The Power of Print: 7 Reasons to Print Your Work
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. 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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