Print Your Snapshots! Check out this amazing photo app!

Soooo, you know how I'm always harping on how important it is to get your pictures printed? While I definitely mean that you need to invest in beautiful fine art wall art from your portrait session with Nan Doud Photography,  I also mean that you need to have your snapshots printed!

Remember photo kiosks? Brag books? Doubles anyone?! It's funny because we have more cameras per capita than ever now thanks to smart phones but we have fewer books of family snaphsots than ever too! Why is that?

It's the same reason a high percentage of "digital only" brides and grooms have yet to do anything with that disc of images in the closet? Desk? Oh shoot... Where is it now?! You see my point. The reason is that we have great intentions but life crowds in and before we know it it's been years! If you're blushing because this describes you, fear not... You are in good company! This is why I do my best to ensure that all my clients walk away with something tangible that is made to stand the test of time. But I digress!

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Friends, this printing your snapshots stuff is important for our kiddos! These things help anchor the memories like grappling hooks to their synapses and heartstrings in a way that digital images on your hard drive never could. There is nothing like getting your hands on your photos in print, whether we are talking about your wedding album or your snapshots from summer vacation. 

I spent many many hours as a child poring over my photo albums. It was my way of reaffirming my own history. It helped me remember who and where I came from. Memories that would have lived only in my parents' minds were being etched into mine. It made me wonder things about people and places and led me to ask questions of my mom and dad that I'd have never asked without the visual tangible prompts.

With that in mind, I followed my own advice this Christmas and bought each of my kids and some of my nieces these photo books from chatbooks.com.

And let me tell you, they were a huge hit! Are they archival? No. Are they super high in quality? No. These are simple one image per page books that you can create using your Instagram feed or your Facebook photos (make sure you have a print release before using any photos not taken by you, especially professional photos) in a matter of a few taps of the finger! They are perfect for the kids to thumb through. Starting at just $8 for smaller page counts, you can fill them with up to 365 pages each! Since its app based the process really couldn't be any easier.

Don't put it off any longer. You know if you do you'll never get around to it! And I must say, the creation process is rather addictive! 

Caring for your Fine Art Photographic Prints

The other day I was talking to my teenage son about the portrait photography industry and how it has evolved throughout the years. We were discussing the business of doing business and how people assign value to emotional objects such as photographs. As we talked about creating pricing structures for the products that a photographer may carry, he said, "Well, of course they are not paying you for the paper! They are paying you for what you put on it!" I must say that, as his mother and a photographer, my heart sort of skipped a beat when I heard him "get it" without even a hint from me. As I mentioned last week, there are real reasons that we ought to remember the importance of printed portraits. But the value of professionally designed portraits is not contained in paper and ink. It is in the image itself. Your photographer is going to most certainly charge more than what a blank piece of fancy paper costs because they are not selling you a blank piece of fancy paper. The photographer brings the only element that truly imbues that piece of paper with any kind of meaningful value. The image.

Princeton, New Jersey Portrait & Wedding Photography | caring for fine art prints

Think about it. Reams of paper and drums of even the finest pigments will never ever on their own be referred to by a mother as "priceless" the way that a family portrait will. Why? Because we do not pay photographers for ink and paper. We pay them for the images they capture. Some call it art. And for the photographer who has spent years studying photography, yes it is her business but it is also her art. It's a piece of herself because she has invested so much of her life into her ability to capture the light and shadows, the movement, the emotion.

While the value of printed portraits is not in the raw materials alone, my clients understand that I pour myself into my work and that I won't rest until I have placed a beautiful finished product in their hands. They know that I will not deliver a piece that isn't made excellently and designed to last a lifetime (and longer because portraits are not just for us!) This is why I only sell archival quality fine art prints. 

100% cotton fine art prints from Nan Doud Photography

Why archival prints?

There are numerous types of tree based papers on which your portrait designer can opt to print your images. Wood based papers though are often laced with substantial concentrations of acid, which causes deterioration and yellowing over time. Cotton based papers, on the other hand, are highly resistant to fading, discoloration and deterioration. My fine art prints are made on 100% cotton fiber or (depending on the finish you select) sometimes non-cotton Alpha Cellulose based papers sourced from a company that has been the premier provider of museum quality papers for more than 400 years. Printed on highly calibrated wide gamut precision printers, the inks used can combine to create millions of color variations, many more than your standard large format printers, which accounts for the depth, richness and clarity of colors in fine art prints.

While renowned for holding their color and clarity for many decades, Fine Art Prints are not impervious to environmental stressors. One still must be careful to treat them well in order to keep them looking their best. The fact is, for all photographic prints, archival included, the safest environment is a dark, climate controlled one. Not many of us invest in family and wedding portraits in order to hide them away. That you will display them is largely unquestioned. Here are some quick tips for caring for your portraits in a way that will best preserve their integrity while being enjoyed.

Two different types of archival print paper

Fine Art Portrait Care Tips

  • Avoid touching the ink. Whether you use cotton gloves when handling them or not, is up to you. At the very least, wash your hands with soap and dry them well before handling your prints. I have begun to include a pair of cotton gloves when I deliver your prints so that you can handle them appropriately.
  • Avoid tapes. If tapes must be used to secure the portrait to a mat, be sure that the tape is an acid-free archival tape. These can be found at local arts & crafts stores.
  • If possible hang them out of direct sunlight.
  • No direct contact with glass. Archival acid-free mats should always be used. Portraits that are pressed straight up against glass will bond with the glass over time, making it impossible to ever remove the portrait from the frame without significant damage. As for the type of glass used, it is largely up to personal preference. Acrylic glazing with a UV protectant can be purchased at almost any custom framer's shop. It is unbreakable, lightweight, easy to clean with normal household cleaners, reduces condensation and comes in an anti-glare variety as well. This is what many museums use to protect their works of art. 

(The images above were shot for Jacqueline Patton Photography at two different weddings in Liberty State Park. One took place at the beautiful Maritime Parc and the other at Liberty House.)