Photographs versus digital images

I stumbled across an article on why you should print your images on paper the other day while checking facebook and then I read several more on the same subject. It isn’t like I haven’t thought of it before but how safe are digital images? So I decided to do some research on the subject and I was pretty suprised. First off, I know anything can fail, so realistically any image storage isn’t totally safe, but here is what I found out. Web Storage like the Cloud can lose your images at anytime and it has happened. Images on your phone can be lost anytime and I know someone who has lost years of photos of their kids first hand. So what about storage? CDs and DVDs are said to have a life of 3-7 years and hard drives 1-5 years (which seemed shocking) flash drives 5-8 years. Also pretty shocking. Now maybe photos aren’t that big of a deal for you and maybe you wouldn’t be devestated by losing your child’s baby photos, your wedding photos, or old family photos. I have photos of my great great grandparents. I mean really cool old black and whites that I hold in my hand and stare at wondering what life was like at that moment. I treasure those photos. I also have 15 or more albums of printed photos of my kids from birth on that I sometimes sit and page through remembering all those moments. The kids sometimes have pulled a few out for a school project or a special frame, and I was always glad I had them for that. Now I am not saying I don’t have “folders” on my computer “desktop” with photos that haven’t been printed because in this digital age I have so many it’s overwhelming but I always print a few. If everything went bad I have printed photos from almost everything. I hope my kids and grandkids treasure them and they are glad I made the effort to print photos. That being said I have recently changed up my service to my clients at my photography studio to include fully edited, retouched, and color corrected paper proofs for every session. I love that customers leave my studio with photos in their hand to share with friends and family. I also offer professional printing in every size as well as the option to buy digital prints. I want to make sure my customers get what they want. Now I feel a little more obligated about encouraging people to order a few prints because I really want my customers to have the memories I capture for more than a lifetime. How safe are your images?