This is a partial collection of prints from developed film dated approximately 1998-2002. I bought a serious camera (Canon Elan II) and started taking pictures again around the time my kids were born in 98. I had the photography bug in high school, did the usual yearbook stint, then became too distracted in college to continue much, completely dropped out of it by about 1985. Most of my early efforts were lost in a fire at my parents' home while I was away (it was actually a little storage shed outside the main house so no big tragedy other than the film/prints, in other words pretty trivial in the scheme of things).
This is approximately 100 rolls when the shelf is filled (I shot this incomplete shelf to show the depth, then filled in the rest). I have probably 20 more sets of prints that I unwisely took out of their packets in a failed attempt to organize them in a different way - long story.
First think of the cost. Including the film itself we are looking at a minimum of about $10-12 per roll, depending on where I had them processed. That's over $1200 over a 4-5 year period of time. It's OK, most are snapshots of the kids as they grew and changed and experienced so many things for the first time, I'm glad I have it all. Still, point number 2...
The quality of the prints leaves a lot to be desired. I know now from working with RAW files that a lot of these pictures could easily be printed better - blown highlights are the biggest culprit especially where the pale skin of the kids is set against an otherwise dark background - I'm sure the information is there on the negative, but the printers set to automatic can't handle it.
Thirdly, the lag time between shooting and seeing the results made learning difficult, on top of not knowing if the results were from poor technique or poor processing. I suppose shooting slides would have partially solved that problem, but viewing slides is also a pain in the neck and having prints made from slides - no thanks.
Lastly, what a tremendous supply of chemicals and paper this represents, and if you think that 80% of it is junk (I'm probably being generous), pictures I never should have taken, out of focus, badly exposed, poorly framed, etc...then that's a lot of waste.
With digital I can save money, save space, save environmental waste, and even get better results. My experience with Adorama and MPIX prints has been mostly very positive, better than any of the prints I ever got from film.
On the other hand, I looked through a couple of these packets as I was arranging them, and although the pictures may be crap from photographic point of view, as historical record they are priceless. And the fact that they are prints is part of their charm, I'm not sure I would be flipping through digital albums with the same feeling. So although theoretically I should be able to get lots of good prints made more cheaply now than the old system, the fact is that I seldom make prints, in part because I think of them as "just snapshots" and not worthy of the effort and cost. Only in hindsight do they seem to take on significance that makes them worthy of printing - but then I never get around to it :-)