10 Things Photographers Should Do Before Printing Photos

After capturing stunning, postcard-worthy photos, many photographers opt to just share their works online. Indeed, social media platforms enable you to easily publish your works and interact with a wider audience. But you shouldn’t overlook printing your photos. Having a physical copy of your shots can bring a professional quality to your pictures that an image on a screen just can’t deliver. It also gives you a safe backup that can’t be corrupted or accidentally deleted from your hard drive.

And you aim to distribute, sell, or display hard copies of your work, then printing is an essential step. Thankfully, modern digital printing has made printing photos cheaper and more convenient while offering greater flexibility. But before you make prints out of your snaps, you have to make sure that they look their absolute best.

As a matter of fact, there are just so many things that you can do thanks to advances in photography and digital printing. Here are just 10 of the most things you should do before printing out your pictures:

  1. Choose where you’ll print your pictures

Where you want to print your photos depends on your resources and on what you want to achieve. That said, the strongest selling point of home printing is its convenience and accessibility.

However, home printers have limits that may prevent you from getting the best results.  If you want the highest quality prints, you’ll have to invest in better equipment and ink. You might also need to master photo-editing programs.

On the other hand, seeking professional printing services allows large-scale print jobs at higher quantities.You can also get advice from printing experts about paper types and image sizing to obtain the highest quality photos.

  1. Use non-destructive editing techniques

Before getting to the nitty-gritty of photo tweaking, it’s best to start off with non-destructive editing. With this technique, you can edit your photos without ruining the image quality. You can apply multiple layers, scale and rotate the picture, use smart shapes, add filter effects, and use other tools to improve your photos. You can also re-do actions if you make mistakes.

  1. Make sure to use the correct color profile

Color profiles are standardized formats that measure and compare the differences between colors. Photo-processing software like Photoshop and Light room use these profiles to produce output that is accurate with the original snapshot. But what’s best for your computer’s screen isn’t always what’s best for your print outs.

If you use the incorrect profile, it can result in prints that look different from the source file. For example, using RGB on a colorful and vibrant shot of flowers will make the image appear dark and muddy when printed. As such, make sure to set the right color profile.

  1. Work on the technical elements

There are technical elements in an image that contribute to the overall aesthetic of a picture. The two most notable ones are color and contrast.

You can begin by identifying colors that are too bright or too dull. Over saturated hues are harsh on the eyes and under-saturated colors produce washed-out prints. Strike a balance by staying in the middle of the spectrum. Since our eyes aren’t 100% reliable in detecting pigment differences, calibrate your monitor to help you assess colors better.

You can follow this by working on the image’s contrast. In printed form, contrast is less stark than what you see on screen. This is because computer screens emit light that causes contrasts to appear stronger than it is. To avoid getting shadowy pictures, try raising the contrast level a bit. Just remember to test print it first.

  1. Adjust the resolution to match the size of the image

If a large and high-definition picture is what you’re after, don’t forget to adjust the resolution.Resolution is the number of pixels in a photo, and it determines the quality of image detail. Large but low-resolution images will appear pixelated and blurry. You can fix this by resizing or by maximizing the resolution. On the other end of the spectrum, a high-definition file will look clear and detailed but will be much harder to render, slowing down your editing process.

  1. Remove or fixany flaws

When editing any type of photo, make sure to address flaws like skin blemishes, red-eye effects, and underexposed images. Through the power of photo-editing programs, you can simply remove most imperfections by using tools like Clone Stamp or Healing Brush options.

You can also prevent flaws likered-eye effects through different photography methods or by making use of special flash systems to keep light from shining into a subject’s eyes. The same thing applies when it comes to the poor lighting in portrait shots. You just need to have the proper lighting setup and lighting kits to obtain a crisp and clear photo.

  1. Have enough ink for printing photos

Unlike text documents, photos tend to use up more ink. Plus, the color combinations are often complex. To keep the printing process running well, make sure to have enough ink to spare. However, it’s a known fact that ink can be very expensive, with prices ranging up to $75 an ounce. Consider purchasing the cheaper but just as effective remanufactured ink cartridges instead.

  1. Decide the type of photo paper you’ll use

Advancements in the printing industry now allow you to print onto almost anything, like canvas, fabric, and metal. But most photographers prefer the simple but versatile paper.

There is an assortment of paper types on the market, and each type offers different weights and finishes.These two factors determine the density and appearance of your prints. ‘Weight’ indicates the thickness and stiffness of paper measured in GSM (grams per square meter). Paper with higher GSM are thicker and are best suited for mounting photos or for producing cards. If you wish to print out your pictures for distribution in the form of flyers or leaflets, thinner paper is the ideal choice.

Photo papers also have various ‘finishes’—translucent chemical layers or coatings. A finish determines the surface sheen or reflectiveness of a paper. The choice often depends on the appearance you want your picture to have. The most common types are glossy (shiny and detailed), matte (no sheen), satin (semi-glossy), and pearl and luster (satin finish with a textured feel).

  1. Request a prepress proof

When employing the services of a professional printing house, ask for prepress proof of several of your pictures before going through with the print job. A ‘proof’ is basically a test print of your file. If the proof isn’t to your liking, you can ask the printer to tweak your images until you’re satisfied with the result.

  1. Learn from your results

After approving the prepress proof, you can commence with the printing process. Depending on the volume, size, and special specifications of your photos, it can take some time before you receive your final digital print. When you do get your hands on your pictures, remember to go over them carefully. Check if there is anything wrong. If you are pleased with the results, take down notes about the process and details you chose for future reference. In the event that your final results did not match up to your expectations, then note the things that went wrong. This will let you avoid repeating the same mistake again in the future. If you are a professional or semi professional photographer you might even want to consider purchasing your own dye sublimate photo printer. According to the wedding photographers at Schmittat Photography, printing wedding photos overnight to surprise the couple in the morning can make the clients’ experience even more memorable. If you follow the steps above you can impress your clients or your loved ones with stunning printed photography at a quality that might even surprise yourself.

Once you feel confident with your preparations, you can go ahead and have your shots printed. Now, you’re ready to display and distribute those stunning pictures!

About Andrew

Hey Folks! Myself Andrew Emerson I'm from Houston. I'm a blogger and writer who writes about Technology, Arts & Design, Gadgets, Movies, and Gaming etc. Hope you join me in this journey and make it a lot of fun.

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