Printing is not Important in Photography. Really?

Let’s try to think how photography: Prep the gear, take the shot, edited it, then upload it to the internet. These days that’s how photography work. But do you know that’s not how it works 20 years ago for the obvious reason that there are not so many people even know how internet is. The only way to found photography is through print. But not these days. So here the statement: Printing is not Important in Photography. Really?

I’m not gonna state the previous statement as a fact (since I don’t have statistic) but as an opinion that I heard and read so many times. Nowadays you don’t have any reason to look for printed photography.

It’s far easier to turn on your computer or phone and Google it. Far more effective and less cost. That’s why many magazines dedicated solely to photography went under. Even if they don’t, they totally change their platform from print to online publication.

Here is one of my favorite online magazine: B&W Minimalism Magazine

So that is the argument for why there is no need for printing a photo. But I come back again to the title of this article: Printing is not important in photography. Really?

Emphasize the word “really.”

Even though I found there are so many people who said No to print, I also found who said the opposite.

There are many dedicated photographers who said that print is one forgotten thing and not yet abandoned. Let me rephrase that, a print is not even forgotten. There so many industries that required printed photography.

Like selling real estate, they need print.

Like any monthly or weekly magazine, they need print.

Like non-profit organization, they need print.

Like wedding photography, they need print.

In any industry world, printing is not yet forgotten. It’s another question for a personal reason. But I still stated that even for personal reason printing photo is still not yet abandoned.

My parent still need print if they want to see the photo of their good-looking child 🙂 (Unless they have that flat screen you can manded to the wall and slide your photo. The problem is my parent are technology illiterate).

Dedicated photography still wants to look how their photo looks like on paper. I heard that the best way to see and judge a photo is when it is printed.

It reminds me of something interesting said on YouTube (I forgot the exact word so I paraphrase it):

You have a paper. you have a printer. You have an empty wall. Then?


There you have it. If you ask, Printing is not important in photography. Really?

I answered, Of course, it’s important.

What do you think?


Oh BTW, to tell you the truth, I’m actually didn’t print my photo until last month. Don’t have the place to put it and I don’t have a decent printer. And I also can’t find any good photo lab in Indonesia. So the only reason I print my photo right now is just as an archive.

7 thoughts on “Printing is not Important in Photography. Really?

  1. Good article!! Good exposure are just as good (you probably mentioned that). I know many who do not understand. I worked at a copy and print center. Many customers would want a 24″x36″ from their phone and did not understand print quality like you mentioned.

  2. I just started uploading a few files to an online service that then makes and sells prints from them. Varying reports on amount of sales but the sheer number of prints available shows that there is still a lot of mileage there.

  3. I still recommend that photos are printed for albums in my family that I have created. We cannot trust internet, computer, technology. I cannot leave photos of what i am doing today here for my generations who have not arrive to see if they will arrive someday in my life. But like the saying goes “Prepare” is a very important word. I think what we sow and harvest today, our generations to come needs to see it as a vintage aspects of our past, just like “we” today, we are seeing white and black pictures of our ancestors. So we still have to keep our present days printed and leave them somewhere that one day some other people will see them as history of our past. I would say it like this “YES PRINTING PICTURES” are still needed, and it will always be needed. I think it is one thing that technology have tried to erase, but it will be impossible. And I hope it stays!

  4. As the blog is my diary and chosen media there’s almost no need to print. Work photos go on the business blog. Occasionally my wife prints some of my family photos, and invariably some shots end up in calendars at Christmas. I made a conscious decision NOT to have a printer – they cost a fortune to run, and most stuff isn’t worth the outlay on cartridges.

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