Many photographers offer a service to their clients where they have images on a disc, or usb memory stick, that they print for themselves. There is nothing wrong with this – I too offer the images on a pen drive, but it does limit the chances of success of the client getting what they really want from the shoot and displaying it to it’s full glory on their wall!
When choosing a photographer to do some work does the client think about the initial price of the shoot above all else? Do photographer and client work together to produce something in particular? Does the client have an idea of how they want the final product to look? Would they know how to choose a reputable printer who didn’t leave them with faded images 2 years after purchase? Does the photographer have experience of displaying their images in large gallery presentable format?
Take, for example, these three different formats of print taken from the shoot of Roxy in the milk bath recently. The image below is an iPhone ‘snap’ of the images taken in overcast daylight.
All the prints below were taken from the same file, and all are beautifully printed by a premium printing company based in Germany. They are expensive options for an art print with the photograph on the right pricing up at approximately £1.20 per cm squared. Doesn’t sound a lot but look at the arrow key on your keyboard and thats the approximate size and then add that up to the size of the product you want! However as an art piece that is a respectable price and they are guaranteed for 5 years from purchase and ink colours (if displayed correctly) are guaranteed not to fade for 75 years!
All these products below are correct, and correctly printed. The differing ‘looks’ are those individualities of the print style and choice of medium but you can see that the top left is a direct print under acrylic glass and is softer in focus. The top right is super clear high definition print on gloss paper and defined and is slightly differently coloured, and the product at the bottom is mid way between the 2 above in clarity, but the effect of the print onto the aluminium itself gives it a different tone depending upon the angle it is viewed at.
What I am trying to say is that do you (whether you are the photographer or the client) know what is the best product for purpose? Do you think that your photographer should be sufficiently qualified to guide the client in their options? Would you pay top end for a qualified photographer who could guide your choices or are you guided by price?
Top left is a direct print under acrylic glass, top right is an HD print on gloss paper, and bottom is a direct print on aluminium di-bond.