Hewlett Packard recently announced it’s downsizing its photo printing department, sighting a drastic decline in the printing of photos, and therefore the sales of printers, ink, and paper.

This decline is no surprise to those of us in the consumer imaging industry. When digital cameras came on the scene, the printing of photos took an immediate hit. Having owned a photo lab myself, I can tell you this was a major blow to the bottom line of every lab. With film, a roll would be processed for not just one, but sometimes two or more copies of the entire roll.  If a picture was snapped, and the roll brought in, 100% of the of the photos would be printed at least once.

With the introduction of digital cameras, that number quickly dropped to 60%, then 80%, and now 85%! So out of every 100 photos snapped today, only 15 are printed. This percentage reflects not only a change in the way we choose to enjoy our photos, switching from print to screen, but also the realistic success rate of the average family historian; snap shot shooter.

More to come on home photo printing…