From the art of printing to selling. Printing experts, Digitalab provide Septembers download to help us achieve more sales…

August 31, 2019

In August we promised you a link through to download Jill Roe’s excellent interview recorded for you, discussing the importance of print and why as photographers we MUST offer print services to our clients.

Last week in our Facebook community we posted a link to a BBC article on an American Photographer, who had started to collect old cameras from second hand shops.  The cameras were full of old negatives, that he developed and printed. The images were incredible. Depicting history and family life over the decades, some as early as the 1950’s.

Fast forward to today in a digital era, every man and their dog, expects photographers to hand over their digital negatives or raw files.  It seems that over the last 10 years, our industry has lost how important it is to achieve our valuable images, for our clients, on the best paper the industry has to offer.  

Not only that, providing our clients with beautifully printed and framed images is the best marketing tool we have.  It also offers us a revenue stream, which is incredibly important as the cost of living doesn’t seem to get any cheaper.  

Handing over digital files has had a huge impact on photography, and we all need to take responsibility for changing the face of the industry.  At some point or another we have all handed over digital files to our clients, but the tide is turning at long last, and today we see our industry moving in a different direction.  

The importance of print is returning!  Jill an incredibly driven, influential business woman, who is the driving force behind the award winning Photo Lab in Newcastle – Digitalab, explains just why we need to keep print alive and pull our industry together.

RISE: How did you get into the photographic printing industry?

Digitalab is a family business and it’s all I have known for the past 22 years.  I’m lucky to have worked in all aspects of the lab, taught by Dad and the team, who have given me a great grounding in the industry.

RISE: Why do you think print is so important today when images are so accessible on digital formats?

Old wedding albums, framed family photographs and rusty tins full of loose prints is how I remember viewing photographs.

Having a tactile print, either a beautiful piece of wall art, a mounted print or just an actual photograph is far more impactful than looking at images on a monitor or phone screen.  It has actually been proven in a university study, when MRI brain scans compared digital to printed images, they showed that physical material, in this case paper, is more “real” to the brain.  It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it involves more emotional processing.

As technology evolves, chances are that the method of storing images, like USB storage keys, are going to go the way of the floppy disc within the next decade. When was the last time you saw a computer with a working floppy disk drive?  Will home computers still have USB drives in ten years. Cine – Video – DVD – Hard Drive!!

From the viewpoint of photographers, it’s so important to give your clients prints,  so they can see their images at their best. A print is based on the photographer’s final vision for an image, but giving the client digital files runs a risk of images being printed on a low-quality instant printer, which can change white balance and exposure.  

RISE:  There are so many papers to choose from, it is a minefield, so how do we know what paper is the best paper for our images?

It is a minefield.  Different images suit different paper types, we spend a lot of time educating and advising photographers on the best paper finish.  There are so many factors to consider, for example, are the images going behind glass, or are they exhibition prints? if so we need to consider the lighting and possible reflections etc…  The trend of dark moody fine art style images really suit a textured paper finish whereas if the images are going to be displayed in a frame, then a matt photographic paper is better.  

RISE: How do inks behave with different papers?  

Our giclee range of papers have all had specialist profiles created, as contrast and colour can be affected by the paper finish. 

RISE: With contrast and colour management in mind, how important is it to have a calibrated screen? 

It is important to take monitor calibration into consideration as everyone sees colour differently. Calibrating your monitor to a common standard, allows you to know you have an accurate representation of both brightness and colour on your monitor.  This especially helps when sending prints to a lab.

RISE:  What do we need to look out for in our images before we send them to the lab to be printed?

It is important to look at your images at 100% before sending them to the lab to be printed so you can check for any errors in editing.  It is important not to over sharpen your images as it can produce an unsightly ‘halo’ effect. We also have downloadable profiles if you want to soft proof your images before sending them, but our policy at the lab is to colour manage every image on behalf of the client.

RISE:  How do you think we can become better at selling print products, without coming across too pushy?

It is so important to any photographer wanting to sell prints or wall art to show them to their clients.  It sounds so obvious, we all love handling prints and enjoy the emotional connection and memories they evoke, but often keep them on a draw or box.  We should have prints, matted images and wall art on show in our homes and studios for clients to appreciate.   

RISE: What do you love most about our industry?

I absolutely love that each day is different, it really keeps you on your toes.  There are changing trends in creativity and products, which we try really hard to keep abreast of.  

I also love the relationship between the trade and photographers and photographers with each other.  On the whole I find that photographers are really willing to share information and help their peers. They often meet online then arrange to get together at trade shows and go on to build lasting friendships.  

RISE:  If you could give one piece of advice to our members what would it be?

Set aside time for your own creativity.  It so important to stay creative. We have a local photographer to us who is super successful and he sets aside each Monday and calls it his ‘Happy Monday’ and he shoots for himself NOT clients. It keeps his work fresh and it means he is always developing his skill as a photographer.  I also think you never stop learning ‘every day’s a school day!!’ so keep training.

RISE:  Tell us a little bit about the download you have kindly supplied for our members?

One of the biggest hurdles in finalising client sales is getting them to envisage their images printed large in a finished product within a home environment. 

To aid your In-Person Sales sessions we have developed a set of PSD templates featuring all of our Multi Aperture Frame layouts with every frame option available for these products. Download and use any combination or import the frames into your own room sets or even images of the clients own home! 

Select from any of the Premium, Large or Vintage options to pair your images with the perfect frame. We started with multi aperture templates and it’s been so successful we are rolling it out across all frame mouldings.

This resource is invaluable and will definitely help you with your sales process. If you are a member of RISE you can now access these templates in your MEMBERS AREA.

RISE: That is amazing Jill!  Our members are going to love that! And thank you for your time and support. It was such a lovely experience to visit your lab and see everything working seamlessly. We look forward to visiting you again soon, and who knows maybe some of our members will come with us!

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