Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What's the value of print photos?

I just read a fascinating article about how Facebook may be inspiring us to stop caring about printing our photos. Writing for The Washington Post, Caitlin McDevitt cites IDC projections that a third fewer photos will be printed in 2013 than in 2008, a trend launched with the introduction of cheap digital cameras but now increasingly propelled by social networking sites.

One potential problem with all that cloud-based photo sharing? Facebook doesn't store images at their optimal resolution for printing. The images are only good enough for computer screens. Yet many folks apparently presume that once they upload a picture to a social networking site there's no point to archiving a high resolution version for future purposes.

Indeed, McDevitt quotes Photo Marketing Association research that concludes, "nearly 40 percent of households with digital cameras no longer print out their pictures." While I don't see sufficient evidence to relate this statistic to the author's broader point about Facebook, I am nonetheless intrigued by the suggestion that physical media are becoming less important to a growing number of photographers.

Read the entire article: Pros and cons to Facebook's fast-growing role in digital photography

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