The benefits of the printed photograph
Posted: 20 Feb 2018
Elke Vogelsang is a self-taught photographer from Germany. She specializes in pet photography. Her three “photography companion dogs” and beloved canine family members Noodles, Scout and Ioli find themselves in front of her camera regularly. They claim their share of worldwide fame by publications in magazines and newspapers all over the world. Elke also does commissions and is the author of the coffee table book “Nice Nosing You” with her dog pictures, published last year in London. Her pictures are shown in exhibitions in several countries.
In this blog piece, Elke explains the benefits of seeing your photographs in print, rather than than simply digital.
You can find out more about Elke here
When I started out in photography, I did a 365 project, where I took pictures every day, chose my favourite and published it on my blog. I was still a hobby photographer, but very keen on trying to improve my photography. Once in a while, I had one of my favourite pictures printed and hung it up on a wall to see the result of my journey. This encouraged me to come up with a better picture, which I might get printed and put up on the wall in exchange of that now outdated favourite of mine. The project lasted more than a year. It was lots of fun, but it also taught me a lot and inspired me to keep on with the project. The photography obsession turned into a profession I now enjoy thoroughly.
What I enjoy most about photography is that you never stop learning new things. You are continuously working on your skills, your style and your way to present what you see. The journey is endless. A short while ago, I started printing my pictures on my own printer at home. This revived the fascination I experienced when a picture revealed itself in front of my eyes in the wet darkroom ages ago in the analog days.
Printing your pictures is a great way not only to improve your photography but also to stay in love with photography. In print, pictures have more depth and life than on a screen. The difference can be astonishing.
For each picture a client orders I decide if a black and white version would be a nice addition. Printed on the right paper, black and white images can reveal their whole potential.
I prefer to give out prints of the pictures my clients choose from the session rather than just sending out digital files. Even if you supply high resolution files to your clients, you might consider printing a few of the ordered images to send out a package to your client. Often enough, clients never print any of the pictures you provide them with and they will never experience the touch and feel of your art. Your client will be gobsmacked by the prints and know the investment was worth it.
I used to order the prints online, but now I print them here at home on my own printer. This saves time, reveals flaws immediately and gives me the opportunity to choose the right paper for each picture. I want my clients to get their pictures via mail, open the package and ‘feel’ the image. So far, the feedback has been amazing.
For the more colourful pictures I prefer papers like PF Lustre. But a paper like Metallic Gloss can be a wonderful media for some bright, colourful images. And it’s something that your client might never have seen before.
With the Fotospeed Inkjet Paper Test packs I was able to try out different papers on different pictures, which was great fun. The impact the choice of paper has on the presentation of the picture is amazing. Currently, my favourite paper for dark, elegant shots is the paper Natural Soft Textured Bright White 310. The matte-look adds a painting-like finish. I prefer to print my colourful, quirky portraits of dogs on papers like PF Lustre or even Metallic Gloss.
These pictures were printed on natural Soft Textured Bright White. The matte structure of the paper gives the picture a more timeless look.
I still have a lot to learn when it comes to printing, not only about the paper and ICC profiles, but I also learn more about my approach to photography, the style I’m aiming for, my editing skills, the mood I would like to create with my pictures. It’s, once again, an exciting, fun, inspiring and instructional journey.
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