Despite the rise in cloud storage and photo sharing online, there is still a market for photo printing. Granted, it is not as thriving as it once was, but it is still around and is being leveraged by thousands of people.
Some choose to print their own photos, while others will look at online print studios, and then there are others who favour the quick and effortless local printer, whether a photo lab or a store with a self-service print kiosk.
3 Modern Photo Printing Options
Online photo printing
Ordering prints online is becoming more common. So commonplace in fact that some print companies offer customers as many as 50 free 6” x 4” photo prints per month. The only caveat is that you cannot print the same photo twice and you have to pay the postage. Why the free deal on prints? Because prints are just that; a single print. You still need to display it or store it in a suitable photo album. So much more can be done with a single photo let alone 50 of them. The 6” x 4” is the smallest print size that can be framed. Standard sized picture frames suited to the 6” x 4” is an 8” x 6” picture frame or even an 8” x 10” photo frame with a larger picture mount.
At-home printing can be a fulfilling experience, but it may be more costly yet still lack the quality of a professional print. The quality of home printing is subjective because it relies on using a quality printer with the right print consumables and high quality photo paper.
All of the consumables required are quite pricey for doing small print runs. Even printing 50 photos per month, the cost of ink and photo paper is likely to be more than it would cost to order prints online.
Self-service photo print kiosks
The self-service photo printing kiosks are a professional alternative to fast-track printing. Upload your photos to the kiosk software, make any edits like cropping your photos, select the print size and press print.
Where these really shine is for printing photos to gift to others who do not have a laptop or a smartphone. There are still people who get through life with a dumbphone and terrestrial television! The only way for those people to get photographs these days is either as gifts because they don't have access to view photos in the cloud or to take photos with a film camera and use traditional photo development labs to process the film.
The advantage to everyone that print kiosks offer is the instant gratification of getting your prints in seconds.
The Absolute Benefits of Maintaining a Collection of Prints
Zero passwords required
All of your photos stored in the cloud are password protected. Even if you create specific folders to share with friends and family, they still need their own password to view the files.
Better emotional impact
Digital photos do not have anywhere near the emotional impact that a printed photo has. When you look at photos on your living room wall, you’re likely able to remember things about them. The year it happened, the atmosphere at an event, the people who were there, memories of things that happened on that day etc. The same is not true for the majority of digital photos.
Viewing photos on screens has become something we are tuned out of emotionally. A photo is just a photo. Something to smile at while scrolling through a bunch of the same.
Prints are future-proof against technological changes
Every digital photo is a type of file. A JPG or PNG most likely. There is no telling when those will become obsolete. If they do, you would then have the issue of converting a JPG file to an alternative format, and then finding a suitable print driver if you wanted to print it. There are already numerous image file formats that are no longer in use.
By printing on the regular and taking good care to store your prints to protect against degradation, the prints can outlast technology. For the most precious photos in your collection, frame those for robust protection and all your others can be stored in airtight acid-free photo albums ready for anyone to flick through any time they feel like it, without having to guess passwords.