Why Print in a Digital Age?
Adam Scorey, ex-photo magazine editor and now Product and Marketing Manager for One Vision Imaging, suggests that if we desert print, the content, the pose or the moment will end up becoming more important than the rest of an image’s ingredients.
Why do we take pictures, or why are we commissioned to shoot? Regardless of the client, it’s to capture our memories and remind us of the good, bad and ugly of the world around us. As business owners we strive for quality in all things.
We don’t go into a shop and say, “Can I have your most terrible carrots please?” or “No, I’d rather have the broken down, three-wheel car please, the one with the rust and the dents!” You buy good products. You go on great training courses and you set up a cracking, all-singing-all-dancing website.
So when it comes to your images, what should you do? Send a USB or DVD with your images on it and let the client decide? As the expert, you know what’s best for the client. That’s why you can charge more — you have superior knowledge and expertise in the field.
The question these days is: has the content of an image become more important than the print quality; and by that I mean have we let the customer decide what should be termed as quality? The pose rather than the density, contrast and colour saturation? Has the price become a bigger consideration than the purpose?
We have lost our way a bit with the prevalence of digital. Instead of digital images making pro photography simpler and less susceptible to theft, it has done the opposite. Our prints used to create a standard for us all to be judged by. And photography organisations like RPS, SWPP, The Guild and competitions like The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize and the Pink Lady Food Photography Awards all still use professional quality prints to judge an artist’s work. No way can you say they are all Jurassic dinotographers using stone tripods and wax tablets. Print, arguably, is still cutting edge. It’s still THE standard to be judged by… if you dare.
The key thing to remember here is: It’s the print that creates the true value, not the ingredients. Your image, carefully colour corrected and graded and then printed on fine quality paper.
Printing is scary. It takes no prisoners. And why should it? It's the best, since it creates a level playing field. Desert print at your peril; you’ll give the customer all the power and you, the hard working pro, will seem no different than Uncle Paul with his Nikon D5500. And his images look great on his tablet, right?
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Keywords: Adam Scorey, OVI, One Vision Imaging, UK, Zenfolio, digital, partner, photographer, photography, printing, pro lab, production, professional lab, professional photographer, professional photography, selling
I have bookmarked this post for those days when my resolve waivers on receiving emails like this:
"Most other quotes we received don't charge for the actual prints and just give you a memory stick of the photos."
Thank you :)
Yes I totally agree. The art of photography has been dying. I see images advertised by pros at wedding photography with bad lighting and bad posing all the time. My training was the Monte Zucker style You see none of that in todays wedding photography and the bride helps to create it. Then the studio does just the worst job and still gets paid.
I soooo agree with you. Getting all clients on the same page is sometimes a tough sell as most people look for a photographer with one thing in mind - digital files. So from the get-go we have an uphill struggle to sell more. Happily, most people that I work with appreciate printed items as I've got a studio "showroom" to sell myself. But I do lose clients when they find out I am not a photographer who gives away digital files with every job.
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