6 Reasons Why Printing Your Photos Is Important

6 Reasons Why Printing Your Photos Is Important

As a photographer, I spend a lot of time taking photos, editing, blogging, and posting them on social media. However, are these photos just meant to be viewed for the 24-hour period (or less) that they're displayed on social media, only to disappear forever? Personally, I believe it’s important to create and share something tangible and special in this digital age of noise and instant gratification. That's why I've started to print my photos, and below are some reasons why you should too.

1. Brush Up on Editing Skills

When you print a photo and hold it in your hands, you start to notice details that you may have missed on your computer or phone screen. You start paying closer attention to your histogram, zooming in to inspect for problem areas, and noticing dust spots that you might have overlooked. 

2. Enhance Your Photography Skills

When you print your photos, especially in large sizes, any technical issues with your photographs will be amplified. This means that you'll be able to see all the details, both beautiful and problematic. It encourages you to get things right in camera, rather than relying on Photoshop or Lightroom to fix your mistakes later. 

3. Get Inspired

Printing a photo after careful selection releases endorphins and makes you smile. It makes you want to go out and create more images that you can be proud of. The cycle of shoot, edit, print, and repeat becomes addictive and inspiring.

4. Revisit Old Photos

If you're just starting to print your photos and you have a vast archive of images, it's fun to go back and rediscover old gems. When you finally print out an image that you took years ago, it's satisfying to see it in a tangible form. It may even inspire you to revisit the locations you've neglected and start shooting again.

5. Bring Your Photos to Life

Before I started printing my photos, they would disappear into oblivion after I posted them online. By printing your photos, you're ensuring that they'll last forever. You can give them to relatives, sell them to clients, or hang them on your wall. 

6. Ultimately, It's Satisfying

Printing your photos is just so much fun. Seeing all of your hard work and dedication printed on beautiful paper is satisfying and addictive. These are tangible things that you can hold, display, and be proud of. 

In conclusion, printing your photos is an essential aspect of photography. It improves your editing and photography skills, inspires you, encourages you to revisit old photos, ensures that your photos will last forever, and ultimately brings satisfaction. Do you have any more reasons to print? Share them with us in the comments section.

Brady Cabe's picture

Brady Cabe is a nature and landscape photographer with a passion for learning and sharing. Although he gets easily excited about all types of photography, he focuses primarily on finding and capturing the natural beauty around him. He currently resides in Northeast Ohio with his wife, kids, and their dog Maxy.

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Been there and done that, not to just Poo-Poo printing, but if you're not selling them often, it's a lot cheaper to use a print house. Running today's new printers is costly, they use a lot of ink for maintenance, both Canon and Epson. One needs to print at least once a week as a minimum!

Do, your research on maintenance. However, if you have money to burn and don't care about the additional cost of printer maintenance, then go for it.

Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation, Leon! The price of paper and ink can definitely add up, so I know where you're coming from. I also utilize print houses, especially for canvas and metal client prints, but I do like to run my photos through my printer first, whenever possible. I end up using these smaller "proof" prints to sell at art shows, etc.

Actually it is very cheap to keep a printer maintained.

Just do a Nozzle Check print once a week on high quality letter paper (like smooth Conqueror A4 letter paper).

Hardly uses any ink at all, but keeps the nozzles clear. And you can use the paper four times by rotating / flipping it. And then again by cutting off the ends to re-use.

I don't do much printing but this has kept my Epson with its troublesome Vivid Magenta pigment away from trouble for years.

you don't even need to do that. With Canon printers, you can literally go months between prints and it's never clogged. I've gone 1.5 years between prints on my Pixma Pro-100 and the prints are just as pristine as ever. if people are wondering, 1.5 years, I usually go about 4 months between prints and I tend to binge print. Like a ton of prints after traveling abroad or doing an event. then nothing until the next special event.

i do zero maintenance on my canon printers. and the print quality I get is spectacular. I posted some 13"x19" photos of my coworkers from a company event. the bosses were so impressed how beautiful the photos were, they decided to have me do the photography and framed photos around the building.

