I read, I write, I make art.

(Written for the Kicksend Blog, published August 8, 2013)

I’m a photography addict and an admitted hoarder of keepsakes, so of course I have prints. You might think in this digital world all you need is your camera memory card, your cellphone, or your Instagram collection. Not true! Here are five good reasons why I print my photos – and why you should highly consider it as well.

1. Technologies Change
There’s no guarantee that your storage media for digital files will still be accessible in a few years (do you still have a VCR?) But barring floods and fire, your prints will be viewable no matter what the future holds.

2. Prints Can Freeze Time (Even if Memories Fade)
When I was 20 I thought I’d always look that way, but with decorative wrinkles (and probably not quite as cool). Turns out that a lot of things went the way of cool as I aged – and that looking at a framed print of my wild young self lets me feel that age again. (Which sadly means that all the mullet-heads will have to relive that haircut every time the photo album is brought out at reunions.)

three old photos

3. Prints Create Connections
People who have photos on display are never strangers. You can walk into their home or office space, spot the photos, and immediately connect with them through their family and favorite memories, turning you into instant BFFs!

4. Prints Are Heritage Items (And They Get More Valuable Over Time)
I have family photos that I treasure because of the back of the photo, where there are notes in my dad’s handwriting – every time I look at these prints I hear his voice talking about some of his childhood memories. You owe this same experience to the next generation by printing your photos!

antique photos

Four generations including my great-grandfather in his famous beard (upper left photo), my dad and a friend right before he left for basic training during WWII (lower photo). Image: Tamra Heathershaw-Hart

5. Your Mom (and Dad!) Will Love You For Sharing
Face it, even if your parents Instagram every detail of their own lives, they’re still going to want prints of yours. Whether it’s a snapshot of a typical day or a memento of a once-in-a-lifetime experience, your relatives will love having a stack of printed photos that they can hold in their hands.

About Me
Fiction writer, coffee addict, cat owner...doesn't every "about me" say that, usually with a cutesy photo? I don't do cutesy. So I'll add to the list: I'm short, stubborn, very unfashionable, clumsy (typing this with a wounded wrist, always have bruises), opinionated, and a humanist. BS degree in Journalism '83, certificate in technical writing, addicted to reading, can't boil water without setting off the smoke alarm, non-skinny, politically active (and annoyingly loud about it). Love comfort, hate camping, wouldn't want to live in a world where chocolate and caramel hadn't been invented.