This past weekend I was at a Christmas Market selling my Missing You at Bedtime Books. The books require the user to print off their own photos and put them in the book, like a scrapbook, so that the kids can see their parents every night at bedtime when they aren’t home. The books have room for 9 or 10 photos, and my kids love being able to flip through the pages and see the pictures of themselves with my husband and I.
A woman came up to me when I was selling and told me that she had no idea where she would find 10 pictures and that printed pictures were a thing of the past.
But are they?
One of my fondest memories as a child was flipping through hundreds of pictures from my parents photo albums. I loved looking at the pictures of my mom and dad when they were young, and then looking at the pictures of my brother and I when we were little. The photos captured memories I don’t have anymore, but because of the photos, I can still talk about the events like I was there with a clear image in my head. Of course, back then, you had to print off the photos so you could see them. There were no digital cameras that allowed you to see your photos immediately after you took them, and you definitely couldn’t upload them on your computer without physically scanning them in.
Fast forward about 15 years. Technology has changed dramatically. You take pictures on you phones, and upload them. Everything has a memory card. It’s not required for people to print them off anymore. I know I didn’t until I had kids. It’s not that I did’t want to print off pictures, I just found that it was a bit of work to get my pictures to the store to have them printed. Now I love printing off pictures to put in scrapbooks and photo albums so that they can have the same experiences I did growing up.
In the past three years that I have started printing off my photos, I have noticed that there seem to be less stores available to have your photos printed. Superstore used to print pictures in their stores, and those have been replaced by their online shopping base now. Walmart still prints off photos, but I have to say, I have not been very pleased with the service I have received with them. I use them when I have no other options.
I am happy to report that I have started using London Drugs Photo Lab, and I am very happy with the results I have had with them. My favorite part is that I can upload the pictures online and they contact you when the pictures are ready. You can pick them up in store or have them delivered! Of course, you can also order them in store, and I every time I’m in I see them ready and available to help their customers when they need it. Kudos to them for providing great service, and for also keeping up with the changing times! I’m sure there are other locations that are similar to London Drugs in North America if you don’t have a store near you, so just take a look! Printing photos does not have to be hard. It’s SO EASY. I wish it was this easy before I had kids! I would have printed all those pictures too!
So, are printed photos still relevant?
Yes they are. Go into any house, and I would bet there is at least one printed family photo in it. Photos are special in that they capture a memory or an experience and allow us to re-live that experience every time we look at that photo. Yes, you can keep them on your laptops or phones, but when you are in the comfort of your home, it’s nice to have the pictures somewhere not on a screen.
I would say the same thing about books. Yes, books are now available online, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t own real books. I think there is a time and place for electronics and a time and place for tangible books or pictures. You are way more likely to buy a child a book than to give them an ebook. When you travelling or away from home, yes, online books and photos are perfect for those situations. But, at home, buy those books and put them on a bookshelf. Print those pictures and put them in a photo album. Hang them on your walls.
Let’s continue to keep photo printing relevant, and tangible. So we can hold those photos in our hands and hang them on our walls or put them in our albums.