We are more than just photographers. We are print artists. Why does this matter?
Have you ever pulled a photo album of the shelf and a bonding moment with your friends and family? Did you giggle over dated hairdos and outfits, reminisce about passed loved ones, share stories of a special moment? Have you ever walked down a hallway or into a room with portraits hanging on the wall and smiled because you love the people smiling back at you? Have you ever received a print as a gift? If you have, I bet it’s displayed somewhere you can see it regularly. Even the smallest print can mean the world to someone. To be able to carry a loved one with us anywhere in the world is a very special thing. When sad events happen, like a house fire or a natural disaster, people try to save their photographs. They are irreplaceable. About 5 years ago my sister in law’s neighborhood was destroyed by a tornado in the middle of the night. When we went to help, there were photographs scattered everywhere, some hers, some of the neighbors. I started picking them up and trying to find their owners. I found a wedding album of a newly-wed couple and was able to find the bride; she hugged her album and just cried. She had lost her dress and her dried bouquet, but she had her album back. I also found a very small framed print of an older couple with a child. I saw that child with her parents rummaging through what was left of their rain-soaked belongings. I went over and gave them the picture. The people in the print where her grandparents, both had passed away. That print was only one of the child with her grandparents; she had it on her nightstand. She smiled through her tears and hugged it tight. In the time of such tragedy, even the smallest print brought a little bit of joy. This is the power of prints. They cause us to have emotions and are priceless treasures.
It used to be when someone booked a professional photographer, they received a print artist too – one in the same, there was no separation. Professional studios had darkrooms filled with baths of developer and fixer chemicals, retouching tools, enlargers, and negatives waiting for their turn to shine. With the advancement of digital cameras, a gap in the industry occurred. People started seeking photographers who would include the digital files because they wanted to DIY print at a box store to save money. The artistry of created printed pieces was nearly lost. Today, this art form is coming back with a vengeance. Technology has given us digital darkrooms where we can still process our portraits with the techniques of the past. Papers and inks can replicate the quality and feel of traditionally developed prints; some products even surpass them. This gives a priceless value to what we can offer our clients. The digital files gap is still there, and always will be. But instead of being a negative issue, Print Artists use it as a positive tool to success. Printing reaching a unique market of clientele. It typecasts us in a different light which establishes stability and longevity in the business.
Being a print artist is more than just running paper through a machine then hoping for the best. The print making artistry begins at the very first decision made in the digital darkroom. Every little bump of a slider affects the final print. We’ve studied the process of how to print our work - what papers and inks will make our work shine to how much to saturate colors, enrich tonal ranges, and sharpen details to get them perfect. Countless hours have been invested researching the relationship of how modern artist papers and inks affect each other, that is a huge process within itself. Print Labs allow us to visit to see firsthand how our team of craftsmen handle our clients’ heirlooms.
This is not meant to be snarky, so please don’t take it as such – No one prints our work better than us. We’re master craftsmen. The first time we meet you for the Styling Consultation, we're scripting your entire portrait experience. We are learning how we are going to tell your story to the fullest and planning what heirlooms are going to suit your wants and needs best. From the very beginning we are thinking of how your portraits are going to be displayed in your home.
Printing our work is the fulfilling part of the whole process; a portrait really isn’t alive until it’s printed and on display for admiration. A beautifully displayed piece will tell a story – your story. It’ll bring you joy, make you feel nostalgic for years to come, and become a treasured heirloom you wouldn’t trade for the moon. The families who book their portraits with us are wanting to invest in an entire portrait experience that closes with beautiful printed art work that grows in value over time.
We print because we respect our art. We print for success. We print because we value our clients’ memories.