What do you do with the photos you take? Anything, perhaps upload a few on social media and that’s it? Is it time to evaluate and print your photos?
Why evaluate your photos?
This is just my opinion, but I honestly believe that we learn from past photos, experiences and mistakes. Taking time to evaluate your images is a valuable endeavor. Going back over the past 12 months (or even longer) and really LOOKING at your images. What works, and what doesn’t? And why doesn’t it? Perhaps the photo is fine, but your editing skills have vastly improved. Be honest with yourself, but also don’t over-criticize or belittle your work. Sadly, many of us do this. If it really is rubbish, fine; note what is wrong and make a mental note not to do that again. Is it OK, but the crop, composition or lighting could be improved? Can you retake the same image again but with improvements?
Why print your photos?
There is something hugely satisfying about seeing your photos printed, on proper print paper. We spend so long these days, staring at images on screens, we miss that tactile sensation. The colors the tones take on a life of their own (or so it seems) when printed. Sit with your photos and make notes of what could be improved, if anything. If you can bare to do so, take a Sharpie to them and circle and make notes of things to be fixed. Even reprint. Or put some tracing paper over the photos and make notes.
Even just seeing your photos in person, can make them seem better than you thought. It’s weird but it can happen. If your photos are too dark or light or the color is not what you expected, then you might need to do a calibration on your monitor.
So what to do, once you’ve actually done with the prints? This is a good question. You could frame them, exhibit them or give them to friends as gifts. Perhaps you took photos at an event or in a cafe. You could offer them to the people or places pictured or even offer them for sale. Holidays? I like to put most of my holiday photos in a coffee-table book. Print a few of the really nice ones to hang on the wall, but the rest are safely tucked away in a convenient book to share with family and friends.
Every year, I put many of my creative portrait sessions into a book too. This is something I can take to camera club presentations and show clients as well. Plus, they are a lovely keepsake of what was created during the year.
Are you perhaps looking for some tips on printing your photos? Here are some terrific tips on printing, sizes, pixels and paper. Or if you are looking to print your photos at home yourself, there are some great tips here too.