On legacy & printing

In Digital, Memory-keeping
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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I ought to be keeping my photos. I’m not talking about digital storage, though that could certainly be a topic for another day. I’m talking about printing images and what that may eventually mean for a photographic legacy for my family.

I am of the opinion that what’s going to last on down the generations are the things that get printed. Sure, I could pass down a pile of harddrives for my kids to one day look through, but I just don’t think that’s realistic. I also think that there’s something magical about having those images in our home, to spark the memory, to hear my kids start to tell their own stories of themselves.

There are so many options out there right now. Countless companies, varying price points, loose prints, albums, books, magazines. Do you go with bulk prints at a lower price, do you pay more for the boutique print shop that pays extra attention to each image that comes from its printer?

At the moment, I try my darnedest to get a photo book made after any trips our family takes. I also have a few done of whole years (I’m a habitual 365 shooter, so having an image a day – or thereabouts – is something I do have on hand) that I absolutely love. I just need to catch up with myself on that one! I’m toying with the idea of just getting a pile of prints for a few months’ stretch to have loose in a photo box. That is how I keep a lot of my Instax prints, and sifting through that box is like discovering treasure.

I don’t have some magical answer as to what’s going to be the best way for you to approach printing, but I will say, do it. If getting a pile of loose prints from the summer is what will work for you, do it. If carefully crafting a photo book and having it printed is more your jam, do it. If you are a scrapbooker and love pairing ephemera and decorations with your images, do it. I know quite a few professional photographers who have branched out into album design – send them your images and they’ll put together an album template for you. All sorts of possibilities. Do it, do it, and I promise, I’m going to too.

All the best,


  1. Alison, I read your post and nodded my head in agreement. I kept meaning to make it back here to comment, and I’ve made time this morning. Sometimes we make a suggestion or offer an idea . . . and other times we really try to persuade others as you’ve done here. And with good reason! I feel the same way about printing my work and I love to encourage others to make photo books or order prints. The photos you’ve shared, those beautiful family moments, they are truly your legacy. I love them all!!

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