The Power of Proof Prints

18 Jan
2010

I know I have a lot to blog about after the Imaging USA conference last week but I want to get this out there while it’s on my mind. It seems many photographers have dropped offering 4×6 Proof Prints (or at least don’t include them in the standard packages) and only offer online proofing. Initially, this was going to be my plan too but I’ve decided to include 4×6 Proofs in all my packages.

Here’s why:

Before Christmas I took some portraits of my friend’s family. A few weeks later his family and my family got together for a holiday dinner. I thought it would be nice to bring some prints from the photo shoot to share with everyone. I printed about 20 4×6 prints at home and brought them to the dinner. They were a hit. As I watched their faces light up as they thumbed through the prints and passed them around the room, I realized they wouldn’t have the same experience if they had to crowd around a computer monitor to see the proofs.

On top of that, his wife took the prints with her to work to show off her baby. A woman she works with has since gotten in touch with me to photograph her family. I HIGHLY doubt this would have happened if I just posted them in a gallery online. Of course, an online proofing, sharing, and ordering system is indispensable but the cost of the prints is easily offset by the tactile and emotional experience of sitting around a kitchen table with your family choosing your favorite shots. (Not to mention the advertising it brings when those proofs are shared with friends.)

So there’s my pitch on a nice set of 4×6 proofs in a nice box included in every wedding and portrait package.

Thanks for reading!

Ben

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