Congrats! You hired a professional photographer, you had a wonderful family photo shoot, got a breathtaking gallery with stunning photos, now what's next?
Believe it or not, most clients who hire and pay hundred of dollars in a session don't print a single photo. They become files uploaded in social media, yet the walls at home are craving for memories.
This is super common and the reason behind it is that there is little direction or guidance on what to do after the photos are delivered. In this blog I open your eyes to endless printing possibilities!
Not every photographer offers professional printing services or has an e-commerce platform attached to its website, so chances are that you get your photos in Dropbox or other file sharing mode. And now you're lost. What should you do with all that?
Print, print, print. When you do this, the memory becomes tangible. It becomes real. When you save a photo to a hard drive, USB drive, or even the cloud there is no guarantee that memories will last as technology gets obsolete. Do you still keep that awesome CD or floppy disk where with your college photos? Probably not!
What you pay is what you'll get. There are different alternatives, where quality and price vary. Here are your options
There are very affordable places to print, like Walgreens or Walmart that even offer same day printing.
However, don't expect high quality. In these affordable consumer services, the printers might not be properly calibrated, therefore the photos might end up red/yellow/bluish depending on how the printer is set up. The material and quality will be compromised to make it affordable.
Second tier printing are online labs that are accessible to the public. Mpix is my favorite destination if you'd like good quality and are willing to pay a bit more than Shutterfly to get that extra quality touch.
Finally, professional printing labs are the absolute best destination for quality with outstanding materials. The printing takes time and customer service makes sure the product looks PERFECT before it gets shipped. There are no compromises.
These labs work in partnership with photographers, the regular customer doesn't have access to it, so you need a membership with an account. Professional photographers will give you access to these labs.
The printing formats are endless. You can customize any product, any size. Your photographer will design incredible pieces that meet your requirements and style.
Like any business, there are peak seasons for print goods. During this time all labs are back-to-back, there are hard deadlines to make the holiday cut. So, make sure that you make your order with enough time.
Professional printers take longer, since most orders are checked manually and signed off by an expert. Talk to your photographer to understand the turn around time.
Foremost, avoid last-minute printing decisions. Photo product make stunning gifts, it can be heart breaking to miss the deadline. Here are the most common Holidays and other festivities when print goods make amazing gifts:
All labs will keep your order in their system up to a date, so making copies is super easy. You'll be able to reorder the same product without any hazel.
This is true for consumer and professional labs. Keep an eye open for offers, specially if your photographer sends you a coupon during unexpected time or signature holiday (Labor Day). Take advantage of it and print!
There is no real math or thesis behind it, it's just my personal experience. The best time to print is when you get your photos delivered by your photographers. The emotions run high, you're excited, even a happy tear might hit your cheek.
This is the best time to sit down with your photographer and speak your mind on what you're looking for. As soon as the photo high leaves, you calm down and go back to your routine, printing will not be top of mind.
Granted, you will want your photos displayed in walls or coffee table but you might not prioritize it out of thousand things to do. So while your heart is beating fast, design and print.
You'll be delighted afterwards, it's an investment 100% worth it. Technology gets obsolete, yet your home will be displayed with memories for years to come.
If you know WHERE you'd like the photos before the session takes place, the photographer can always tailor the shot for you. If you know you'd like a canvas X by X size on top of the crib, she/he will have this in mind and will make sure to capture moments in the frame and settings needed for that specific format.
But, in case that you have no clue as to what prints you'll want, then ask your photographer for advice and search the web for ideas and inspiration.
Happy printing! May your walls bring smiles for the years to come!
**all product images examples are taken from whcc.com
Andre Toro is an award-winning family and published photographer based in Boston, MA. She calls her style Real Art Photography, which she defines as Fine Art inspired by candid moments. Andre is a passionate soul, obsessed with human connection, and emotive storytelling. She believes love is raw, messy, and beautiful. To inquiry about booking a photo session, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org