly, is there any need for physical prints? The answer is a resounding yes - and here's why. At its core, photography is about memories.

Whether you're shooting snapshots or creating art, photography gives you the chance to re live personal moments that would ordinarily be forgotten. When people hold a print of a photo, there is a physical connection to it. The 2d photograph becomes a 3d item. If you're the recipient of a physical photo, it is a moment in time that will live forever. If you're the photographer who is printing his/her images, it's a physical manifestation of the effort it took to create the photograph. Either way, it's much more than pixels on a screen.

Memories in a physical form - the beauty of a print 

We live in an instant society, where even a few second delay on the broadband leads to a mini breakdown. Making photographic prints is a brilliant antidote to the modern way. If the aim is to print some of your best photos, then clicking the save button is not the end of the process. Whether it's sending the photos off, or printing them yourself, it's a slow process. Rather than see this as a burden, I love it. Firstly, there is a sense of anticipation of how the photo will look in print (clue - always better!) but there is also a separation between you and the photo. When you hold the image physically, it's seen with fresh eyes.

As a photographer, a print is a physical reminder of how you created the image

The final reason that I will put forward for 'Team print' is the probably the dullest. It's all about digital files. There is no way of knowing what digital file type will be used in the future meaning J.Pegs that are common now, maybe obsolete in due course. In short, there is no guarantee that the photos taken today will be seen tomorrow. Melodramatic? Yes, but printing your special photographs is the perfect way to future proof your images.

A snapshot of my Mum - I have a printed at home. Not the most technical of photographs, but it will be one of my  most important in years to come.  

Rather than being a luddite criticising technology, I would say that the rise of digital photography make prints even more special. Gone of the days that you sent off your photos and had prints of every photo. We can shoot effectively for free, choose our favourites and print the ones we want to live forever. What a world we live in eh!?!


Benjamin x 

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