Hey you – print your pictures. Ok?

The Digital Revolution happened. Photographers had to adapt and instead of offering expensive prints, had to offer digital images. Customers demanded it. Photographers who didn’t or wouldn’t offer digital images began to suffer. A new generation of ‘shoot and burn’ photographers came on the scene. As a customer, suddenly, gloriously, you were no longer obliged to spend lots of money on a single print, or hundreds of pounds on an album. Suddenly you were no longer restricted to choosing a small handful of images from a portrait session or a tiny selection of your wedding images for an album – you could have them all baby!!! So what did you do? Did you print them all off? Did you make photo albums of your wedding pictures so you can sit and stare at them lovingly. Do they adorn your walls so that you can enjoy them on a daily basis? Did you use the full print permission given by your photographer to make enlargements, mugs with pictures on them, maybe a calender? Did you? Or did you look at them a few times on the computer. Maybe save a couple to your phone. Did you stick the USB drive away in a drawer and largely forget about it?

Well guess what, the Print Revolution is happening. Those photographers who lovingly choose the best paper, the archival inks so that your image wouldn’t fade, who carefully chose the right photographic lab so that the colours of your images look just perfect – those photographers are back. And that is because we’re all coming to the conclusion that as wonderful and liberating as the digital revolution was in photography, there’s still a place for the printed product. That a beautiful print to hang on your wall, or a gorgeous wedding album which you can enjoy for years is something definitely worth investing in.

Yesterday I posted a personal picture on my Facebook page of my children looking through our photo albums and it was really surprising how many people commented on it. Despite the digital revolution and the ability we all have to print our images for pennies, hardly any of us (photographers included it seems) actually do this. I mentioned in the post that one of the things I do, and have done now for the past 4 years, is to make an annual album of our family photographs. Throughout the year I take personal photographs, edit them, stick them on the computer and don’t really look at them again. Then come January, I set aside a few hours, go through them all and pick my favourites and design a photobook of the images. It’s usually around 50 pages and contains a few hundred images. And here’s the thing, we actually look at them. The albums are pulled down a few times a year and we actually look at them. We cuddle up on the sofa and we talk about that holiday, or that day out, or when we did this and that. How many times do you fire up the computer and trawl back through the images you have stored there?

I want you all to print your images and I know that is something a lot of you would love to do.  So I’ve put together a few tips on getting started.

Professional Images from Weddings and Portraits – 

It’s very likely that if you got married recently or had a portrait session with a professional photographer, that your photographer gave you high resolution digital images from the day with print rights which allows you to make prints wherever you wish. If you’re not sure about this best check with your photographer to make sure you’re not breaching copyright. (To all my customers – you get this!) Please do not try and make prints from screenshots or pictures you’ve downloaded from Facebook or other social media. The images are compressed to make them load faster online, they are not high resolution and quite frankly, if you try to do this, it will look pants. So you’ve been warned.

If you wish to get images printed from your wedding, then without a doubt, you should consider purchasing prints and albums from your photographer. Yes, we are more expensive. But that is because we spend hours choosing the best print labs and the best album suppliers to make sure you get something that lasts you a lifetime. The products we use are better quality and therefore more expensive. We are basically creating a family heirloom for you so we want it to last a long time. Without getting technical and boring, the labs we use for both albums and prints, select their ink and papers carefully to make sure the images don’t fade over the years. They also calibrate the machines regularly to make sure colours are printed accurately. This is not done as much in cheaper, mass market photographic labs. It seems silly to invest in a professional photographer and then scrimp at the final hurdle so if you are looking for a wedding album or a few key images for your walls please consider spending that extra money with your photographer to get something that will last you a lifetime

Personal Images – 

I’m a firm believer that photographs don’t have to be perfect to be perfect. I’m sure you know the ones I mean. The old family picture that are a bit blurry, that phone image that’s slightly dark or out of focus. But when it’s a picture of someone you love you cherish it just the same. So the images that you take on your phone and camera might not be professional quality but they still deserve a place in an album. Think about it, the technology in your phone outstrips the early digital cameras. So why not print?

There’s no excuse not to print your images. It is so cheap and so readily available now. Most supermarkets have photo printing stations. Of course, these are never going to match the quality of professional prints but they are pretty good. You can usually send your images via wifi or bluetooth to the computer and print directly so even those phone images come to life. Online there is a vast array of potential places for prints and photobooks. Sign up to a voucher company like Groupon and you’ll often see offers for photobooks. Lots of the larger companies like Photobox regularly have sales on, particularly in the run up to Christmas or Mother’s Day so you can often pick up a bargain. The quality varies between companies and they are never going to match the standards of a professional album but as a way to enjoy your personal pictures they are pretty great and certainly affordable. Yes, it’ll take a bit of effort to choose the images, upload them and design your photobook, but set aside a few hours on a rainy afternoon and when that albums arrives in the post you’ll be so excited! Or go old school – treat yourself to a lovely photo album and then print your images throughout the year. If you have children, get them involved – they’ll love to help you put the images in the album.

Whatever route you choose, please choose to print.

If you’d like any advise on the best places to print your images please get in touch. More information on the gorgeous albums I provide can be found here.