6 Essential Reasons Why You Should Buy Prints From Your Photographer

Hiring a professional photographer is often an expense endeavor. You’ve patiently waited for the photographer to sort and edit the pictures, so why not save money and time by printing the digital at Walmart, Walgreens, or any other self-printing shop?

53 % of consumers haven’t printed a photo in 12+ months according to the Professional Photographers Association (PPA)

You might regret that decision once the finished product is in hand. Especially if it doesn’t match the image you viewed from your chosen photographer. The colors aren’t what you expected. They’re not necessarily bad, but definitely not what you paid that photographer to take.

This problem might compound if after a couple years your image begins to fade, and you no longer have digital back-ups.

So much for that keepsake.

Below are 6 reasons why you should consider ordering High Quality prints from your photographer instead of printing them at a department store.

1. Professional Photographers Maintain Better Quality Control.

This is often the number one reason to hire a professional photographer and order prints from them.

- Photographers not only attempt to capture the best images for you or reshoot, they also uphold those standards all the way through to the finished product: your wall art.

- If the print order comes in flawed, the wrong size, or off color, your photographer should have it reprinted at no charge to you.

Speaking from my own experiences:

- When my clients order prints, I’m able to ensure the finished product meets my high standards of quality. I spend hours after each session making sure the images are perfectly formatted and edited to match my brand and style.

- Once the client makes their order, the printer sends me the images to inspect, and if they don’t match what I have on my monitors or the paper quality isn’t just right… I send them back.

- Anything less than those standards could result in a misrepresentation of my small business and an unsatisfied client.

- All of the above leads to the most important aspect of running a small business: Customer Satisfaction.

- Zack Sutton from Zack Sutton Photography offers his perspective on this with his blog post.

- Of course, I’d love for you to buy professionally printed images from me because that helps keep me in business and off the streets; however, it means far more than just money.

- When a client chooses to print their images elsewhere, I have no control of the how the image will turn out. Will the colors match what I and the client love, or will they be completely off? Will they still represent my style – part of the reason the client chooses me out of all the other photographers in the first place? Who else will see these images?

- Don’t simply take my word for it. Click Magazine offers a comparison between the major outlets where people print their images:


- Amanda Jackson also has an excellent side-by-side comparison on her website:


2. A professional photographer has the skills needed to make your images pop.

- With the advancement of technology, anyone can snap a picture with their phones. You can even perform some editing right at the tip of your finger. But how often has the image not truly captured the moment?

- Have you tried printing a picture taken with a phone at a larger size? 11”x14” and up?

- Often, these photos don’t come out at the quality you see on your phone. I know because I’ve been there myself.

- I started out as a digital artist before starting my own photography business, I sometimes used the same department store printers for my art. It was cheaper and faster than finding a professional printer. But I was always disappointed with the results. Unfortunately, the choice of printers lives up to the cliché: “You get what you pay for”.

- Your photographer has learned how to add a glow, a spray of light here, or subtle blurring there to make the subject of the image (you and your family) stand out from the background. Sometimes that added element turns a typical family photo into an incredible piece of artwork you’ll want to display.

- While anyone can learn the techniques or how to use the editing software, it’s not always easy to make it work seamlessly.

- Simply put, your photographer has spent years honing their skills to help capture clients’ precious and often candid images. They want those images to become your keepsakes for years if not generations to come.

- After the session, the photographer spends hours sorting out hundreds of images and editing them.

- For my part, I’ve spent years working in Photoshop and Lightroom building the skills necessary to seamlessly turn those RAW images into the keepsakes you’ll love.

- It’s both my passion and profession.

3. The professional photographer often has more editing tools than the average person.

- Like any other business, a photographer builds-up and upgrades the tools at their disposal. This is often in the form of better equipment and editing software. But its expensive. At the time of this writing, a professional level Nikon D-750 camera body costs almost $1,200.


- That price doesn’t include any lens, flashes, tripods, or editing software.

- Subscriptions to Adobe Photoshop will cost you extra. They run from $9.99 to $52.99 a month.


- We’re not even going into the cost of workshops or conventions to continue improving a photographer’s professional growth with these devices and programs.

- When you purchase prints through the photographer, you’re helping them fund their small business.

4. Professional printed images are on High Quality, archivable material.

- As I said earlier, everyone has heard the saying “you get what you pay for”. That’s especially true with the department store self-print centers. The images might look great on their own but when compared to a professional printed piece, you’ll notice major differences. The professionally done image is printed on higher quality paper and made with archivable ink (museum quality material) whereas department store images will fade after only a few years.

- Even the higher priced specialty prints from department stores won’t hold up compared to their professionally printed counterparts.

- Adorama offers some valuable information on this:

5. Full-service photographer.

- Your photographer is a one-stop-shop. As a client, you won’t have deal with the hassle of going out to print your own images, waiting up to an hour to pick them up, and everything else that comes with the task. Your photographer can handle all of this and suggest specialized prints as gifts!

- Your photographer can help you better decide what materials, sizes, and locations will best suite your images.

- They can take the guess work out of the above by letting you see and feel samples during your consultation. In some cases, you can even see your rooms decorated with the images before ordering.

- An 8x10 image sounds like the idea size until it’s placed alone on a large wall and has the impact of a Post-it note.

- Your photographer can show the impact print size can make, whereas you might waste multiple trips and money by printing-it-yourself only to be unhappy with the end results.

6. Ordering prints from your photographer helps support the arts and small business.

- When you buy professional prints from your photographer, you further support them and encourage them to continue their craft.

- Photography is their career. By purchasing prints from them, you’re helping that photographer put food on the table.

- Most photographers use printing companies that are themselves small businesses – often family owned and sometimes local to your area. Your purchase not only helps the photographer but everyone working at the printing facility.

- Again, offers some great insight into this with their post “Why Professional Photography Print Matter”:

- “Your prints support other local business owners. There are limitless settings where your prints can be displayed. From schools and trade shows to residential and commercial spaces, your prints can act as tools and resources that companies use to enhance their own businesses. This is meaningful especially in areas where consumers and business owners alike pride themselves on celebrating and supporting locally produced goods.”


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