purpose of a portrait

July 31, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Over the years, as I have built my business, there is one recurring aspect that continues to frustrate me. Clients rarely order prints; heck, I rarely order prints. Why is this? Why do we spend the time to shoot, edit, oooh and ahhh over the finished product but then never display them? Some will say it's a sign of the times, and I agree with this statement to a certain extent. I give my clients all of their digital files; I recently decided it does me no good to hold on to them. However, I often wonder do they in turn print them? I doubt it because I rarely print my own.

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 {I have done better as of late; these are two 5X7s that came in today}

I love nothing more than to hold a printed image in my hands and recall the moment it was captured. Oftentimes the memory makes me smile; sometimes it makes me sad. That's the point of photography, right? To capture moments in time that we want to remember. To forever document a second that we will never see again.

One reason, I believe, we don't order prints is because we now have so many to choose from and so little time to choose. Maybe these few steps will make it easier for you...

 

1) Decide how you want to display or store the images. Do you have a blank wall you've been meaning to hang something on? Would you rather store your images out of the way but where they are easy to access? Do you have a bookshelf with an empty spot that has been needing some color? This is also the time to write down every person that would enjoy one of your images. Grandma, great-grandma, aunt in New York, neighbor, etc...

- a few suggestions: photo albums (harder to find now than they use to be), photo boxes (can find almost anywhere), frames, wall space, etc...

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2) Once you have decided how you want to display your images it is not time to decide what size you need. I do believe this is one of the more overwhelming aspects of ordering prints. 

a few suggestions:

-wall display: 11X14 or larger

-bookshelf/side table: 5X7

-photo box/album: 4X6

If you are wanting to display an image over you couch, for example, a good rule of thumb is to measure the width of the couch and subtract several inches. You may wish to order multiple sizes and create a collage. If there is a blank space between a window and the corner wall you may want an 8X10 to frame and hang; as seen in the example below.

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If you are ordering 4X6 prints, which are the standard size, you may wish to order multiple poses or even all of the images from your session. 

 

3) It is now time to do the dirty work; sit down at your computer preferably (easier to see than on a phone) with a piece of paper and a pen. As you go through the images write down the image number of any that strike you. Once you've done this you will have a general idea of how many images "speak" to you. 

Sidenote: If you are a client of mine my website has a "favorites" feature that makes going through your images EASY! As you find a photo you like add it to your favorites. You can then view them all in a separate gallery. If there is a certain number you are trying to cull to you can quickly see how many you have chosen and eliminate as necessary. 

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{I am a refrigerator junkie - I never take them down and there is now no more space BUT it is my favorite photo spot. Our wedding snap shots are there, our dating pictures are there, our newborn muffin pictures are there - it's one of my very favorite spots.}  

 

4) Now that you have your favorites selected you can more easily decide which one you want to order in an 11X14 for that special place in your living room. If you have budgeted for pictures I would HIGHLY recommend ordering 4X6 prints of all of your favorites simply for posterity sake! One day your grandkids or even great grandkids are going to love going through those prints! 

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{My crafty father-in-law made me this wood framed piece of tin - I found magnets at dirt cheap and filled her up. As you can see I've also resorted to using push pins on the wood. I love to leave some of the special photo christmas cards up all year.}

 

I hope this will inspire you to take the time to sit down and decide which images you love and want to keep. Having the digital files is great but if you never open them or display them what good are they doing you? 

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{I even have snapshots tucked in little corners. Please ignore the dust - I blame it on the copious amount of windows we have.}

 

For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:14

 

 


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