When I was growing up, my phone had a cord.

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I realize now that this post might date me, but yes, you read correctly, I grew up with a landline phone. I didn’t have an actual cell phone until I was 17, which I might add barely fit in my pocket, and I didn’t start using Facebook until I was in college. As a proud member of the Generation Y.2 club, which is also known as an “older” Millennial. I was born during a time where the growth of technology became rapidly fast and exploded, but fortunately for me, I was able to adapt quickly.

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As I got my degree in Graphic Design, I figured I was set for life. I got a job in the print industry for a retail company, and I assumed my job was secure. Boy, was I wrong. My job was eliminated, so now what?

After searching around for jobs, one thing became evident; it was time for me to join the digital world. It wasn’t like I haven’t been exposed to digital marketing because I live and breathe it every day as a consumer by buying those shoes I had to have from amazon, or searching for the best salon around town or stalking my ex-boyfriend on Facebook. Ok, maybe that last one was a stretch, but you get what I mean.

Now I’m on the other side of the counter; I have to give my company a fighting chance in this ever-growing digital world. So what does that mean for me? There are so many avenues in digital marketing. Each channel serves a different purpose, and there are tricks to the trade. In my mind, digital marketing included setting up a business website, posting about events your company attended on Facebook, maybe setting up a LinkedIn profile, or sending out email blasts. Obviously, I am learning that this is just scratching the surface.

For me, I take pride in what I do for a career, so taking this class gets me one step closer to achieving my goals, which is to help my company succeed. My company has just introduced marketing initiatives to help enhance their position in the market, and that’s where I come in. Digital Marketing has the potential for opening up so many doors and brand new opportunities. As a fifth-generation company, we have to continuously improve and be relevant to all of our constituents, e.g., customers, employees, suppliers, and strategic partners.  

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One thing is for sure, nothing stands still, and our customers are continually evolving. But at a deeper level, so are the people who make decisions on behalf of our customers. Their organizational makeup has decision-makers turning over quite regularly, so the time to grab their attention and build meaningful relationships is limited. That said, we need to leverage technologies such as digital marketing to influence their opinions about our value and deliverables positively. Current and future generations are ever-changing in terms of what they value and how we need to reach them. So the challenge is, what is the best way to advertise to them, what creative leverage do we use to get their attention, and what role does Digital Marketing play in that equation. 

I understand that there is a lot to learn in Digital Marketing, but one thing that forever stays the same; it’s the mindset in which you deliver your message. The customer always comes first, so you have to be willing to grow with them, learn from your mistakes, and be the solutions to their problems. What an exciting new adventure to be apart of!

I will leave you with this final thought.

The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.

Marshall McLuhan
Photo by me

When I was growing up, my phone had a cord.

A Call to the Digital Generation: Print your Photos


One of my favorite childhood memories is my mom taking me to Walmart to get our film developed. We would go to the photo department and drop off our film canisters, and then shop around the store for an hour until our images were ready to be picked up. It was like magic when we traded our last name for envelopes full of stacks of photos. We never waited until we got home to open them, and I can’t explain the thrill of flipping through the pictures right there as I leaned over the shopping cart. I am thankful for so many things my parents did for me and my brothers growing up, but the amount of photos they took and printed has to be up there with what I am most thankful for. My mom treated our camera like a sixth member of our family that we never went anywhere without, and she made sure to catch every moment. My dad always got incredible shots.

Now, we have around 30 shoeboxes filled with those photos, and more floating around in albums and frames. I can’t count the number of times I have carried all of the boxes into my bedroom where I’ve surrounded myself with piles of photos on the floor for hours on end, admiring the memories. And every time I have done this, in every different bedroom over the years and at every stage of life, looking at those photos is what makes me feel at home, even when everything around me changes.

In fifth grade, my mom and I picked out an Olympus digital camera for my dad’s birthday present, which is kind of a joke in my family because it only really belonged to him for the first five minutes after he unwrapped it. I was obsessed with the camera and took it everywhere with me. My mom’s film Kodak broke on a school field trip to a corn maze that she chaperoned for me in second grade, and our film Nikon stopped getting as much love. Now that things were digital in my family, Walmart’s one hour photo developing trips became a thing of the past. Since we could upload all of our photos to the computer, the hard drive became our shoe box. We only printed when we needed to.

Fast forward to present day. We are the generation of the iPhone, the goPRO, and digital cameras altogether. Advances in technology are amazing…but I’m scared. I’m scared of losing the shoebox generation. I want my kids to grow up laying on their bedroom floors laughing, crying and reminiscing on old photos like I did. And I don’t want my own memories to exist strictly in the digital realm post fifth grade. People are certainly taking more photos now than ever before, but those photos are living in hard drives and clouds. They are disappearing from walls, photo albums, and shoeboxes! I ask myself, am I overthinking this? Does it even matter?

Something happened in fall of 2016 that reminded me how important a physical photograph is. As we all know, polaroid cameras are making a comeback courtesy of FujiFilm in pastel colors, some even equipped with selfie mirrors. I was waiting in line at Hands On Art Studio in Door County with my mom, and a group of little kids came running into the front desk area. One of the girls had a yellow polaroid camera in her hand and I watched as she responded to the curious expression of her friend by saying, “It’s called a polaroid! It’s this cool new thing where you take a picture and it comes out of the top! There’s not even a screen!” The kids were beaming with excitement over this “new” invention, and couldn’t wait to take a photo and then hold it in their hands. I can’t explain how much it warmed my heart to watch that moment. That these kids were experiencing the excitement and suspense of setting up a photo you couldn’t delete, and then getting whatever was given after the shutter closed. Pictures matter. Yes, physical photographs matter. The magic I felt as a kid buried in those shoeboxes wasn’t a feeling unique to myself. Photos are magic for everyone.

Capturing memories for people is one is one of my life’s greatest purposes, and so will be encouraging you to PRINT YOUR PHOTOS! I believe the ways of the past and the present can coexist. I would be lying if I said I didn’t take 50 pictures on my phone every day, most that I don’t do anything with. My recommendation is this: don’t rely on your cell phone to be the only device that captures your memories. Don’t keep your images in the atmosphere. Buy a small mirrorless camera you can keep in your bag wherever you go. Make the time to get quality, printable, frame worthy photos taken of yourself, your family and your loved ones. Invest in a professional! They will provide you with quality photos that your great, great grandchildren will be thankful you had taken.

So what are your options for printing? There are many great online labs that you can upload your digital files to, giving you a plethora of options for prints and products to get as creative as you want with turning your files into tangible products. Nations Photo Lab is a user friendly website that offers everything from albums to prints to mugs to coffee table books, and more. If you are a photographer and are searching for a lab to work with for creating your client products, White House Custom Color will work closely with you to perfect your color calibration, and provide you with top notch products and samples so you can grow your business. And when it comes time to store your prints, Hanging Branch offers custom engraved photography packaging on beautiful handmade wooden boxes.

In this day and age, all it takes is forgetting to back up your phone one day and then dropping it into a toilet the next to lose it all.

I’ve never seen 30 shoeboxes get flushed down the toilet, have you? Ha, ha.

But really.

When you peak into the bedroom of your kids giggling at a photo, arguing about who the naked baby in the bath tub is, or you show your grandmother with dementia images from her past that light up her eyes like you haven’t seen in years, or when you are feeling lonely, nostalgic, or lost in this life, and you notice the shoebox under your bed at just the right moment, you will understand why.

With love,


A Call to the Digital Generation: Print your Photos