Everyone from the amateur photographer using his or her smartphone to the professional with DSLR equipment has felt the change in technology throughout the years. Technology now allows everyone to store thousands of photos on a hard drive and quickly look through them on a screen. While there are advantages to this level of storage and speed, you shouldn’t forget about the benefits of printing photos.


Improve Editing Skills


It’s impossible to be a good photographer without learning photo editing. While photo editing will always be done on a computer, the fruits of your labor can only be fully appreciated with a printed photo.

When viewing a photo on a screen, you’ll notice a few differences in perception. Your mind will overlook errors because they are easy to fix, details are often obscured because the image is smaller and has lower resolution than a printed photo and the monitor can play tricks on you.

You can’t change a printed photo. It commands certain gravity because you can’t put it in an editing program and change the color balance and other elements. This ensures that you see the photo of a final product, which helps you scan every corner for fixable errors.



Give Photos Life

Computers give you the advantage of scanning through images at lightning speed, but as Paul Kowalski says in this interview, photography should make you slow down and enjoy the details. You waited hours for the right lighting, snapped the shutter endlessly to capture that one perfect photo. It would be a waste letting that image sit on a hard drive, just to be scanned for less than a second before moving to the next image.

Printing that photo allows it to breathe and stand on its own. This lets you glorify all of that time and show that it was truly worth the effort.



Increase Perceived Value

Do you want to quickly and cheaply increase your perceived value to potential clients? Just print your best photos. Anyone can upload their photos to a website, blog or social media outlet, but those images are typically looked at briefly before the person moves on.

Photos are supposed to represent a perfect moment in time, frozen so that people can marvel at the detail and colors. This is muddled with the speed of computers as people rarely look at images for very long.

Printing your photos and placing them around the office, or anywhere else they will be seen, shows people that you are serious about your craft and lets them enjoy the photo the way it was meant to be enjoyed.


More Sales

Getting paid for your creative passion is great, and there’s nothing better than doing something simple and getting more money from it. Your photos have value. People love looking at them because they are beautiful, inspiring and make people feel what emotions you are trying to convey.

Printing your photos gives you something to sell. You can make small prints for cards, large prints for posters, a book displaying your best pieces and so much more.


Show Your Greatness

Computers show images at low resolutions. The details are harder to make out and the colors are usually a little off, but the images tend to look good. It’s easy to edit out mistakes because of the low resolution, but overall these images rarely make a huge impact.

Great photographers print their photos at high resolutions. Mistakes are no longer hidden, but this allows the details to shine. Others may hide behind low resolution and editing tricks online, but a printed photo is completely open. Every nook and cranny can be seen, allowing your image to truly stand on its own merits.


Saving your photo online or on a hard drive is perfectly fine, but you should also print your best work. From making you a better editor and photographer to enhancing your perceived value to clients, printed works still hold obvious value both to photographers and viewers.



  1. K October 29, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Great article! I agree and hope to print some of my favorite photos.

  2. Kim Peck October 29, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Your “Prings Matter ” article was great, Thank you. One thing it didn’t talk about was recommended printer’s for home use. I am a hobbyist and I love giving family and friends printed photos that I think that they would love to have. I currently have a “Canon Pixma” but I need a better printer. Can you please make some suggestions.

  3. Stan Hooper October 29, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Agreed; I always print the ones I like best and I’m working on hanging them on a wall I recently cleared for the purpose. Some prints I’ve given to relatives who like them, others I’ve used as holiday cards (I’m not a pro who needs to sell them). So, one item I’d add to your 5 is to learn to be selective and hone your critical analyses skills when you choose which to print and which to leave on the computer’s hard drive.

  4. Pauline October 29, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Yes! I completely agree. My problem is in finding a good printing company as I’ve had some quite underwhelming results. I print a few things at home which are better but if anyone can direct me to a course in printing from LR or PSE Elements I would be forever grateful!

  5. Trevor Roberts October 29, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    I have a Canon MG5750 and a 5710 which both make superb prints. It is more likely that the way you are using it is not quite right. Unfortunately getting good prints is not that simple! You need to experiment with different settings and papers. 7DAYSHOP’s glossy paper is as good as any and not expensive. Download test images from Marrutt or Fotospeed as well.

  6. C. Mitchell October 29, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    I currently print on an Epson
    Artisan 837 and mount my own prints. I am very happy with the print quality. I’m sure there are many others.

  7. Andy Whiteman October 30, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Really glad you wrote this article. It’s really so pertinent as I keep hearing phrases like “it’ll be good enough for social media” in terms of image quality.

    To reply to Kim I’m no expert but I have a Canon Pixma iX6550 which is quite old now but produces pretty good prints for me.

    There is a more modern version with maybe 7 inks against my 5. They are not that expensive to buy and non OEM inks are not expensive either.

    I’m sure Epsom make great printers too.

    Thanks again for the article.

  8. Mick October 30, 2017 at 1:00 am

    I just wanted to share that I have just recently purchased a PIXMA MX922 Canon printer. I was very happy with the ability to not only make 4 X 6 prints but also to be able to add color text in the photo. I received a comment from a friend and they liked the idea that the print had the names of the people in the photo. I have also been trying to get a cousin to respond to me over the years with letters & cards, but it seemed that when I sent them about 15 prints that they got back to me and I hadn’t talk to them in over 20yrs. I was so glad to receive their phone call & we talk for 2hrs. “Prints Matter”, and it made me feel so good to hear how they like a certain print of what I call a “moon dog” which is when there is a rainbow circle around the moon, but also in the photo there was clouds that gave it a mysterious feeling to me.
    I am looking at making canvas prints by, CanvasPop on line to the sized of 24 X 36 but I not sure how it would print out & was wondering when using such a service is it best to do a small size to see the final product verses spending $100.00 the first time when money is a factor, thanks..

  9. Heather Turner October 30, 2017 at 4:12 am

    What concerns me today with our digital photography and smart phones is that a great many people never print their photos. They sit on hard drives or social media. I feel so many photos will be lost in the future. I always make photo books of important events and holidays so if data is lost on computers I always have a photo book to enjoy i the future.

  10. alvin October 30, 2017 at 5:35 am

    this is awesome!!

  11. Chris October 30, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Epson printers are no doubt the best in my opinion. I use an Epson 4900 and archival papers and the colours are super

  12. Roy Hesketh October 30, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    This article on printing is great advice to see any errors before passing the image onto a client or onto a display website and then correcting them. The problem is that most home printers in the UK, ( I don’t know about the USA) are A4 printers which makes it difficult to see errors because of their size or lack of it. I have a 21″ monitor which allows me to see a lot of problems before printing, but some errors only show up after printing because, as you say, the mind blocks out what you don’t want to see, unless it’s glaringly obvious even on a 21″ screen. The answer is to print them at A3. Not everyone can justify an A3 printer. This part of the world that I live in is lucky in that I have access to a photography printers who prints A3 for approx’ £1.50 plus tax and postage (about £5) with a turn around of two days. Cheaper than an A3 printer and all the cartridge changes. I don’t know where Kim Peck lives, but my advice is to look for a local photographic printers and try them out.

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