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The Best Reasons to Print Your Family Photos

Updated: Apr 10

Family Photography Session Eisenhower Park

There's an actual study that shows why you should print your family photos and I summarize it all below for you. But first, a history. I am a born and bred Long Islander. I grew up in Wantagh and now live in Manhasset. In our house growing up, my mom had a wall in our living room dedicated to family portraits.  To be clear, this was our very formal living room.  There were breakable objects in there and the room was largely off-limits for daily play.  But, when we were running around the house, the living room was a key part of the race course.  We spent every family holiday in there and when it was chilly, enjoyed lots of evenings near a roaring fire in that fireplace. 

I don’t think the room changed once during my entire childhood.  The sofas stayed the same, the piano, a family piece stayed the same, and my mom’s prized glass top coffee table stayed the same (until our family dog chewed a large piece of wood from the side but maybe that’s another story).

The one thing in the room that changed year after year was that every December my sisters and I would get dressed up, go to our local studio, and get our photographs taken.  As we got older, we had so much fun finding outfits we all liked to wear.  When I went to college and would come home for winter break, off we would go for our family portraits.  One year, we all decided to do a “casual” session with Giants jerseys.  Imagine our surprise when just a few months later they actually won the Super Bowl!  It’s one we still talk about.

Each year after our session, mom would print and dad would frame the photo and hang it on the wall.  The wall was covered with photos of the 3 of us growing up together.  And every photo represented a story (at least to me).  Of where we had been that year and where we were going.  Of how we were together and how our family was doing. 

It was no surprise to me then that I became a photographer – capturing those moments as a family was really special to me and something that I had looked forward to my every year of my life.

And now - there's an actual STUDY that explains why we should print and hang our photos! Chatbooks and HP surveyed almost 16,000 families in 2019 to explore their habits around printing photos and their emotions around those printed images. Questions were multiple choice.

The survey showed that printed photos help families feel closer and more connected!!

The majority of survey participants agreed that looking at printed photos is a shared experience while looking at digital photographs is not.

As well, a majority of parents report that their children love looking at and talking about printed photos. Their child loves looking at photos of themselves! And that their children look at photos and talk about them together.

Children also feel a stronger sense of identity and it strengthens a child's connection to their family!! How amazing is that?!

Children report that when they look at printed photos they feel

  • Happy

  • Loved

  • Special

  • Valued as a Member of our Family

  • Important

Have you decided to print your images yet?! If not, you should know that parents experience positive benefits as well!!!

First, parents report that looking at printed photos of their family makes them feel like good parents (who couldn't use more of this feeling?!). This is also known as parental self-efficacy and high parental self-efficacy has been linked to positive outcomes for families including reduced parental anxiety, higher quality parent-child interactions and children who enjoy higher self-esteem.

As a family, higher parental self-efficacy can result in a happier, healthier home life with better parent-child interactions. The next time you want to have a tantrum alongside your toddler, pull out your newborn photos. Seeing those family portraits softens parents' emotions towards their children the study found!

The study found that six times more adults prefer looking at printed photos over digital photos and 82% agree that they feel better about showing their children photos of themselves printed out, vs. on a digital device like a phone!

This may be because a printed out image is a shared experience. Parents believe that looking at printed photos together with their child helps them to remember important life events as well as recall details that would have otherwise been forgotten. Printed photos can also help children have more memories of their childhood and gives them knowledge of their family history.

Knowing your family history can lead to fewer behavioral problems, better coping skills and lower rates of depression and anxiety!

As a family photographer based on Long Island, New York, seeing my clients framed images on their walls is SO fulfilling! After all, you've went through the trouble of dressing everyone, getting them out of the house, getting to your photographer and paying for the whole thing! The prints are actually the smallest cost and to be able to display them will help both you and your children for a long time.

For me, my parents may have moved from my childhood home but the picture wall moved with them. Now it has a place of pride in another living room. As my nieces grow, we get to show them how we looked when we were their ages. I can't think of anything better.

For more info, see the full report here:

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