THE POWER OF THE PRINT
Today’s blog is about the power of the print, I am old enough to remember floppy disks, and the rapid advances in technology hence forth. I hear everyday about the wedding photos lost forever because people chose to have images stored on technology and never bothered to print. I mean, imagine someone from the olden days of the early 70s and beyond 😉 handed you a floppy (different meaning in the year 2016) and asked you to go print off some images, most of this generation wouldn’t even know what a floppy disk was.
When they were invented floppy disks they were the herald of uber cool modern technology, only those who knew, understood they were indeed a gate way of things to come, through the 70s into the 80s, 90s we had CD, DVD, external hard drive and now USB. Each generation of “cool dudes” or “techno fiends” never thought it would get any better. But trust me USB and disk will become as obsolete as the floppy (oh matron!). Remember Betamax? , didn’t think you would.
This day in age we take for granted the capabilities of technology, but as I type this I am looking at my laptop to find my floppy drive, I can’t see it, we are talking at least 9 + laptops ago, some modern notebook laptops don’t even have a disk drive, and some are only bluray, so this alone tells you that the end is nigh for disk.
I wish I had a pound for every customer that asked why she can’t download all her digital files to her tablet. “Some” Modern tablets are about 16-32Gbs, my images are high resolution and some are a whopping 12MB 300DPI in size, try downloading 600 (wedding images) hi res digital 2-12 MB at 300DPI images to a 16GB tablet, that is probably already full of candy crush, minecraft, 1000 images of your lovely duck pout and 2000 images of your wee cherub rubbing bum cream all over the walls in the house and well, you will only be disappointed, the photographer will be all the colourful names you can think of, because of course, it’s the always the photographers fault :).
THE POWER OF THE PRINT
But, I want them on disk or USB so I can take them to (insert what ever supermarket you wish) to get printed for 30p. Yeah this is fine, but for 30p are you really getting a quality image, or are you getting what you pay for? 2 entirely different things all together. Photographers spend hours hand crafting images, colour correcting and adding personal touches to an image, trust me when I say there is nothing more disheartening than an irate client phoning you on a photoshoot, to tell you her photos are rubbish cause she took them to some inkjet printer vendor, which was low on “nearly” black ink and the images printed awful, and they told me it was your photos. 🙂 🙂 🙂 .
There is a reason professional photographers use “Professional Photography Printing labs” and not your local supermarket, or even their own ink jet printer. Because like the photographer they take time and care with each image and also know how to fix any issues , they do this without blaming the photographer as well. I have never in my career sent away an image to be professionally finished and had it sent back with a note saying “can’t print this image because of you and your photos”. I have every single time received back outstanding accurate and jaw dropping images.
Yes of course they carry a slightly larger price tag, which brings me back to to the point made earlier, are you getting a quality image or are you getting what you pay for?. One client of mine tried to print off 12 images of her wedding at a “local printers” charged £0.80p for an image, the first set never worked the blacks were weak, the whites pink and so forth, the vendor printed them, or tried to 5 times before changing ink cartridges and changing the quality of the photo-paper, along with changing RGB colour output on the machine. As the paper quality changed (yes it makes a difference) the price rose to £1.20 an image. lets calculate that.
12 X £0.80p = £9.60 (should have been final cost)
but charged 5 times even though it wasn’t her fault or even mine for that matter
5 x£9.60 = £48.00
Then recharged for new paper and different settings at £1.20
12 images at £1.20 = £14.40 then add this to the above bill of £48.00 = £62.40
So 12 images sized at 7 x 5 inches cost her £62.40p, not really the bargain she hoped for and to make it worse the vendor blamed me, even when I saw the end result of the images I was left less than pleased they were noting like my edit of them, but presentable. Because she had booked her wedding with me I would have given her the same images from an award winning Professional Photography Printing lab for a discount of £2.99 each, with the end result being as close to 100% accurate to how I had edited them without the drama and frustration. If there was any problems with them, then I would have had the drama and frustration and not the client.
So lets compare costs of her money saving idea of getting a digital package only, cost her £62.40p (on top of the wedding may I add.)
or buying direct from me with a guarantee of quality 12 images at a discount of £2.99 = £35.88p
Although at the time the cost of 80p per image looks way cheaper than my £2.99 , had she went with my option she would have actually saved herself £26.52p. as well as hours of drama and frustration. which brings me to my next point. You think it’s expensive to hire me, well wait until you hire an amateur ! as handy as these local print vendors are and I do use them for my own family images sometimes, the guys who operate them know nothing about photography or even printing for that matter, no matter how quick they can get your prints for you. ( I am not slating them as they work hard and are amazing company representatives so chill) I wouldn’t ask a doctor to cut my hair if you catch my drift.
