Why your photography prints should be professionally printed Digital photography has really taken off over the last few years and more images than ever before are being shared on social media platforms. Now photographers can keep clicking away trying to capture the perfect image, but with a huge catalogue of images, what should a photographer do with these images. In the days of film photography all images would be printed, good and bad or you were your own photo developing expert. So it makes sense that a photographer would look to an expert in professional photography printing, to make sense of their catalogue of images. Turning your images into beautiful, stunning tactile works of art.
In the past you may have tried printing your own photographs at home and may have wondered what other level of choices are out there, what is involved in creating professional photo prints. Here we’ll try to answer some of those expectations, showing you where to get started, what’s involved, what you need to consider when it comes to digital printing and how to get the best results from fine art photo printing.
How Digital Printing Works
The image you created, viewed on a screen, consists of a matrix of dots that are called pixels. This is your digitised image, which is used to control the displacement of ink, toner and the exposure of light to create images. Algorithms allow the data to be compressed, to create a calibration and colour management systems to maintain the consistent quality and colour no matter where the image is printed or viewed. Professional photo printing is more involved than simply printing.
Digital printing is the final stage of the digital photography process, after an image has been uploaded, then edited or retouched, calibrated and colour matched. After printing your image is ready for display, the final process of digital printing.
There are various methods of printing, with some still preferring the traditional lithography printing (where an image is burned onto a plate, then offset to a rubber blanket, then onto a print surface), but digital printing is constantly advancing and improving and the quality more than matches traditional methods. Of course employing an expert in professional photography printing will ensure your digital prints more than match your expectations.
Do I need a professional photography printing expert?
If you’re looking to prints small scale images, just for a personal record, then this is something most home printers can handle, but don’t expect the colour printed to be the same as you viewed on the screen. Your software won’t be set up to accommodate this facility.
If you want large scale prints, then you’ll need a large printer, which can be costly and you’ll need the space to store it. Plus Giclee printers work best when they are in constant use, so the pigment inks can flow easily. Will you be printing every day?
Professional photo printing is more cost effective, as you can use print on demand services. Therefore you only need to order a Giclee print when you have a sale and usually a reputable fine art photo printing company will send your Giclee print direct to your customer.
So far we’ve spoke about the removing the hassle of photo printing, but using the services of a professional photo printing company offers so much more. You’ll have advice on paper types, weights and finishes, image sizing and editing. The print will be archivable (meaning it will last a long time). A good fine art photography printing company will use archivable papers, canvases, pigment inks and archivable packaging. They’ll also know your market and how best to display your work with regards to mounting and framing.
You have a wealth of potential knowledge at your fingertips, it makes sense to work with a fine art photo printing company.
What’s involved in fine art photography printing?
Firstly your image needs to be a print ready file, this means it needs to be atleast 300dpi. This allows your image to be scaled up for larger prints at it also means your image won’t have blurring. If you’re not sure if your image is print ready, an expert professional photo printing company should have an option for you to upload your image, so they can check your file and offer advice.
You may decide you want your image editing, with regards to colour, tones, contrast and sharpness. All these adjustments may look great on your screen, but will differ from any other screen. This is to do with the calibration of different equipment. Therefore it’s wise to have a proof print of your image before you have a full Giclee print.
What is a proof print?
This is a test print of your image with all the adjustments you have made to it. It is usually a smaller sample of the print and can be printed on any substrate (paper or canvas) that a reputable fine art photography printing company offers. This way you get to see a sample of your image and how it prints and you get to try out a substrate sample too.
You can keep adjusting your image and ordering proof prints until you achieve the desired results, but it may be worth working on a one to one with a Giclee printing expert. It’s great being able to order Giclee prints online, but you need a fine art photo printing company that also offers one to one colour correction services. This means you can spend time making adjustments to your image with a printing expert, saving you time and hassle.
Finally a professional photo Giclee print
After all the image adjustments and proof prints you’ll finally have a Giclee print you can be proud of. Everything about your Giclee print should speak quality and that includes the packaging. A great professional photography printing company should also provide you with advice on how to unwrap, protect and care for your fine art Giclee print. They will also keep your final print image on file ready for further print orders.
Finding a reliable fine art photography printing company
When you’re thinking of getting your images professionally printed, it’s worth contacting a few companies directly and see what they have to say. You could also order a proof print or a full small print from several printing companies to see the quality of their prints.
Also it’s worth mentioning fine art printers are not the same as commercial printers. Fine art means fine art and this is a far more complex printing process, to achieve the results you desire.
Lastly a reliable fine art photography printing company should be willing to give you the time you need, to discuss your printing concerns and options and be willing to offer you advice and not forgetting, be knowledgeable about fine art printing.