Ok. You got me. Yes, I am a photographer-for-hire. Yes, I am going to naturally want you to print the photographs I take for you. But, it may not be for the reason you think.
Have you ever gone through Grandma's attic and come across pictures of her and Grandpa when they were dating? How did it make you feel? What happens if you open your mailbox and see an invitation to a Grad Party with a really cool portrait of someone you've known since they were in diapers...do you smile? How about when you're working your way through a pile of Sunday dinner dishes, glance up and see that fun snapshot of you and your BFF sharing a crazy moment? Does it take you to another place for a split second (depending on how big the pile of dishes is)?
For me, photographs (portraits, pictures, snapshots, whatever you want to call 'em) are frozen memories of a time that will never be recreated. And by looking at those photos I am reminded of where I was at that time and what was happening in my world. I do not have any memories of my life as a 6 month old baby...but I have a picture of my big sister holding me, with a huge smile on her face!...so I have a pretty good idea of my life as a baby. When I see the framed portraits of my sons in their Christening gowns as infants, I can feel Keegan's angel soft hair, hear Kieran's fussy whine at all the pomp and circumstance, and feel the heavy drool of Karsen's toothless self on my shoulder. Those images, printed and displayed around my home, take me back to moments I never want to forget. I don't regularly sit down to my computer and put in a memory stick to see images from 1998, or scroll though my phone to remember a vacation. I walk through my house and see them everyday. They are displayed for me, for my boys and for all who visit to show who we are, where we come from, and what is most important to us.
Technology is ever changing (remember the Floppy Disk? Neither to I..) and all too soon DVDs and CDs will be obsolete. Prints will survive long after you have left this earth. Photographs have been around since 1839! And the best part is no new technology is needed to see a photograph! As long as you have a working set of eyes, you can see them.
Please don't think you have to print EVERY photo ( I am a recovering "I can't throw away even an out-of-focus picture of my precious child" addict). Select a few that speak to you, and put those in a traditional album or digital one. And Voila! You just gave your family a priceless gift.
Don't wait! Print those memories!