The Virtues of Printing

In Creating, Memory-keeping
Scroll this

I’ve been preparing for my first solo gallery show over the last couple of months! It opens tomorrow, which will be yesterday by the time this post is published 🙂 While preparing for it, I’ve thought a lot about printing. Yes – printing. You know, the process of turning that digital image on your camera phone or computer into a physical object. Remember prints? Remember how you would look over them, maybe even put them in a photo album, then occasionally take it off the shelf and relive special moments? Remember how you would frame some of them, and display them somewhere where you could catch a glimpse of that face you love? Remember prints?

This is not a post about the evils of things digital, or about the inherent virtues of the past. But I miss prints. If you’re like me, you rarely print anything any more. Maybe every once in a long while…but rarely. I consume so much photography on my screens, swiping and scrolling with very little lingering. What a delight it is to interact with a physical photograph. I love photo books for this. I love museums for this.

So, this year I’m going to make an effort to print more. I invite you to do the same. When you make the photograph, its life does not have to end once it’s been posted online. Give your photographs some life. Don’t let them languish on your computers. After all, you made them for a reason. You probably have photographs of friends on your phone/camera. Print them, and give them as gifts. I have a friend who, as a year-end practice, makes a book of the favorite photographs he made during the year. Another friend gives prints as Christmas gifts and I treasure them. Maybe it’s time to refresh the photographs hanging on your wall. Make more prints!

-Eyes wide open, Chinwe


  1. Congratulations on your gallery show!
    I, too, like printing my photographs. I had several photo books made, and now I’ve just decided on a pic to have blown up, framed and put on my wall.
    People always seem to be surprised to hear I print stuff, I wish more people would do it instead of staring into their phones to view pics 🙂

    • Thanks so much! Sounds like you’re ahead of the game. Photo books are so great, and I do have to remind myself that photographs are not meant to exist only on my screens 🙂

  2. Yes! I’m a printer. Or to clarify, I have my images printed. It is the most gratifying thing. To hold a photo. To linger over it. To share it with someone. To come back to it. Bravo for this important post Chinwe.

    • Thanks for your comment, Diane. I’ve just read this post again and realized that I didn’t do what I said I would do. Haha. Here’s to more printing in 2021. Happy New Year!

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.