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Do people still want to print out their pictures or make photo books?

Cameras are prolific in today's society. There are cameras on every cellular phone it seems, and also on tablets and some other personal devices.

Picture taking is also a lot more prolific than it used to be a few years ago. When you only had 24 pictures per roll of film and then had to pay for each one you were pretty careful with them, not just snapping 10 at a time. But now it is nothing to take 10 pictures or even 20 then delete the ones that you do not want later.

It seems that we all love pictures! If we didn't they would not be everywhere. Companies also like to promote taking pictures with their devices. Apple has a pretty cool new commercial about pictures. I could not find a link to it when I just looked but you might have already seen it, I have seen it about 5 times and I DVR almost all shows. They are plastering this commercial everywhere :)


Anyway what I would like to debate is: with all of this picture taking going on do you still see a value of printing out the pictures onto 4 x 6 or larger prints or putting them into photo books?

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I really appreciate all of the great feedback everyone left on this. You all left some great answers. I am new to the TED community here and was asked to post a question as part of an assignment in college. You all have shown me that TED is full of thoughtful people who are highly educated and passionate about what you believe in.

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  • Feb 15 2013: It's quality, not quantity that matters, and the new technology allows this.

    As I am the only one left now in my family,from the 50s, it would all be a bubble in my head if it were not for the printed photograph.
    So I am making precious albums with a selection. I have been discovering photos from 1910, 1916.1930s, my mother as a land girl in the War, my idealistic parents in 1947, my childhood, worlds disappeared. The paper they are printed on, the writing - it all matters. It doesn't matter how 'imperfect' they are.
    It is good to gaze at the actual picture, not a screen.
  • Feb 17 2013: I have taken many photos over the years, including the film roll kind, and most are in albums. I see folks when they were young and now over that "hill". I even see myself when I didn't have wrinkles. Tons of wildlife photos are on my walls as well as in files and albums. I had copy them cause I have lost many, due to computer viruses, so I make sure all are now saved on photo paper or at least a disc. Scrap booking is on the rise and not just in my "over the hill" age group. There will come a day when the power will not come on and those scrap books are going to stand center stage for all to share.
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    Feb 15 2013: For me yes, and I am a young adult. I just printed off almost every photo that I have off of facebook so that I could comfortably delete the profile. I also feel like a hard copy picture is more valuable. I will be able to show my children these pictures someday, while the pictures that I have uploaded online I don't know where they will be whenever I have children. I often save photos from online to a usb so that I can print it.
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    Feb 13 2013: I think it is a personal thing. We have nade scrapbooks for each of the kids. It validates their lives and provides a history for future generations.

    When you look at the eighty year old you do not see the four year letteman .. the state wrestling champion ... the former major league pitcher .. etc ... They were not born with a butt like play dough and wrinkles like the grand canyon.

    The grandkids say who is this .. because they cannot picture you being young and alive.

    What is important to you today may not be the values of tomarrow. At seventy I look at photos and recall the event and the people. They come alive and make me smile. I can see mom and dad one more time.

    I do, however, think that we will go to electronic photo albums such as putting all of those photos on disks.

    There are now tombstones that will play a disk when asked that show a history of the deceased.
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    Feb 11 2013: A hard copy has its own existence, its own tangibility. It is real. It is 1/ 60th of a second of visible time captured forever and protected in the safe confines of a family album along with scores of other such touchable, irreplaceable memories. Our five-shelf bookcase full of photo albums is one of the few attractions that wins-out over the TV when the kids and grandkids come to visit. As Mr. Reisner suggests such collections are not as much a basic part of modern, high-tech family traditions but I think the trend will return when we old folks fade away and our collections fall into disrepair. Digital is super. Only photos worth printing are paid for. No more getting three keeper shots out of 36 prints paid for. I love digital pre-print editing including cropping (without scissors), color correction, red eye removal, etc. But when that special moment captured by the camera pops onto the screen it simply must be printed and given a place of honor in a Family Album. P.S.- Photoshop sucks! It is a form of lying to future generations.
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    Feb 11 2013: If I were trying to research this question, I would look to information about scrapbooking, and whether that hobby and practice has declined or increased.

    There is surely less mailing of hard copies of pictures, but particularly for older people, there is pleasure in flipping through photos and seeing them in frames in the house, I think, rather than squinting at a phone.
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    Feb 12 2013: Printing of photos have definitely gone down at least with me......
    But still there are some emotion attached to get some of those printed for preserving....as finding the specific photo in a specific moment from thousands of photos in computer is a challenge to many now....

    Feel, printing will go down further in near future..