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Should you Print your Photos or Leave Them In The Digital World?

Should you Print your Photos or Leave Them In The Digital World?

As the digital era continues and we become more attuned to our ever-growing collection of technology, the thought of printing anything now seems somewhat archaic.

Paperless is the new world order, but for photographers, the world of print is something to be revered and cherished.

Let’s explore whether you should print your photos or leave them in the digital world?

1. JPEG – Not The Best Option

If you must store your photos in the digital world, please do so with the following advice, do not save them as JPEGs!

JPEG has been the standard in image saving for many years. However, it is not the best.

Simply put, JPEG compresses the image utilising for maximum storage over image quality.

Imagine camping out on a grassy field for hours to get the perfect shot of a steam locomotive passing by, only to save the image in a low-quality format!

The best option to display the train in its full glory (as intended) is to save it as PNG! With a lossless compression and higher image quality, you sacrifice file size but keep the image as intended!

2. Fire & Water Damage

No system of storage is infallible. Printing your photos is the perfect way to display them; after all, that blank wall is begging for the spirit of the train to grace its presence. Printing your photos is a beautiful way to brighten your home, but you could lose it all in one instant due to fire and water damage! So be prepared and ensure you always have a backup!

3. Technology Crash

Store them on your computer! (You may be thinking). But what do you do when the dreaded white screen of death takes control of your computer, and everything is gone for good!

No storage system is infallible, but there is a way to ensure the longevity of your images when storing them on your computer. For example, a third-party cloud provider could guarantee that your pictures stay relatively safe. After all, that once in a lifetime image of the now-retired steam train needs to be preserved!

4. To See Or Not To See (That Is The Question)

Photography is art. And while you may take pictures just for you, the question remains, do you display them or hide them away?

Let’s face it, anything stored on a computer is never really looked at unless you intend to go looking! But when printed and displayed, your eyes rest naturally on the images and take you back to the moments when you got the gold star image. The question is up to you, but the primary call of photos is to admire!


Remember that the image’s integrity must remain when deciding how to store your photos, either via print or electronic storage. Save and keep at high quality in print and electronic formats, and most importantly, ensure a backup is always ready. When the unknown strikes, you could lose it all, and those many hours of waiting, watching and snapping down the proverbial drain.

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