Prints are where landscape photography truly comes to life. Should you own a printer or outsource the work? Check out this great video to learn more.
To own or not to own? With apologies to Bill Shakespeare, the question in this case is whether or not you should own a printer as a photographer. Landscape photographer and YouTuber Thomas Heaton discusses this issue in his latest video. Heaton starts off by calculating the costs involved in owning and operating your own printing equipment. Of course the calculations will vary on a case by case basis, but he estimates around $65 per A2 print. The per print cost takes into account buying a professional printer, high-quality paper, ink, and is based on printing 30 images. When you factor in the additional cost and time initially involved for testing various types of paper, figuring out and setting up paper profiles, preparing images for print, and test prints, printing your work on your own can seem daunting.
So why would anyone own a printer? Why not just outsource the work to a printing lab and potentially save yourself money and stress? For starters, depending on the volume you print, you can gain economies of scale and save yourself money by printing on your own. Finances may not be the main driver though; there is also the satisfaction of seeing your work come to life and having your hand in the entire process of scouting, capturing, editing, and printing an image.
Do you print your work or send it out to a lab? Let me know in the comments below.