Cheaper is certainly not better in this case. There are other times when I go to a previous clients house and see a canvas of one of my images hanging up that they got for £19.99 from some internet ink jet printer, and it’s like someone has ripped the intestines from my very stomach. I always want to say please don’t tell anyone I took that image hahaha, not because the image is bad, but the finish of the cheap canvas is awful. For that extra few quid you would have had a work of art instead of dodgy wall art . I am not being harsh on this, think about it, no photographer or artist wants to see a poor reproduction of their hard work. It’s like me coming to your house and seeing your kids latest nursery masterpiece and saying here let me fix that, and get out the colouring pens and paint and finishing off that scribble. I’m pretty sure you’d poke my eyes out. Yes your canvas was a bargain, but sorry it also looks like a bargain :/
THE POWER OF THE PRINT
This blog is about prints, and why moving away from digital only packages in the long run is cheaper (as in 5 years when new technology makes the current obsolete) you won’t have a printing bill for hundreds and hundreds of pounds, and won’t risk losing those cherished memories:
A Print is Tangible
A print is tangible. You can hold it. You can appreciate it. You can spend time with it. Hanging it on the wall allows you to stop as you pass it in the morning, or study it as you enjoy a cup of tea. Spending this time with your images is a great way to not only learn to love the finished product but will put a smile on your face, it will also show kids etc about the importance of family and love, and they will see it all over the walls of their home.
A Print can be Personal
A print is a very personal thing. It is not made for Facebook likes, or the satisfaction of the masses. It is for you. This is a powerful thing. When you print an image that you are proud of, hold it in your hands, and appreciate it simply for what it is, you are able to get a clearer sense of who you are and what your image is about, or how its about. the emotional joy I have looking at real quality prints of my kids is special and personal.
A Print is art
A print can be transformed into a variety of amazing things, that brings your home to life with priceless memories, even sitting with prints and talking about them is perfect emotional bonding time with loved ones.
A Print can be the best gift
A great gift, I know my Mum & Dad loves prints of their grandchildren as do I. I would much rather a wonderful photo than a token consumer item, it would be cherished forever
A Print is timeless
Prints will never go out of fashion ever, they have a timeless and invincible lifespan, unlike floppy’s, disk or USBs
A Print is lasting
I still have images from of me of when I was a baby, 37 years old and look as good as new, shame about my floppy disks though lost in my attic of eternal mess, I love showing my kids these and showing them similarities we have in features, the amazement that spreads across their faces is wonderful and treasured.
If you visit my website I have introduced Print and Digital packages, sometimes it’s good to get a print in your hand to appreciate prints again. No point in your hard drive having all the fun. get your prints out for the boys and girls. We understand that money is scarce and precious this day in age, and that we look to save money where we can, but sometimes you need to ask yourself if I am going to book a professional, whats the point of banishing the images to my hard drive, or take them to be finished with a sub standard printer, get them out, trust the professional you hired, pay the extra couple of quid for that amazing finished product, show them be as proud of them as us photographers are.
As described above you don’t actually save money in the long run by opting for digital only packages. I am not slating digital only packages, merely observing the hassle and disappointment they can cause not only you as a customer, but us photographers. When that print vendor says the photographers images are the cause of these poorly printed images, trust us when we say “no it’s not” your inadequate printer and lack of knowledge is the cause of poorly printed images. These vendors in local supermarkets can some times cause us professionals to lose customers and work, simply because the printer isn’t up to the standard of the images, not the other way about. And in the rare occasion that it may be an image, by letting the professionals that know take care of the final product, it gets completed without the stress and bad feeling that is created by vendors rubbishing photographers who have years of skills and experience. The professional photographer and professional print lab would work together to solve any image defects quickly and cost effectively to you.
I did a test once where I asked one of my “apparent” bad images to be printed in three different labs, from the supermarket vendor, to an internet vendor and then my professional lab. The supermarket print was terrible and soul destroying, it was an image I spent a while on. And yes I did question myself after seeing it, I was delighted when the internet vendor sample fared better, they delivered a good solid print but still not as good as I had edited it, so I felt a bit better. But when the professional printing lab I use delivered the sample, all my confidence returned it was finished beautifully just as I had envisioned when i edited it…. so what was the difference, well simply really, I used a lab that knew what they were doing and if anything was wrong they would have contacted me instead of just printing and charging. When I showed the customer the difference, she said well you must have fixed it hahaha, well no I didn’t, but that’s not the point, if the professional printing lab had contacted me and said there is something wrong then I would of course have fixed it (seen as I hold the raw file), but the lab didn’t which tells me that there was nothing wrong with the image, but simply you get what you pay for.
So you take my digital package, keep the images for months or maybe years, then try and print them, you come back to me months down the line saying your images are rubbish cause the guy at the supermarket said so, then never use me again as a photographer then bad mouth me to other potential customers, I lose your respect and also other customers, you leave negative feedback on my media accounts, and the damage is done, simply because you chose the wrong printer, not the wrong photographer. There may be even a time where I refuse to even offer digital packages because of the sometimes hassle they can cause (rare of course), simply because you use the wrong printer. Even ask the photographer to get you one print, the cheapest one on offer, keep it, look at it, then go get it printed in your local print vendor supermarket and judge for yourself. That way when you do come round to printing, you can ask your photographer to do it and save you, the photographer and your pocket lots of unwanted hassle and bad feeling.
Thanks for reading, you know it makes sense.
The Power of the Print