- You Can Learn From the Mistakes I've Made When Ordering Prints
- 3 Beginner Photography Mistakes That are Ruining Your Photos
I'll be the first to say that there is a multitude of ways that you can improve your photography.
And while learning how to use your camera, how to work with the right lighting, how to compose a photo, and so on, is certainly necessary, there's another step you need to take to complete your transformation into a knowledgeable photographer.
It's a step you might not have thought of, either...
Social Media is Not the Answer
Not to sound like an old curmudgeon, but it really bothers me how we are so quick to post our photos to our social media accounts and then do little or nothing with them after that.
Don't get me wrong - I'm as active on social media as the next guy, and from a photography perspective (and a business one, too), it's an invaluable tool.
But it's not the end-all, be-all for photography, either.
How your photos look on Instagram or Flickr is just one representation of how they turn out.
By that, I mean that the experience of looking at a photograph online is different than when you look at one in a gallery or a store or even in a photo album.
What's more, when you post a photo to social media, it's just one of a whole lot of photos that people are scrolling through.
Not only does that mean that swiping through images on social media is on the impersonal side, but it also means that people just don't take the time to appreciate the work that you do.
On top of that, your images don't have to be completely dialed in when they're posted to social media...
In other words, you can get away with a mistake here and there because people don't spend a ton of time looking at photos in their feed (and the size of the photos in your social media feed don't really lend themselves to deep examination).
So, what's the solution?
Having Prints Made Will Change Your Photos for the Better
When I was a beginner photographer, I didn't think that anyone but the pros had their photos printed.
What I didn't understand at the time is that having prints made helps you become a much better photographer.
Consider this - as I noted earlier, when someone is swiping through their Instagram feed, they might spend a couple of seconds on your photo. That's certainly not long enough to evaluate it and notice any boo-boos you might have made when creating the shot.
But put that same photo on a 50-inch wide canvas, and suddenly there's nowhere for your mistakes to hide.
Now, I'm not saying that you should have every single photo you take turned into a huge canvas. But what I do suggest is having a large print made every so often, that way you have a better means of gauging your progress as a photographer.
Trust me - seeing your work in large format will be hugely beneficial to your development as a photographer.
Aside from being able to see that progress is indeed being made, you'll develop a deeper understanding of what makes a good print.
You have to think about the subject matter in the shot, how you compose the image for maximum viewing impact, the colors and textures in the photo, and the substrate you want to print it on.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg...
Having your photos printed also makes you feel more like a "real" photographer.
That might sound silly, but when you start seeing your photos for the artwork that they are, you'll find that you have more confidence, and that confidence is key to your continued development behind the lens.
Don't Settle When It Comes to Prints
Of course, not all photographic prints are made alike...
If you really want to take a step forward with your photography, don't rely on bargain-basement printers to get the job done.
Instead, I encourage you to have a print or two made by a fine art printer, like CanvasHQ. Here's why...
As always, nothing but pure professional perfection from the team at CanvasHQ! Keep up the great work! - Mark C., Ankeny, IA
CanvasHQ works with you to ensure that the prints you order are on point.
You'll be helped through the process by a real, live human being that will offer recommendations regarding what the best printing options are for the images you upload to their servers.
On top of that, the CanvasHQ folks will make corrections for you if needed, and they'll send you free digital proofs so that you can see your photo before it's actually printed. Not bad, right?
Take it a step further, though, and appreciate the fact that these guys back their work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
If you don't like your print, just send it back within 30 days and you'll get another print or your money back.
As far as quality goes, though, you don't have to worry with CanvasHQ.
I have ordered dozens of prints from them, and I've been blown away by the quality of each and every print I've gotten in the mail.
Better still, they back their prints with a lifetime guarantee against cracking, fading, and bubbling.
Order arrived quickly and is better than I was expecting! Beautiful! THANKS! - Amy L. R., Pittsburgh, PA
As I noted earlier, becoming a better photographer requires a ton of time, effort, and expense.
That being the case, it just doesn't make sense to wrap all that time and money into publishing your photos to Instagram and nothing more.
If you want to learn how to take better photos, there's not a better way than to invest some of that time and energy into having some prints made.