The Experience of the Print from a Digital Age Photographer

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon PIXMA iP2850 printer review product photos (1 of 10)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 4.0

I am a millennial.

Hi. I’m part of a bunch of folks currently in our 20s and 30s that didn’t have much time during our collective childhood to experience the analog world. From the day I was born, everything was about the computer. I, like so many people my age, braved the days of AOL’s weird chat rooms, dial-up internet, and digital photography when it started with camera phones like the Razr. Everyone used to want to have one.

And today, I’m part of a society of people who doesn’t care much about printed photos though we indeed care about printed matter.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujfilm Instax mini 90 product photos (3 of 7)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 2.8

Go to any metropolitan public transportation system in the world and you’ll see us reading, touching, feeling, experiencing and romanticizing books. Yes–real, tactile, physical books. I love them. I’m part of a generation that reads for pleasure.

But for some odd reason if you hand me a print of a photo that you just shot I don’t know what the heck to do with it.

Should I put it in my cubicle at work?

Should I use it as a bookmark?

Should I shoot a photo of it with my phone and put it on the internet? But where I am right now has terrible service and my AOL 9.0 was significantly more blazing fast than this was.

We don’t know what to do with them; it’s plain and simple.

Years ago, parents and grandparents would take the images and put them in albums. No, not those things that you find in iPhoto or Google Photos. Albums were these bound books made to hold photos. Brides and grooms used to cherish them and get thrills out of sharing their wedding photos with their grandchildren.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the print. It’s that the world has changed and doesn’t know what to do with them anymore.

A piece of paper on the wall that’s nicely framed ends up giving off a glare in our apartment and makes it tougher to see. So maybe we just don’t know what to do with those. On the other hand, a canvas is ideal. These special prints soak up all the light and look great in apartments. Plus if you look around for deals, they’re pretty cheap.

These types of prints serve great use–decorations to make our homes look beautiful. They’re these beautiful things that you see in museums. They’re fun. They’re gorgeous.

But for some odd reason, most of us just simply don’t care. The more artistically inclined will get it. Those of us with larger pockets will get it. But the print isn’t anywhere as popular as a JPEG on Instagram or Facebook. And even so, you only need so many prints.

The idea of something tactile is wonderful, but we have limited space in this giant world with so many people. And we don’t know where to put all of them.

So for many of us like me, the print may be seen as something excessive, unnecessary, and tough to Instagram or show our friends on Facebook.

And for those people, we’re not sure what will become of the print.