Printing and Storing Digital Images | Hawaii Big Island Photographer | Beyond the Box Photography

Digital Image Preservation

Some professional photographers don’t even want to sell digital files because they don’t want clients to end up with poor quality prints that tarnish the photographer’s original image. I share that concern, but I’m not going to deny my clients the digital files if that is what they would prefer.  I will, however, encourage you to print your images.

Once you have received your digital images from your download link or USB, copy them to an external drive.   A 3-2-1 approach is a great idea (3 copies of the file, stored in 2 different places with one of those places being outside of your home or office). Even with these precautions, technology changes and hard drive crashes are a concern when it comes to preserving your memories.

Printing Your Images

We Have Entered the Era of the Photographic Lost Generation

We are taking photos more than ever, but they’re nearly all digital files with very few tangible prints being produced. By now we know that digital never means safe, yet millions of memories are currently being entrusted to servers, clouds and phones. The risk could be felt by our entire generation, as we grow up without a printed, photographic record of our lives. The most photographed generation of all time could wind up being the next Lost Generation.

It’s not just affecting today’s youth. 42% of people between the ages of 30 and 44 will likely look back and wonder where photos of their childhood, holiday get-togethers, relatives and friends have gone decades from now1, and, reportedly, 67% store their photos solely on a computer or phone. Statistics show that a staggering 53% of consumers have not printed a photo in more than 12 months, 70% don’t have photo albums, and 42% no longer print photos at all.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We know that everything from candles, bicycles and vinyl albums have survived the “disruption” caused by technological advancements. We have to remember the value and importance of printed, framed, and mounted photographs in our lives and for the generations after us. Children love to see images of themselves around the house, newlyweds have fond moments when they see their wedding photo on the mantle or walls, and our most beloved pets are sealed in time…all thanks to the power of print.

Printing Recommendations

Professional Photography Labs

Beyond the Box Photography offers full service printing and products.   All prints are printed through a professional photo lab that uses high quality archival ink and paper.   These are printed with longevity in mind.   Your professionally printed memories can be handed down for generations to come.

Printing your Images Yourself

There are multiple options for printing your digital images.   For the best results, please print with a professional lab with no color corrections.  Yes, professional labs charge more for prints.   However, the difference between a consumer lab and a professional lab is great.     Check out this comparison of consumer labs versus professional labs.

Because print quality varies greatly from lab to lab, Beyond the Box Photography does not guarantee can print quality from a non-professional lab.

Cropping Guide/Aspect Ratio

When you take your images to print, choosing a print size will affect the cropping of your image.


Because cameras produce images with an aspect ratio (ratio of photograph width to height) of 3:2. That means the images will fit the following print sizes perfectly:

4 x 6 12 x 18
6 x 916 x 24
8 x 12 20 x 30
10 x 15

As soon as you print any other sizes, cropping is unavoidable. Make sure your print lab allows you to preview your image and crop as you desire before you print.

For you reference, here is a guide to many common print sizes.