I’m running out of ways to creatively say some version of “print yer damn work!” But seriously, print yer damn work. Live with it. Study it. Hold it in your hands. Give it away. Experience the joy of seeing it matted and framed and hung on walls. For some that means using a service like mPix or WHCC or, my preference these days, Artifact Uprising.* For others it means printing at home. Printing at home – doing it yourself – is a learning curve, and it means buying a printer, but it’ll teach you more about your photographs than just looking at it on a screen. Everyone I know that prints does it for a variety of reasons, but almost all of them agree – it makes them a better photographer. Print your work.
If printing at home is an option and you’re looking for a recommendation, then here’s mine: get Martin Bailey’s eBook, Making the Print (it’s only $5), and get an Epson P800 printer. The P800 replaces the much-revered 3880, and from reviews, and my own first experiences, it’s excellent. I’ve just finished matting and framing and putting up 3 images from recent work in Venice, and they look incredible. The printer isn’t huge, at least not compared to the massive sofa-sized 7900 I used and swore at for the last 2 years (it made beautiful prints but was a beast), and it sits nicely on my work surface. It’s easy to use, has a great interface, and unlike the predecessor, the 3880, it prints wirelessly (set up was super easy, which is good because Epson still won’t put a freaking USB into the box) and it takes roll media with the sold-separately roll spindle. It prints up to 17″ wide, which means I can use my favourite 17×22 papers. I can’t comment on other brands – I’ve used 4 different Epsons in the last 5 years – but my first impressions of the Epson P800 are the strongest I’ve had so far. I already love printing on this – and if you love printing, instead of feeling like you need to drink heavily before you turn the thing on, you’ll probably do it more. (You can find it on Amazon.com for $1200)
Don’t be that photographer that never sees his photographs in the real world, or whose best work only ever sits on her harddrives and iPhones. Print it. Get it out into the real world. With whatever printer or service you prefer – but seriously, print your work.
*See the comment from Bill McQuarrie below, he makes some good points about going small and local with your choice of printing service providers.
Tell The World
Don’t forget, we’re going offline with the blog next week, but maybe check out the new Vision Is Better show on YouTube. Episode 07 – It’s Not About the Mirrors, comes out on Monday. Join me as I roll the magic 8 ball and tell you which mirrorless camera you should really get.