You've seen both pro photogs and enthusiasts alike use the hashtag “#printyourwork” all over social media. But, ever find yourself asking why you would need more than a digital file, especially in an internet-driven age where digital devices are king? Richard has seven reasons why all photogs should print their photos.
1) Complete the Artistic Process
Historically, photography has always been a printed medium. Printing your work is part of completing the full creative process of photography. Because printing itself presents so many tactile and aesthetic options—size, printing method, paper types/finishes, and final presentation—the decisions that are made during printing are a large part of creating the “final piece”.
2) See the Unseen
Printing your work makes you a better photographer. How? Seeing your images in print makes you notice things you couldn’t spot on a screen. That’s why Richard highly recommends getting proof prints for every shoot you do, whether it’s film scans or digital corrections. Treat the proof prints as just that—a proof—and refine and edit your work after reviewing the prints.
“Printing your photographs brings new life to your work. It allows you to see everything in a new light. It becomes tangible, it becomes more of an experience, it becomes art.”
3) Realize Your True Vision
A lot of control goes in to taking a photograph; you control the exposure, depth, focus, color, contrast, and composition. Why wouldn’t you want just as much control when it comes to the distribution of your work? When you print your photos, you dictate the appearance of the final image, and eliminate variables like monitor calibration and subpar printers.
4) Amp Up Your Marketing Muscle
Having a physical representation of your work is a great way to promote your business. For example, flat cards are a tangible take-away for potential clients in which you can easily display an image on one side and your contact information on the other. Plus, seeing your previous shoots in print gets clients thinking about seeing their job in print, which leads to our next point…
5) Create a Money-Maker
After a shoot is over, prints keep people buying--whether it’s your client or a collector. While the value of the tangible lives very much in memories and emotions for clients and photogs alike, there is also a monetary value for the photographer that shouldn’t be ignored.
6) Access the Professional Print World
If you ever meet with a gallery, agency, or collector, you should have a printed portfolio. Why? Because they are working in the print world, and if you want to get in on it, you need to speak their language.
“The first time I had one of my floral arrangements printed, I cried. Seeing it blown up in all its glory is really emotional and empowering. Feeling the weight of the gorgeous Hahnemuhle paper in my hands and then hanging it on my wall or a client’s wall is my goal—I have created a flower arrangement that will last forever.”
–Ashley Woodson Bailey
7) Guarantee Longevity
Remember looking through old photos your parents had stored in a shoebox? The feeling of literally holding memories in your hand? Digital media’s future is still unknown to us, but prints have a proven lasting quality. When your future grandchildren can’t open/read your hard drive from 2015, it’s the printed images that they will connect with and pass on to their grandchildren.
So, think #memoriesyoucanhold the next time you pick up your camera, and don’t miss out on all the benefits of printing your images!
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Richard is shining the photog spotlight on our friend Leslee Mitchell! Leslee is based in Nashville, Tenessee, but she creates amazing images all over the world; "Life is too beautiful for bad photography," she says. In 2014, Leslee was featured as one of Rangefinder Magazine's 30 Rising Stars. Richard was lucky enough to get the first-hand dish from this superstar photog, so take some time to get to know Leslee with us!
Richard: What first sparked your passion for photography?
Leslee Mitchell: For as long as I can remember, I have seen pictures. On long, family road trips while everyone else was sleeping, I was in the backseat staring out the window creating coffee table books in my head. From an early age, I have been fascinated with current events and breaking news stories; particularly the photographs of such events. While it meant little to me then, this early fascination now explains my love for candid, sincere photographs. Photography was never something I viewed as a career path. That, plus I never had a camera and I went to law school. Long story short, I have loved pictures my entire life.
R: Making the leap from photography as a personal passion to a paying gig is a big one... how did you decide to pursue it as a career?
LM: For me, the turning point was a realization of what I was meant to do rather than the decision to pursue photography as a career. Photography was never the plan. As opportunities presented themselves, I accepted them and looked for ways to create more . This career changed my life. It has become bigger than me. The list of people to thank for helping make the growth I have experienced is very long.
R: When you aren’t shooting for clients, what do you LOVE to photograph?
LM: I love interiors. Great interior design is something to which I am naturally drawn, which explains my love for this genre of photography. Product photography is another love of mine. I particularly enjoy styling and photographing handmade products from my favorite artisans and incorporating them into an interior setting.
R: How do you find a balance between being creatively fulfilled and being able to pay the bills?
LM: Personal projects keep me creatively fulfilled and at my commissioned jobs, I always pay myself first...and everybody's happy.
R: What is your favorite camera and why?
