As photographers, many of us are guilty of capturing images but rarely taking the time to create prints. For those of you who do print your images, you know what everyone else is missing. Recently, NYC-based fashion photographer Lindsay Adler decided to create her first fine art print collection.
One of the things I've come to realize is that there is nothing better than seeing your images in print.
In order to ensure that Adler's collection was printed at the level that her clients expect, she spent a significant amount of time researching fine art printing. Adler's new video is a great summary of many of the principles behind fine art printing and the lessons she learned while putting together her first print collection.
As a printing neophyte, Adler sought out help from colleagues with extensive experience in fine art printing: Brooke Shaden and Claire Rosen. As a lawyer, I was constantly told not to reinvent the wheel. Given the amount of information available online, this lesson is a valuable one. Use your network and research skills to avoid many of the problems that have already been solved.
It's a well-known macroeconomic theory that scarcity breeds value. Adler explains that this rule also holds true to the practice of print sales. If your goal is to sell fine art prints, keep the print runs limited.
Certificate of Authenticity
As Adler points out, a certificate of authenticity is critical to ensure that the scarcity of supply that you create by limiting the edition is verifiable. Adler used Hahnemühle's system of certificates.
If your goal is to sell high-priced prints or to end up in high-end galleries or museums, you will need to use high-quality archival paper. Adler explains that the type of paper you use ultimately depends on what your work looks like. There are a few rules related to what kind of papers to use for high-contrast, heavily saturated, or dark images. Adler's suggestion that you try a few sample packs to see what looks best on a small scale before committing to thousands of dollars of paper is a great one.
Equipment: Printer and Ink
Adler uses a Canon Pro-4000 printer. To get the right variety of color tones and blacks, it is always a good idea to use a printer that blends as many different pigments of ink as possible. The Canon Pro-4000 uses 12 different cartridges, including Canon's non-color Chroma Optimizer, designed to reduce bronzing and even out ink depth and color tone.
Because her video is about the ins and outs of actually printing, Adler doesn't mention handling prints. I would point out, though, that every time you see her near a print, she is wearing gloves to protect the paper and ink. Don't forget to copy this habit.
Do you have any tips about creating fine art prints that you'd like to share with the readers?
Images provide by Lindsay Adler.