This is a recent ad from Ikea which went viral this past month.   While they were clearly making fun of Apple, they also made a huge statement which I think should not be overlooked.  Here is the link to view the video:

In a nod to Apple’s product ads, Ikea made released a video ad  to announce their new catalog, the book book.  No power needed and no lag to flip forwards and backwards on each page.  Simple, hilarious, and to the point.

Thanks to technology and digital media storage devices, it has become acceptable not to print our photos.   As a professional photographer, I’ve always stressed the importance of printing our photos rather than storing them digitally.   Why?  Well, the reasons are numerous, but I will start with the obvious.  Technology is always in a constant state of flux.  Electronic devices meant to store photos are not built to last.  The original mediums of presenting photography such as paper and metal, somehow have managed to survive over a hundred years.  As much as we’d like to believe that those DVDs and CDs will last just as long, no one knows for sure because they haven’t been around long enough to test those statements.

There’s also the tangible or kinesthetic aspect.  You can’t touch digital photos.  There is nothing like  the feeling of looking through old photos and flipping through albums (remember those?!).   You don’t need a computer or a phone or tablet to look at old photos.    It’s so easy and no power is needed 😉  In fact, there are now services which will allow you to print the photos from your phone so that you have them (after all, your phone won’t last forever).

I am not saying that digital is a bad medium- far from it, actually.  I am saying that there needs to be more of a symbiotic relationship between digital and print. Digital photography can be used to restore and salvage photos which may have been damaged thereby providing us the opportunity to reprint them and keep them alive.  We are living in an unparalleled era of creativity in which photos can be manipulated with an incredible ease using software such as Photoshop.  And let’s not underestimate the power of immediacy- photos taken during important moments of history can quickly be uploaded to news and media outlets for quick consumption by the world.    But we need to print those powerful images.  Otherwise, our visual history will disappear.

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