To print or not to print - this is such a common question in the photographer community. It's also a common misconception in the consumer community.
Last year, I photographed a family for their Christmas portraits: a beautiful, vibrant family of four with another on the way. Two weeks after our session, I received an email from the mom telling me that her husband had passed away suddenly and how grateful she was to have that last family photo to show her babies.
I have always understood the importance of prints. For my entire life, I've printed photograph after photograph after photograph. I literally have dozens of boxes of photo albums, scrapbooks and my walls are covered (yes covered) with prints. Both as a child and as an adult, I have enjoyed hours of perusing my grandmother's photo albums, my mother's photo albums, and when I visit my family members, their photo albums, too. I don't enjoy sitting in front of my aunt's computer looking through her file folders.
Prints of your photographs are irreplaceable, tangible, REAL things that digital versions can never, EVER amount to be.
Photographers don't sell you prints because they're greedy. Photographers who sell you prints are selling them to you because they care about your family's heirlooms, because they care about the real memories. They don't want your memories lost forever because they were tossed in a drawer, got scratched and the data can no longer be recovered. They don't want that sweet memory of you and your children to never see the light of day.
The truth of the matter is, we care. I care. I want you to have prints that will last for generations: tender moments that transcend time.
Need more convincing? http://www.skipcohenuniversity.com/scu-blog/making-the-point-about-selling-prints
Still not sure? Do a Google search on the vast number of people who have lost all of their memories through hardware malfunctions, software corruption, or even pure accidental user error.
We have only a finite amount of time on this earth. What memories will you leave behind for your children and family?