photo by SeventyFour via iStock
If you’ve started creating photography prints in your own home, then I’m sure you’ve figured out how many things can go wrong. Photo printing mistakes don’t just waste your time, they also waste your money. This is especially true if the photographing prints you’re creating are of a high quality for your more high-end clients.
The really frustrating thing is that all photo printing mistakes can easily be avoided. If you’ve started making photo printing mistakes, then it’s likely just because you are being careless. However, by reading more about how to get a good photography print, you could start preventing these photo printing mistakes before they ever occur.
In this article, I’m going to go over the most common photo printing mistakes.
Mistake #1: Not Running a Test Page
photo by baloon111 via iStock
When you’re printing photos, it’s pretty rare that you’re only printing one or two. You’re usually going to be printing at least a few, even if they are just for individual clients. Of course, if you’re creating prints of your original work that you’re going to be selling at art shows or out of your studio, then you may be printing dozens at a time.
So, one of the worst photo printing mistakes you can make is to start printing without running a test page. This can result in a number of issues.
For instance, if you start printing all of your photos without running a test page, but you’ve loaded the printer incorrectly, you could end up with a ton of prints that have been printed on the wrong side of your paper. As another example, you may be running low on a specific type of ink, which could result in your images being the wrong color.
Always use a test page!
Mistake #2: Using the Wrong Type of Paper
photo by nixite via iStock
There are a whole other number of photo printing mistakes that you can make that have to do with paper. Of course, running a test page will let you find issues with paper being loaded incorrectly, but you could also use the wrong type of paper altogether.
For instance, if you use a specific type of paper not meant for your printer, or other types of photo papers which are not universal, your image could take forever to dry, the ink on your images could crack or bleed, or your image could smear while it is being printed.
Mistake #3: Using the Wrong Resolution
photo by btrenkel via iStock
You can obviously have a resolution that is far too low to get a good image. Just because your image looks really pretty on your laptop screen, doesn’t mean that it will come out of your printer looking like that. You should only be using images of the highest quality for home printmaking.
Of course, you can also make the opposite mistake. A lot of modern printers come with a “high resolution” button. One would assume that this would be the perfect button to press for creating prints at home. One would be wrong.
This “high resolution” setting will cause some specific printers to use the black ink cartridge, instead of using the composite black. Since the black ink cartridge is pigment based, you could end up with colors in your image that are vastly different than what you intended.
Mistake #4: Choosing the Wrong Professional Printing Company
If you aren’t a technology guru and would rather outsource your prints so that you can easily avoid all these print photography mistakes, you should keep in mind that you can still make one grave mistake: choosing the wrong printing company.
It’s an easy mistake to make, too, because there are so many printing companies to choose from. But, some red flags that you should watch out for are photo printing companies that don’t walk you through their printing process on their website, photo printing companies that promise a turnaround time that seems unrealistic, and photo printing companies that don’t want to answer your questions.
It seems like the more communicative a printing company is, the more likely it is that you’re going to have a positive experience working for them.
My favorite photo printing company is CanvasHQ. They were crowned our best canvas print company of 2020, for a few reasons.
The first is that their customer service is so helpful. CanvasHQ is a family-owned company, so they understand the importance of keeping their customers happy and informed. The printing professionals at CanvasHQ have caught problems in my images that I haven’t before and they made sure to correct them right away.
The second is that their prints are of the highest quality. They use museum-grade canvases, which are rated for over a century of use, as well as high-quality inks that won’t fade over long periods of time. They also hand build each canvas frame so that the wood never warps.
The third and final reason is that they provide all of this quality at a reasonable price. Their canvases start at only $20 and each come with free shipping. That’s not bad for a high-quality, professional print!