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It’s not finished until it’s printed with CEWE

Posted on Oct 5, 2023

Nominated in the best photo book & photo gifts category in the PN Awards 2023, CEWE wants to start a photo-printing revolution and preserve our photos in the best possible way

While the advent of digital photography has led us to generate more images than ever before, the majority of us never look back at them. This is in stark contrast to the film age, where nearly every image we captured was printed. While most of us have albums and shoeboxes full of these images, most digital shots are left forgotten on smartphones, memory cards and hard drives.

A recent survey of 2000 adults in the UK – commisioned by CEWE – served to confirm most of the above. The research revealed that 56% of those questioned had lost access to or accidentally deleted digital photos, resulting in the loss of significant memories. It’s clear that the only way to be sure of preserving our shots, both for ourselves and future generations, is to print them.

CEWE’s latest campaign, The Printing Revolution, calls for a revival of the printed photo to ensure treasured memories aren’t lost, and for us to spend more time appreciating our prints.

Something to cherish in a throwaway culture

While digital photography has brought us convenient ways to share images, physical prints are something to cherish. In truth, we have much more of a connection with tangible, printed photographs – so it’s clear that printing retains a completely vital role in the largely post-analogue world.

That’s undoubtedly why, just as film photography is seeing a revival, and a discovery by a new generation, we’re also realising that print is the best way to preserve our visual memories. While photography has become integral to our daily lives in the digital age, print is not only here for today, but also for tomorrow.

“I see digital pictures as a cluster of zeroes and ones. I don’t really consider it a ‘photograph’ until it’s printed,” suggests music photographer Christie Goodwin, known for her work with Ed Sheeran. Documentary, wedding and portrait photographer Christopher Hall adds: “If we don’t have photos of daily life in print, we’re in danger of losing a little piece of history. There’s so much power in seeing a printed photograph instead spending two seconds looking at it scrolling by.”

This sentiment is echoed by the British public, with CEWE’s survey revealing that 69% of us experience joy when looking at prints. 74% of us believe there is an emotional benefit to doing so. By contrast, 45% admit that being able to take multiple digital photos has made them less appreciative of taking a single photo. Photographer Rod Wheelans makes a good additional point. “I worry that with many families just posting photographs to social media, these memories will be gone by the time their children are grown up – and they won’t get to see them.”

CEWE believes now is the time to reconnect with the most important moments in our lives and preserve them as tangible items we can hold and display – as individual prints or a CEWE PHOTOBOOK. So join the revolution and let printing bring back connection and appreciation to the art of photography!

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Originally published in Issue 111 of Photography News.

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