Printing photos : Is this the solution to preserving our digital archive?

It’s somewhat ironic that in age when we take more photos than ever before, many experts believe we are facing a future with lost family archives. Why? Because we don’t print our photos anymore. I am just as guilty as everyone else, I have some wonderful photo books, but they take time to make and so I fall behind creating them (currently six months behind on Alice and Theo’s year books, sorry mum!) Last year I decided the answer might be to finish the year by printing digital prints of every photo I took in that year, but then when I sat down to do it, I balked at the cost and the task never got completed.

So what’s the answer? I can’t say I know for certain yet, but there are some great innovative ideas around and when Cheerz approached me about their memory box I found something that came pretty close to being my perfect Christmas gift and a step towards resolving the lost photo archive problem.

Cheerz’s idea is simple (but aren’t all the best ones?) they sell a package which consists of a storage box and a voucher for 100 photographic prints, you can buy it for yourself or (better still I think) gift it to someone. They offered me one to try and I decided to use it to see if 100 prints came anywhere near good coverage of a year’s photos.

There are 1628 photos in my 2016 album, but when I started to go through them I realised a lot were duplicates (or near duplicates), some were “work” photos and others were not special or interesting enough to be printed. I actually whittled down my year to 100 photos surprisingly easily and I promise I’m not just saying that.

Waiting for them to arrive was like waiting for a film to be returned from Truprint (remember that!) and then a week later they were here. Real physical prints of all those special moments last year. They sat on the kitchen counter for a few days and everyone who saw them stopped in their tracks to pick them up and flick through them.

I took every one and wrote a description on the back of them, recording all the details we think we’ll never forget (age of children, date, location) but always do. I like to think that even if everything else is lost, these 100 photos might one day be the ones that my descendants pass round over a cup of coffee and say “Gosh that must be Auntie Alice as a baby…”

To find out more about Cheerz, their memory boxes and other photo gifts, visit their website

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I’ve been blogging for 12 years and making creative content for my entire working life. I am a marketeer and stock photographer by day, but I also love to make : cooking, sewing and upcycling! On this blog I share stories of creative family living as well as my photography and videos. If you’d like to get in touch, please email me. (link at top of page)
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Hello. I'm Clare.
I'm a photographer, maker & marketeer based on the West Sussex/Hampshire border. This blog focuses on creative family living through photography, design, crafts and interiors. Read more