With each client comes unique needs especially with nude or implied nude photography sessions, or even lingerie / boudoir. I’ve always been a firm believer that providing digital files to clients and calling it a day isn’t really helping the client, or the representation of the photographer’s work. With intimate sessions, most clients prefer prints to place in albums, or custom designed print albums. In most cases it isn’t feasible to hang large canvases or mounted / framed photos on the wall, for these intimate style photos. Not exactly family or guest friendly, LOL. And most couples want something classy and elegant to keep between them and keep it as a keepsake or memento. This is where albums or scrapbook style books with photo prints come in handy. Perfect visual elements, yet discreet.
I much prefer to handle the printing. It’s the business I’m in, I know the good labs, and the bad ones…and I only want a good representation of my work. Otherwise I’m leaving it up to the customer to print, when they aren’t trained with knowing what a good print is, color managing or papers / finishes, archival quality etc. And not only that, with nude or implied nude photos, you can’t walk into a loss leader retailer lab like Wal Mart or a pharmacy, and get those printed. They all have nudity policies. Let’s not forget the awkwardness factor even if they did! A lady walks into a makeshift lab with nude photos of herself….well….yea. You get the idea. Most people would go straight to one of those places if they want a photo printed, or attempt to print at home. Where limited papers are available and the average user won’t have a color managed workstation. I cringe at the thought.
Sure, the loss leader print labs are cheaper than I can sell the prints for, but with me handling the printing, it ensures these things:
-I let my lab handle it (on the West Coast), and there is no contact between them and the customer, for extra discretion.
-Based on the tonal range and mood of the photo, I select the best print surface, whether lustre, matte, etc. You did not see me mention the tacky high gloss, LOL.
-Heavier paper weight and better archival quality, and colorfastness over the years, and the color and black and white profiles are accurate. I’ve seen some pretty gnarly prints from loss leader retailers. They sell TV’s and underwear, they’re not printing experts.
I’m not out to clean peoples’ wallets out, but if they are investing in a personal photo shoot, it’s silly to cut corners and hire a professional photographer and buy substandard prints to save a few bucks…which dumbs down the final result. A pro lab is so worth it, let’s all work as a team to create the best images, as well as finish them for you 🙂