Photographers, This Is Why You Should Print for Your Clients

I don’t think anyone would deny that we are living in a digital age. Most of our clients, both wedding and portrait, like to buy their images digitally. If you look at how we “consume” imagery nowadays it is primarily in a digital format. We all use our mobile phones or tablets not just to take photos but also to store them to show to friends, family and even potential clients. We share photos online and it is a very easy way for everyone to see them.

 

BUT we are in danger not only of losing a whole generation of photos (honestly, who is going to go through that pile of old disks in the cupboard?) but also of our clients not seeing the true quality of an image.

 

Image © Lisa Beaney

Image © Lisa Beaney

 

As photographers we are very careful to colour calibrate our monitors and we spend time editing photographs to correct any exposure or white balance issues, as well as putting our own artistic interpretation on to them. But what we don’t know is what our clients will be viewing them on. I’m yet to meet any client that has a calibrated screen, and have you seen how over saturated some TV screens are? You can only imagine what your images will look like when they are displayed on a screen like this. Worst of all your client has nothing to compare it to. They won’t know that the highlights look so blown because the brightness is sky high… and that rather attractive orange glow on their skin is actually due to the saturation of their laptop screen…

 

This is why we need to be printing our images.

 

I’m not saying we should only give printed images (although I’m sure that some people will say I’m wrong!) but we should give our clients the opportunity to see how good the images can look when they are printed.

 

Image © Lisa Beaney

Image © Lisa Beaney

 

There are several ways you can do this and the route I have gone down in my business is to give each and every client a print of one of my favourite images from their session as a complimentary print. I print this at 8x6” and then put it in a 10x8” mount. For wedding clients I provide them with 10 mounted prints in a presentation box with their digital images. Yes, this costs me money, but I have factored that in to my direct costs for each session and I’ve made sure that this is covered in the session fee.

 

For the printing I use an Epson P600 Printer (it will print up to A3+) and I print most of my images on PermaJet Fine Art Portrait Rag paper. I experimented with lots of different paper types to see which I liked best and which suited my images. This means it is quick and easy for me to produce one off prints without needing to pay the postage costs from the lab for a single print.

 

Image © Lisa Beaney

Image © Lisa Beaney

 

By using Lightroom I can set up a print template complete with guidelines to show me how I need to trim the print from an A4 sheet, and PermaJet will provide you with FREE custom ICC profiles for your printer/paper combination.

 

This gives me complete control over the whole process and means that my clients go away with a copy of the photograph looking exactly as I intended. The main advantages of providing a print are:

 

  1. My clients know what the colours should look like, so if they have their own prints made from the digital images they have a comparison.
     

  2. You can actually show the difference in the quality of the print compared to the digital version on screen.
     

  3. It encourages clients to think again about having printed images.

 

Image © Lisa Beaney

 

I also print my own work and add it to a portfolio that I can show prospective clients. There is something quite exciting about printing and it is extremely rewarding seeing your finished images. You also find yourself spotting things in printed images that you don’t necessarily see on screen and this is invaluable if you are looking to submit your images for a competition or qualification, even if it is a digital submission. By producing physical prints you can improve your photography and editing skills.

 

So, set aside an afternoon and try printing! Frame your images, put them on your walls, put them in to a portfolio and show your clients what they SHOULD look like.

To see more of Lisa's work or to find out about her one to one mentoring visit

www.lisabeaneyphotography.co.uk/

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