LM: Large format film cameras are my favorite because the clarity and depth they produce are a type of next level beauty that takes my breath. I love my iPhone camera a lot, too.
R: What's your favorite memory of shooting with film?
LM: My first memories are watching YouTube videos with my Momma to learn how to load film. I continue to shoot film as a pro because in the right setting and with the perfect conditions, it is currently the medium for achieving the next level of beauty in my work.
R: Why is it important to have continuous communication with your lab(s)?
LM: Continuous communication with your lab is important because your sending your art to them. Theirs are the first eyes to see your created product. That's reason enough. A phone call from Richard never goes to voicemail. Communicating with my lab is an opportunity to learn. Talking with the staff at Richard feels like talking with friends. I love their style and it's so nice to work with a vendor who has a sense of humor.
R: Do you have any pre-shoot rituals? We wanna know the quirky, weird stuff.
LM: Sometimes before I shoot, I like to look at my favorite interior photos on my Pinterest. The perfected composition, lighting, and angles are an inspiration whether I am photographing people, an event, or a product. I also always make sure I have enough gum to last me the whole time I'll be shooting.
R: Let’s play a game of “Either/Or”! Savory or sweet?
R: Dogs or cats?
R: Vintage or modern?
LM: The perfect mix of both.
R: Warm weather or cold weather?
LM: Warm weather.
R: Biggie or Tupac?
R: Early bird or night owl?
LM: Night owl.
R: Crossword or Sudoku?
R: Chocolate or vanilla?
R: Urban or rural?
LM: I need both annually.
R: Breakfast or dinner?
R: Batman or Superman?
R: Historical Non-fiction or SciFi/Fantasy?
LM: Historical Non-Fiction.
R: Comedy or drama?
R: Truth or dare?
R: What song/music do you listen to get pumped up?
LM: Currently, "Wildfire" by Jon Mayer.
R: If you weren't a photographer, what would you be when you grow up?
LM: I would be either an illustrator, an interior designer, or the person who creates the window displays at Anthropologie. I have always wanted to valet cars, so maybe that...
R: If you were a super hero, what would your super power be?
LM: My super power would be the ability to remove time from travel. It would let me travel to any place on the globe without the cost of time.
R: What is your favorite word, and why?
LM: My favorite word is "Leslee". If I don't love it, neither will anyone else.
Richard won BIG TIME in Vegas. No, not at the slots, but at WPPI 2015! We made a ton of new friends, interviewed some of the industry’s best, and partied our butts off… and now we’re reviewing it all for you on the blog.
We spent the weekend prepping on the showroom floor to make booth #1607 a Richard extravaganza! Aren't those some snazzy work gloves?
We inhaled our Starbucks on Monday morning to start the show with a bang! Eric Kelley, Kurt Boomer, and Virgil Bunao helped us kick-start the expo by sharing their photog experiences with Richard and the show’s attendees.
Monday night, the crew headed out to the Silver Rush Party at Drai’s Night Club--we danced our pants off with the photog community! With live performers, a tintype booth, and insane rooftop views of the Las Vegas strip, it was the biggest photog community party in Vegas. After all that crazy fun, we thought we’d be too exhausted to make it to day two…
But then the amazing Jen Huang energized us during Richard’s first interview of the day! Caroline Tran stopped in, followed by Greg Finck (who came all the way from France); some of the attendees from Jose Villa's 2014 Mexico Workshop stopped by to see Greg for a mini-reunion! KT Merry hit the mic, and then Jose Villa came back for more!
Photos by Elan Klein
After the show, it was time for Richard to have a party of our own! We got all sorts of dapper for drinks and appetizers at Canaletto, overlooking the “canal” in the Venetian. We were joined by some of our fabulous friends and clients, like Val Glidden, Jose Villa, KT Merry, Joel Serrato, Josh Gruetzmacher, Caroline Tran, Jen Huang, Kurt Boomer, Greg Finck, Brett Heidebrecht, and Caroline Tran. E 'stata una bella serata…
Our last day at WPPI 2015 was bittersweet. We said hello to the amazing Johnny Patience, who came all the way from Ireland for the show, as well as collecting tips on getting your work published from Kim Wiseley of Flutter Magazine.
Photo by Catherine Guidry
We packed up our booth and sent it back to our new home in Awesometown, but just because the show ended doesn’t mean we’ve lost the Vegas spirit! So, we’re sharing our winnings with you…
Revel in your post-Vegas memories with savings that are almost as good as winning the jackpot at the slots: 25% off in ROES! Use promo code 25WPPI15R at checkout in our print app. #youwin
Excludes proof prints and albums. Ends 4/3/15 at 11:59pm PST.