004 | Prints are better than Instagram, change my mind

Mitchel Lensink
Jan 4, 2021
1 min read

This is a cliché. As creatives, we need to make more physical products. Photographers in particular can benefit a lot from printing out their work.

Looking around, I see many people making photos with the sole purpose of posting them on Instagram. I used to do that too. The reason for that was I had no other place to put them. I was constantly looking for other outlets though.

In my search for a better, more worthy, place for my photos, I grew a bigger and bigger resentment of social media. Not to sound elitist, or like I figured it all out. Not at all. I simply no longer believe that social media should be the end product of your work.

Social media is a tool, not the goal, and should be treated as such.

I try to accomplish this by making photographs that have some coherence between them. Something that tells a story. Something that has meaning. Even when I’m taking random shots of everyday moments, I treat them as part of a bigger thing that will someday have value.

Think about those 30 year old photos that we now look at like: “damn, those were times, weren’t they?”. That’s exactly the reason why we should document our current life as well. This will sound a little pretentious but I believe it is my duty as an image maker to provide the future with a record of the present.

With that in mind, I have upped my production quite a lot. At the same time my output has been minimal. I have a few things in the pipeline though. A few more Zines, fine art prints (finally!) and maybe even a book. All these are the result of longer-term photography projects. Projects that are meant to live on my website and in the physical world. Places that have longevity. Places that I own and have control over.

As I said a few days ago, impatience only prohibits your creativity. Therefore I think it’s a good call to try and make more physical work. Print your photos and look at them on something other than a screen. Feel them in your hands. Shuffle a stack of them around and create pairs, combinations, compositions. Make a book out of them.

It takes a little more time making something but then it lasts a little longer as well.

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