Great article. Couldn't agree more. For me, the workflow ends when I can admire a print hanging on the wall. And I know that I controlled everything from camera, exposure, digital to colour profiles and paper on my printer. Nothing is more satisfying than to see the end-result.
I use a Canon Pixma Pro-100 and find it quite economical to run. It digests anything you throw at it and ink lasts a reasonable time. At least much better than the Epson I used to own. Having said that, I can't vouch for the newer Canon printers.

Thanks for reading! That's the same printer I use - works great. How are you managing your ink?

I am printing a range of pictures every few months. I never had any problems with clogged nozzles! It seems that Grey and Pink (GY and PM) are the ones being used most. I buy them separately plus a full set of inks to complement. They last quite some time.
Though - having said that, I once printed a A3+ picture of the black sand beach at Vik in Iceland... and I had the impression that it had used a good part of my dark inks... ;-)

Very nice shot! If you're looking for a refillable ink system, I highly recommend Precision Colors. I have been using theirs for some time with great success. You'll go through a lot of dark colored inks but being able to refill is a lifesaver.

Thank you for that recommendation. I will see if I can get them in the UK.

Another way to keep your photos "in the eye" is a large digital photo frame.

I like the Sungale ones, because they are fed via the cloud, where you store your images for display. You can have multiple galleries and switch them on or off in combination.

We got one for my Mom when she went into care for Alzheimers. Any of us kids could upload photos for her frame to show her. She didn't always know who she was looking at, but she seemed to enjoy it!

I love this. We actually did the same thing a few years back for all the grandparents - the hard part is remembering to periodically add new photos of our kids!

You're spot on about seeing your work printed being satisfying. I've been a graphic designer for over 25 years, and it still gives me a buzz when I see my work out and about in my city. That thrill never goes away,

Indeed! There's something visceral about experiencing your final product.

Terrific article! I started printing about 8 years ago and almost immediately, started selling prints. I also have a nice collection that I keep to cycle through my home. And since I had all the power tools, I make my own frames and mounts as well. You gotta' love the smell of sawdust, though.

If you have an image that is a standout or has special meaning, its final destination should be on a print and displayed. There is nothing wrong with showing pride in your work and what better way to show a great photo than have it printed.

Now, printing at home worked well for me since I sell prints, but for the occasional printer, use a reputable lab whether local or internet. I'm limited to a 17" printer (P800), so anything larger other than a 17" panorama, I have to use a lab. I print locally, but there are several very good internet sites that produce great results.

As a bonus, I print greeting cards which makes my wife happy. Anytime a birthday or anniversary pops up, I get a request and I'm only too happy to do it as I'm an admitted print junkie.

Making your own frames is definitely next-level stuff! I stumbled into greeting cards myself at one point and those tend to sell the best at art shows. Cheers

One of the things an wise mentor told me was "it's not a photograph until you print it."
nicely done.

I tend to agree with your mentor - thanks for reading!

I'm surprised you didn't mention calendars. Print them and give them as gifts. Many local shops will be happy to sell them. No, you might not make money on them (because you'll probably have to sell them to stores at a loss) but either think of them as advertising or just to have your photos or your name out there year round.

Also, I "print" up books to show them to people or as gifts but also just to have a record/something on hand, it gives a feeling of accomplishment. (One can use shutterfly, lulu, blurb, etc. Their quality is decent.)

That's a great point Charles! Calendars are great for gifts and can be lucrative if marketed properly.

The best thing about printing is it makes your photos special. With digital photos (especially smartphone photos), they're so disposable now. You see it for the moment and then you move on to the next photo. They're all forgettable. But you print a special photo and you hang it and people remember it. People still walk by my photos hanging around the building I work at and pause to remember the moment and to see how beautiful that moment was.