To paraphrase Shakespeare in a particularly egregious manner: To print or not to print, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler to keep your photos stored on your phone, or to take arms against a sea of digital archiving. Printing your photos is an art that has died a bit of a death over the past decade, with most of us keeping our most treasured memories tucked away in a folder on our phone.
However, a new campaign, led by photographer Fabrizia Costa, encourages us to break our photos out of their Gorilla Glass and aluminum alloy prisons and commit them to paper.
• Read more: Best online photo printing services
Eyewitness (opens in new tab) argues that our long term memory is flawed and that treasured experiences can easily slip away. While it's never been so easy to take photos, our access to these images has actually never been so transient. The Eyewitness manifesto explains, "when photos are simply digital files, they're hardly ever looked at and can often end up lost, deleted or corrupted… If we don't print them, it's very likely that we won't see them again."
Eyewitness shows the power of printed photos by sharing a series of images that have incredible stories behind them. One of the most touching is by founder Fabrizia Costa (opens in new tab), who tells the story of the last photoshoot she did with her daughter, who was moving from from Austria to England in two days time. Read the powerful story here (opens in new tab).
Costa and the Eyewitness campaign are arguing that, as photographers, it's our duty and responsibility to encourage people to print their photos. So how can you help their movement?
• Tell your story: Write down a treasured memory, attach a photo that perfectly illustrates it and send it to the Eyewitness campaign.
• Tell your friends: Encourage your friends to share their own stories and photos with the campaign.
• Print your photos: Choose 100 of your favorite photos and get them printed. Your family will love them.
• Tell your local press: Send them links to the Eyewitness website.
• Organize a local event: Involve your local community, your gym, and even your knitting club!
• Make a donation: Eyewitness has advised that they're a non-profit organization and that any donation is tax-deductible.
• Register to volunteer: Eyewitness are currently looking for volunteer video animators, journalists and writers, social media managers, translators, event organizers, press and media managers and sponsors.
No matter how you're able to help the campaign, printing more photos is a cause we're sure many photographers can get behind. If you wish to share your story, you can do so via the website (opens in new tab) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).