Have you ever thought of this: On your computer are hundreds, maybe thousands of images you have created. How often do you even look at them? What is photography but a capture of a memory, whether it’s artistic, or whether it’s photos of your family.
When you actually print a photo that you have taken, you do something that adds to the art of photography, by putting it on display. If you had company come over to your house, would you be accused of being a photographer? The point of all this is that you need to also add this step to your photography, by putting your work, your art on display.
Print at home or printing service (online or photo shop)
With me, I have my own Canon Printer at home, hooked up to my computer. I purchase regularly quality photo paper, not printing paper. The photo paper is stiffer, and has true white on the paper, so that if I was to print something from my winter collection, the snow will be white.
If you only want to print, say, 4×6 sizes for record-keeping purposes, simply ordering prints online will be cheaper, once you factor in the cost of ink, paper, how frequently you print, etc. The negative side is that you get what you get, and you must wait a few days to get the finished product.
Once you move up to A4 and A3+ sizes, the costs will be closer, but now you will probably be printing regularly as part of your photography and really enjoying doing so. You will have control over everything—types of paper, special inks, etc., and can produce superb prints. It can also be very creative as, if necessary, you can amend prints as you go. As I mentioned, it can become a most enjoyable part of your photography. Watching your completed print emerging from the printer can be a great experience—almost as exciting as watching your print emerge in your developer print tray in the darkroom.
Digital images on your computer are ephemeral. How often do you actually look at your pictures? When you print an image, it becomes real and you can keep it visible. Prints are tactile—something one can feel!
If you are printing A4-sized or larger, you really begin to take the time to review your images, as it will cost a bit. A great discipline to add to your enjoyment!
You look at your images more carefully, which can help you improve your photography.
Once you begin to print images at a reasonable size, you will find that your appreciation of your own photography develops and you will become more creative.
You are really beginning to discover the second half of the photographic process, which is what you do with your special images.
You might print an image at A3+ size, frame it and mount it on a key wall somewhere. It can become your image space and you can change the image every two months or so. Your family will also see why you spend time on your photography.
Family images displayed around the house help family members keep connected and remember special occasions, too.
Here is one more thing that is a great idea, if you are needing an excuse to print your images:
Consider making personalized greeting cards. 4X6 size is great: just select an appropriate image, print it and include a personalized message. The possibilities are endless and they are always very well received! Also, they cost less than commercial cards!
One last thought: If you want others to enjoy your photography, you should print some photos and then you too, will enjoy your photography.
Want to learn about a certain subject? This website has an incredible search system. Just type in a photo subject, and watch how it brings up the blogs I have already done on this subject: