To Print or Not To Print?

To do my own printing has always been something I’ve been interested in.  To be able to control all aspects of how my images are experienced.  From color and tonal range to the choice of substrate the image is carried on.

To have your images printed by someone else, in some lab far, far away is not an appealing option for me.  For the color and tone of my image to be decided by some guy working a double at midnight the night before it ships, is not really what I’m looking for, even though it’s a machine kicking out the photos, it’s still a little unsettling.

On one day at a local art festival on a late afternoon a lady came into my booth.  I said hello and began discussing one of my photos with her.  She commented how she likes them and how she really liked this one in particular.  As she was looking she came to ask, “these are just copies, right?”  Before I could formulate a better response I just said “yes.”  She then paused at one or two other images then moved on to another booth.

Moments later I thought to myself, “damn-it!”

I thought to myself “no they are not copies, they are photos that I have created, that are printed on photo paper with Ultrachrome inks that are light fasted to 200+ years.  They are images that represent my time and myself where I go and what I see and experience.

I understand the need for presentation, the way things are displayed and presented to people help to shape the way they perceive and relate.  With this in mind, I have begun to reshape the way my photography is presented in the festival format.  A nicer and more professional looking environment, better matting and framing to highlight my photos as well as a more appealing arrangement within the booth itself.  In other words no more Hill-Billy more William at the museum, lol.  But seriously, lesson learned and appreciated, so thank you dismissive lady.  I welcome you back to purchase the same print you were looking at before, but this time in a nice acid free mat, at a much higher price.

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