For over 150 years, the purpose of the photographic print was so self-apparent that it was never questioned: printed pictures were used to transfer visual information quickly, economically, and “truthfully” from one place to another.
One may argue that photography’s ease of mobility, in the form of the print, is what allowed the medium to gain such ubiquity and popularity in our society. Paper was abundant and the preferred vehicle for disseminating information. It was natural that photographic prints serve the same purpose.
The desire to readily share images has ruthlessly dictated the rise and fall of numerous photographic processes, from daguerreotypes, to albumen prints in the late 1800s, to 20th century silver printing techniques, to current inkjet printing practices