Are You A Digital Hoarder?

Its been years since I put this note of mine on here.  While updating and removing older posts on here, I thought it was about time to delete this one. However, after reading it… even after all these years, I still feel passionately about this topic. So I have decided to leave it on here. Feel free to share it with everyone you know.

I personally feel that this topic is worse than it was when I originally wrote this 6 years ago. I hear people tell me all the time how many cards and cd’s they have hundreds of images stored on and someday they are gonna get around to printing them… someday. Someday is TODAY!

the following was originally written in 2005

Do you use a digital camera around the house, vacations, your children’s school functions, family reunion, holidays, etc?  Well, you’re not alone.  Over 4 million digital cameras were sold in 2005 and over 6 million are expected to be sold in 2006.  A lot of people have been shooting digital around the house so long that they are now replacing or upgrading their digital camera.  Most people don’t own one digital camera anymore; they own two or three.

There are many, many, advantages to shooting digitally.  Now, why is digital harmful?  Why is digital going to be a mistake years and years from now?

 1)  Very few people PRINT their snapshots anymore.  With film, you had to get the whole roll developed and a lot of us even got double or triple copies to give away or use for scrapbooking.  The more prints that you get in circulation now, the more that will be in circulation 50 years from now.

2)  I’m not talking about printing them on your home printer, either.  I do not care how much you spent on your printer or what kind of archival ink and archival paper you buy, those prints will NEVER compare to printing them in REAL CHEMISTRY.  Those prints of yours printed at home are going to fade in a relatively short amount of time.  Take your inkjet prints and tilt them toward the light.  You can see the ink sitting on the paper.  If you can’t see what I’m referring to, do the same thing with a print printed in chemistry – from any one hour lab or professional studio.  You will see a difference.  The effect that you see on the inkjet print is referred to as “FISH SCALE”.  That print will not last.  Who cares, right?  It’s good enough for your standards.  Good enough to put in a frame now and no one can tell the difference, right?

3)  Those of you who don’t even print them on you inkjet printers, listen up.  You save all those hundreds and thousands of images on CD’s and DVD’s, don’t you?  Yea, you’re organized.  I’ll give you that.  What happens when DVD’s are obsolete?  If you don’t think that it’s going to happen, just look at records and 8 Tracks that were replaced by cassettes & VHS tapes that were replaced by CD’s that are now being replaced by DVD’s.  Let’s not forget about the old floppy!  You now have to pay extra when purchasing a computer to be able to use a floppy.  The amount of time that it will take to convert all of those precious images/memories to the next medium, is more time than ANY of us will take.  When was the last time you and the family gathered around the ol’ computer and clicked through pictures together reminiscing  about the good times?  No family does that.  So all of those images on those CD’s will never be enjoyed like they would if they were in photo albums that can be brought out anytime you want.

4)  I don’t have a problem with shooting digitally, but I have a REAL problem with not ever having them taken and printed IN CHEMISTRY.  I am a family history buff.  I love to research my family history.  I have some very old photographs of family members that died long before I came along.  You all know how very rare it is to find a photograph of a family member who lived in the early 1900’s or before.  I am so thankful that they did not shoot digitally back then, because I truly believe that I wouldn’t have a single old photograph today.  First of all, remember, we don’t print them, we just save them and store them where they are easily accessible.  The ones that are printed are printed with inkjet that is fading everyday, you just can’t see it yet since you don’t have a good one of it to compare to.  The computers that we use today are going to be worthless 5-10 years from now, and so is the medium that we are saving everything on.

True Story:

When my son was born 81/2 years ago, my mother-in-law and I would make double prints of every roll we took.  I always gave her a set  and she always gave me a set.  (Remember, the more that you get into circulation now, the more that will be in circulation 50 years from now.)  We have so many pictures from those first few years, albums and albums full.  About 4 or 5 years ago, she got herself a really nice digital camera.  She still takes pictures of my kids and the cousins and all, but I have never been given a single one since she’s gone digital.  That’s because they’re all saved somewhere where more than likely no one will ever see them again.

I want my children to have pictures of themselves to pass down to their children.  I want a pictorial history of my family to hand down one day.  I refuse to lose generations of pictures to the digital hysteria that is sweeping the world right now.  One hour labs are going out of business every single day by the handfuls.  I find that a shame, because it tells me that this generation of children are going to lose out years down the road.

I hope that you have gained something from this note of mine.  At the very least, just take one CD a month down to your local one hour lab or WalMart and have prints printed of it and fill a photo album.  Your children will love looking at the pictures and what do you have to lose, after all, prints from digital only cost about 19 cents a piece, I think.  What else in life can you buy 5 for a dollar that is as important as preserving your family history?

What do you have to lose?  What do you have to gain?  Think about it.


The above was written over 6 years ago and so many things have changed since then. I truly believe this problem is worse now than it was then. However, the means by which you can print your digital images has become easier than ever… which is a good thing. You can now use Walgreens, USA Drug, WalMart and an array of online printing services such as Shutterfly.

The main point that I want to get across is the importance of printing your snapshots. There are many many “shoot and burn” photographers around now who will photograph your family outdoors and burn you a cd of all the images. All these people are trained to do is shoot and burn. They don’t care about how you print your images or even IF you print your images. I find it a complete shame that people will take your money, give you a cd and not one time offer you something that will last a lifetime, something that you can proudly display on your wall, something that you will pass down for generations, something that will put a smile on your face every single time you look at it on your wall.

Since the market is being saturated with these “shoot and burn” photographers, studies are being done that are showing that the majority of people who purchase one of these cd’s end up never even printing a single image at all. It’s because we are all busy. We all have kids in sports, we have careers, and we have commitments that keep us busy. Having a cd in hand eliminates the need for making any decisions. People know that they have the cd and can print something anytime they want, so they get busy and months later realize they never printed a single thing from that cd that they paid all that money for. By the time they realize that they still never got around to printing from that cd, their family has changed so much that it’s time to have their kids’ pictures taken again. Many of those people are ending up with nothing. I personally find this very sad. So if I haven’t said it yet, “Quit hoarding your digital images and go print your stuff!”

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


1 thought on “Are You A Digital Hoarder?

  1. Thanks for sharing, so true on the printing of pics. I can not tell you how much money I have spent on have rolls of films developed, I have a tons and tons of pictures and since going digital I now find my self going tot he computer to find a picture of someone. Since reading your article l I now know that I need to get pictures printed again and put in albums.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s