I have been preparing to write this post for a long time. Pretty much for the last 4 years as a matter of fact. I love pictures. That’s pretty obvious right? But I mean I love a print. In a digital age how many of us really actually take the time to print the pictures we are snapping?
Just the other day on Instagram the incredibly talented Laura Winslow had this to say about printing pictures.
“It is so easy to forget the emotion, the exhilaration, the feelings that we have as we hold a true, tangible photographic print in between our fingers. There becomes something so different about the physical act of touching, of seeing a loved one’s face reflected from the buttery paper rather than through pixels on a screen. A print brings with it a timelessness, an heirloom that will stand the test of time and will not disappear and melt into yet the next new technology by which we view photos. So stop, slow down, take the time to print some of your most treasured moments that have been captured on film. Let your family–not just the inside of your hard drive–enjoy them. You will never regret it.”
And just like that my next blog post was written! Just kidding. Seriously though, it is so so true. I’m sure all of you remember this picture.
It is probably the greatest picture I will ever take. Want to know what is the saddest thing in the world? The file for this picture was on an external hard drive that took a nasty fall and didn’t survive. This, along with hundreds of other photos, are gone and it twists my stomach in knots every time I think about it. Luckily for me I did have a black and white version of this blown up big, It was hanging in my studio, and now hangs in my home. What I would give to have that file back, to have the color version printed and tucked away in an album.
Moving on…Now that you’re convinced that you must be printing the pictures you’re taking (you ARE convinced aren’t you?) the question begs WHERE should you go to print them? Well my darling, let me let you in on a little secret, not all photo labs are created equal. I had no idea! It wasn’t until I became a professional photographer that someone educated me on the subject, and because knowledge is power I’m going to pass this little snippet on to you. Please take a moment to study the comparison below, then let’s chat…
Can you even believe this?? I know the pictures speak for themselves really, but I just have to say I was surprised to see these all side by side. The difference is just so crazy! There is any and every problem you can imagine in these prints. Too much contrast, too light, too dark, horrific color casts. I mean in some of them it even appears that the older brother’s sweater is covered in lint! It breaks my little photographer heart knowing that clients are paying hundreds of dollars for professional photographs, then getting prints that look nothing like the picture is meant to look!
Ok, so what about cost you say? Yes, you will pay a little more for the professional prints it’s true, but honestly I think the cost is so worth the quality. I mean let’s be real for a sec. You spend a pretty good chunk of money on the outfit for the picture, maybe a little more for fresh hair cuts, then hundreds for your photographers time and talent. You are into these pictures a pretty little penny and you don’t really want to spend more than you have to for prints. Believe me when I say, I get it! I do, but after investing all that time and energy and money don’t you want the most beautiful pictures you could have to display?
Do I think you should have all of your snapshots professionally printed? No, but I do think you should print them, and make sure that the autocorrect option is turned OFF, that will help to maintain the integrity of your photos. Do I think you should have your professionally taken photos professionally printed? 150% you should.
I hope you have enjoyed this little lesson in photo printing 101. I see no sense in keeping this information to myself. The world will be a better place if we will all resolve to printing quality photos to hang on our walls!