I recently saw the photo above, of Abraham Lincoln, online. It was taken in the 1860's. It's now over 150 years old, and while I saw a scanned electronic version online, somewhere a print of it exists. It's history, and that print has survived time.
Today, many people just want a digital file of a photo so they can share it with family and friends, by e mail, on social media, etc. But how long will it survive?
Photography has seen many changes, and those changes continue. With the advent of digital, there have been numerous types of memory cards and file formats. Most of which have fallen by the wayside. Image recording and storage media have run the gamut from floppy disks, to hard drives, CD's, USB sticks, and now the “cloud”. Well friends, floppies now make great beverage coasters. Hard Drives and USB sticks fail. Clouds evaporate, literally and figuratively, and most computers don't even have a CD/DVD drive any more. If you have the print, you can always transfer it to other types of media. But it starts with the print.
During a recent horse show, I had a mom come to our events trailer asking about pictures. She said she "felt silly thinking about maybe getting professional pictures for her daughter's first show". Silly?? I asked. Will your daughter ever have another "first horse show"??
I worry that buying prints will be forgotten in our current, instant gratification, disposable, everything is temporary, keeping up with the Kardashians, pop culture obsessed world. Prints are still important. But I worry that many people are not going to realize this for a decade or three. And then it will be too late to recover those fleeting, precious, once in a lifetime moments.