In 2018, I will begin selling prints of my camera work. After much research, I decided to create prints my self instead of sending things out to a lab. I did not just buy a printer though and start printing though. I decided to make sure I knew what I was doing before I wasted ink. This is approach is slow, but I feel it will help me create a better product.
Here are the most important lessons I have learned so far.
I still have a lot to learn.
I have said this before, the paper you choose to use regularly is almost like your signature. Choosing paper is as important as choosing which lens you are going to use to create an image. the paper is a huge part of the end result that brings character to a print.
Color Profiles are your friends
What you see on the monitor may not be what you see on paper. A papers color profile will help the printer use the right amount of color to give you a more accurate print.
Be an accountant
Don’t waste ink, mistakes can be costly. Only print what you really believe you would love to see on paper. Also, if you the printer has accounting software, use it. It will give you an idea of how much each print cost so that if you want to sell your work, you have a base price.
When I first went to frame one my prints, which was done on metal paper, I notice the glass from the frame picked up fingerprints way too easily. A pair of white cotton gloves fixes that easily. Also, follow some general rules like
Keep the paper box
When you are done printing, its good to have a place to store the prints, before you mat, frame or package them. The box the paper comes in is perfect for this.
Have a clean dust free work area
Dust is not your friend. Before making a print make sure the area is clean. Try not to touch the surface of before printing. Hold sheets by their edges or just wear the white gloves.
Don’t forget your art
Prints are an end result of your photography, a physical manifestation of your work. Don’t be so fast, take it slow. Do rely on all your past work, keep creating.
Trust your instincts, critics be damned, but….
I learned this from an old artist friend. People will be critical of the work. Don’t let that have an effect. However if things art not selling, ask your self why.
Keep print runs small
If things don’t sell, hundreds of dollars of ink were not wasted.
Take Your Time
Printing is a process, a culmination of work. It’s going to be in somebody’s hand, possibly in their home, on their walls. Put some thought into everything. It will lead to sales.
A little self-confidence helps
If you don’t believe your own works is good enough to be printed, no matter how much you engage in the creative process, no one else will.