The value of a quality print

April 15, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

I ran across this photo that was taken nearly 30 years ago. One of my sisters had arranged for a local (Omaha) photographer to take portraits of our entire family. This was the sibling photo with my brother and two sisters. The photographer was a guy named Rick Billings. I would find out years later from my photography friend,Tony Corbell, that he and Rick were the photographers who photographed some 150 heads of State and government attending the United Nations Millennium Summit on September 6th, 2000. It was a big deal at the time because it was the first time they used "State of the Art" digital technology to photograph the heads of State. Rick sold his business and moved on, but this photograph has fared well over the years.

 

This photograph made me think of all of the unfortunate people who ask for digital images on a thumb drive and go to the local box store to get their prints. I wonder what those prints will look like in 30 years or so. Because the images weren't printed by a professional, chances are that the paper is not archival and doesn't have acid-free substrates. Maybe the box store used paper that contains optical brightening agents which contain unstable molecules which will turn yellow over time. Even worse are those situations where people never get prints made and the digital images eventually get lost in the cloud or succumb to a hard drive crash. So who will be able to show you their high school senior photos in 30 or 40 years? Only those people who invested in hiring a professional photographer who sells physical prints. My studio, Bohemian Photoworks, creates prints that use archival, acid-free substrates that are predicted to hold their quality for over 200 years. So, when I deliver prints to my customers I have high confidence that they will still look good 30, 40, even 100 or more years from now.

 


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