I love offering printed products to my clients. Digital negatives are convenient, and my clients do purchase them, but they and I know that a digital negative is more likely to rest on a hard drive or in a tablet’s photo album than be seen in the home. We are so accustomed to having photos available to us in pixels we forget to print those photos and display them in our homes, either as prints or in albums.
My clients know the value in seeing their portraits professionally printed – they hire me because they know that I, as a print-focused photographer, know how to prepare my digital negatives for the print process. Colors will be rich, skin tones will be natural and there will not be distracting areas that are too bright or too dark. To help my clients with their selections, one benefit I offer is in-person ordering. After the session is complete, my clients can schedule an ordering session at my studio or in their home, where they can see and touch samples of different albums, canvases or large prints.
One of my favorite parts about this is bringing multiple sizes of prints to a client’s home. In some cases, my clients have never ordered a print larger than an 8×10. They think of that as the “large” size, when in reality an 8×10 is considered a desk print, or is meant to be clustered in a grouping of other photos or art work. So during our ordering session, when I recommend a 16×20 for a particular wall where they’d like to display the smiling faces of their kids, at first they are skeptical… until I compare how the wall looks adorned with an 8×10 and then with a 16×20.
Prints seen from a distance, like those displayed on a wall, should be large enough that the faces are clear without someone having to walk up to inspect. Clients should also take into consideration the scale of the walls and the furniture. A print meant for a shelf in an office can be smaller, but so many newer homes now have soaring ceilings and rooms with oversized furniture.
A client sent me a photo yesterday of her bedroom with a print of her children newly hung above the bed. At her ordering session, I first held up some 16×20 prints, as they initially thought about ordering one 16×20 of each child. Then I held up my 20×30, the largest sample I have. The clients loved the idea of having one bigger print for the wall, but my client said “I don’t think that’s big enough.” So we ordered the portrait as a 24×36 Elevated mount (this is a modern option that comes ready to hang, and the edges can be finished in black, white, silver or wood-tone).
Here you can see the finished product! I am so happy she shared this photo, I love seeing the results.
Just for fun, I edited the image to show what the print would look like had she ordered it in an 8×12 size. The difference is amazing! So the next time you order a print of your favorite portrait, whether through a photographer or on your own, think about sizing up. Use a piece of newspaper or cardboard cut to a larger print size and tape it to the wall where you’d like to hang your photograph and see which size works best for your space. Big isn’t always the answer, but in many cases it will help fill your space and showcase the smiling faces all the better.