There are so many options and in today’s world of photography many people are getting digital image CDs with the hopes of saving money on prints. Digital images are great for sharing online and many photographers offer an image CD specifically sized for the internet and not for quality printing. This is a great option because it allows people to share their images via Facebook and other internet social marketing. Other photographers (commonly termed shoot and burn photographers) often offer images with print or copyright releases. I do offer this to every client despite not being a strong fan because everybody requests it; however, I do not think it is the best quality I can give my clients and I am going to explain that further below. This entry in my blog is to help you understand the good and bad about image CDs and guide you in making quality print purchases.
First of all, I would like to explain why I feel making the print purchase through your photographer is a great idea IMO (especially prints above an 8X10 in size). Photographers have the ability to calibrate their computers to match the color that their printer will print at; therefore the prints will turn out their intended color and they have a guarantee. Their color may not match those at any other printer online and most printers will not offer this guarantee. Many “low cost printers” do not offer as high of a quality of print (paper quality, ink quality, or dots per inch – DPI). Additionally, many of these printers do not offer things like lustre coating (which helps to protect the images from finger prints and color fading). The higher quality of print makes the images more dramatic and intense, they take a photo from nice to AMAZING!
Your photographer is a great resource to help you decide what will look good in a determined space if you are wanting to really dress it up. Photographers have studied their field and understand aesthetics and displays. While we have all been accustomed to the purchase of an 8×10 your photographer would probably suggest you purchase something larger. Maybe you prefer prints or know they are cheaper, but if you discussed it with your photographer you would probably realize that after the cost of framing it in a nice frame you would end up with a smaller print at the same price as a larger canvas and a canvas gives it a nice artistic touch.
Personally, I generally suggest (to people interested in listening) purchasing anything larger than an 8×10 (which everyone should do if they are paying for a photography session) should purchase high quality prints through their photographer or a professional photographers suggested printer; they will certainly suggest companies with acceptable printing options. Pictures that will be passed around should certainly have lustre coating. Pictures gallery wraps should be looked at carefully, low cost gallery wraps will commonly be made less sturdy instead of with high-quality wood. Additionally, I would suggest using metallic canvas as it really enhances the quality of the print and is not an extremely expensive upgrade. Also, anything you plan on displaying for the long term should be at least lustre coated or it may show yellowing, fading, and deterioration.
Most professional photographers provide high-quality prints that are protected against fading and deterioration; however, with so many photographers springing up lately online it is a great idea to consider whether they have an expertise in their field. Additionally, be sure to find out what quality of images you will be receiving, whether you will have edited images, etc. It is of my highest prerogative to provide my clients with the highest value without sacrificing quality.
Thanks for reading!