Hardcopy in the Digital Age--Print your Pictures!

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Something I've been thinking about lately is how little I actually print any of my pictures anymore.  When I was first getting into photography, it was way before digital was an option. I learned to shoot exclusively on my dad's old film cameras--a really awesome Nikon and an equally awesome Canon were my teachers.  I remember the amazing rush of dropping film off at Meijer or The Camera Center in Easttown (RIP Camera Center, you are truly missed) and waiting in anticipation for prints to come back.  Everything was printed back in those days--horse show prints, Prom prints, photos from Watassa weekends, family vacations.  And, of course, there would be a few that were just terrible and you would throw out, but more often than not, these pictures were just fantastically wonderful because they captured the moment in all its imperfect glory. 

Now that we are in such a digital world, it's becoming less and less common to print pictures.  Yesterday I was driving back from Grand Rapids and passed a Rite Aide in Spring Lake and found myself sort of scoffing at the sign on the front of the store boasting a 1 Hour Photo Lab, saying to Ian, "Who needs a 1 hour photo lab anymore?"  But this shift to everything being kept online is pretty sad, really.  I have loads of pictures that I want printed--not just photos I've taken with my professional cameras, but also my Instagram photos.  

For his birthday this year, I made Ian a little softcover book from Artifact Uprising with pictures of our 2013 adventures--we had a pretty cool year of lots of traveling, so I took about 50 pictures of our travels, sent them off to AU and back came a lovely little book of our adventures--he LOVED it.  And it's on our coffee table now and we're able to show it to friends who come over and they also LOVE it.  It's amazing what a little bit of printed photography can do to start the conversation!

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As a photographer, I always encourage my wedding couples to find a way to print their photos--be it in an album, or a custom calendar, or a set of bordered 5x7 prints, I think it's really lovely to have hardcopies of one of the most special days of your life.  I am also excited too to introduce the Couture Book.  This is a new offering for 2014/15 and it is included in my top end package.  The Couture Book is just gorgeous--linen matte paper and holds up to 300 photos, which means you can have most of your wedding printed, or even include photos from your engagement session as well.  I am super excited to see these books get out to clients and they are also available a la carte.  If you're a wedding client and would like to order one of these goregeous ladies, I will lay it all out for you--just send me an email and we can get started!

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I also want to be more intentional about printing my own photographs this year.  I take a lot of personal photos (duh), and I find that more and more they are simply sitting on my computer, waiting to be printed, and then never end up going into the printing stage. 

So, when I came across this super inspiring article on one of my favorite blogs a few days ago, I found myself pretty motivated. I usually hate scrapbooks and the term "scrapbook" tends to bring up horrible images of puffy, fabric covered books with lots of little press on letters and stars--no thank you.  

But not these!  These ones are fabulously adorable.   I like them especially because they involve so much texture and so many different size prints--I like all that variety!  I haven't done anything yet to actually start my own scrapbook, but I've definitely started to mentally organize some space for getting started as soon as possible...and sometimes mental decisions are the most important kind!

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Finally, just printing pictures and framing them can be extremely fulfilling.  Not all of us have time to create a scrapbook of our entire lives, but most of us do have time to print a few choice 8x10s and create a quick little photo collage wall.  Sites like Snapfish, Richard Photo Lab and Tiny Prints makes it super simple to create really beautiful images really quickly and begin decorating right away.  Or go further and purchase a fantastic photo printer--the Canon Pro-100 is the one I have my eye on!

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