Taking and Printing Pictures for Posterity

A few weeks back I was looking for a #tbt picture. I rarely participate in that hashtag, but I wanted to post a picture of my dad and me for fathers day. Fortunately, my mom was great at organizing our family photos into boxes for each of her kids. I knew exactly where my boxes of pictures were and was able to run through a plethora of memories from my childhood.

After Lindsay and I got our Christmas tree we were discussing the photos we took from the evening. We began talking through the digital era and how I hope our hard drives of photos don’t get lost or destroyed before we can pass them along to Juniper. While we are taking many more photos than any generation before us, we often do nothing with those photos.

Digital media has the potential to get overlooked because our “logical” file structures may not make sense to someone else. I commented that we need to print out more photos in an effort to have physical artifacts that we can pass along. Relying on hard drives that fail or computers that break scares me.

While physical prints can be destroyed in a flood or fire I still think that it is a better way to pass down pictures than a digital format. Also when pictures are printed there is a greater chance that they will get looked at. Other than the photos that are in the photo stream on my phone, I rarely look at digital photos.

Memories on ink and paper bring out a nostalgia that cannot be replaced. The older I get the more I realize the importance of holding on to heritage and leaving a legacy. Juniper is fortunate enough to have grandparents that understand that and have set a great example for her. I only hope that Lindsay and I are able to do the same for her future children.

All of that to say, “Print your photos!” There are a lot of places to get photos printed these days. Some are higher quality than others, but all accomplish the goal of having something physical to hold on to and pass along. Some of my favorite places are Shutterfly and Artifact Uprising.

Two final tips before I let you go print your photos. First, print two copies so that you can have one and your child can as well. Second, make sure you have a safe, dry place to store them once they are printed. Happy printing!


  1. Reply

    Ya printing photos is great, and an easily forgotten art. Obviously, a redundant and diverse backup strategy goes a long way to making sure your digital life will stick around for future generations. Another thing I’ve been doing, along the same lines as printing, but different, is making slide shows and putting them on youtube. Using iOS apps like Reply or Magisto make it really easy and quick to create a slideshow with both video and pics. I’ve been creating a video/slideshow each month and posting it there. It’s kind of nice that the apps limit you to one songs worth of time, so at most the slideshow is like 5 minutes long. That’s a good length of time for the amount of pics and videos I’m taking in a month to pic the highlights. There’s high shareability too – easy to pull up at a relative’s house on a holiday, or at John’s first birthday, I made a playlist of each of the first 12 months and played that for the attendees. Here’s my feed if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQfxy7xI9PVR79gpLENfX_Q/videos

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