Instagram for photography is dead. It’s a great time to learn some new skills so you can print your images and share them in the real world.
Unless you’ve been living under a huge rock, you’ll know Instagram as we know it is dead. The platform photographers built has been swept away from us and is now just the Wish version of TikTok. So what are we going to do now, fellow photographers? Well, you can succumb to the demands of the Instatok gods by turning your posts into video, or you can walk away and find a more satisfying way to share your images.
We understood; Instagram can be hard to give up. Having countless dozens (let’s face it, Instagram is now so bad for photographers that you’re lucky to have double-digit likes) can be exciting; however, I know you can’t fill that empty space in your photography lover’s heart that should be filled by sharing your work. However, there is a way to fix this problem.
The power of printing your images
The art of print has been dying since the rise of Instagram. It’s a shame because the printing power of your images is unmatched. To see your digital image become something you can see right in front of you, something you can touch, is amazing. Social sharing has never elicited strong feelings of joy – for me at least – however, the impression does. Seeing your work come to life is indescribable.
Contrary to popular belief, you can be a successful photographer offline. While it can be fun to post your images to various social media accounts, which you should always do if you enjoy it, it’s much more beneficial to learn how to print your photos and share them in the real world . You will become a better photographer. You will get a boost in your creativity and you can make meaningful connections through networking. There is even a chance to win some cash too. So let’s look at the benefits of printing your images.
You will become a better photographer
Editing your images and then posting them online is one thing. Seeing your images in person when enlarged to large sizes is entirely different. When you print your photos, you will be able to see any issues with your photos. Your color calibration may be wrong. The level of sharpness may be lower than you expect. Any problems with your composition will be amplified. Digital noise and artifacts introduced by overly difficult editing will also be clearer.
Listing a few potential bad scenarios that can come from printing makes the process horrible. However, in reality, these issues will ultimately help you become a better photographer. Seeing the issues listed above will help you better understand where you need to improve. They’ll teach you how to edit properly, and even better, they’ll inspire you to get your footage straight in camera.
You can showcase your images at local stores, art exhibitions and photo books
When you start printing your photos, you’ll start to wonder what you can do with your work. You can, of course, decorate your home with your photos. However, it’s best to start putting your photos to work for you by showcasing them at local art shows, businesses, and coffee table photo books.
Don’t be afraid to approach a local cafe or restaurant. Ask if they will allow you to exhibit and sell your work from their company in exchange for a small commission each time a work of your art sells. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that real people who aren’t hiding behind a screen admire your work, and you might even benefit from it. It’s way better than getting a virtual high five on Instagram.
Art exhibitions and photography contests offer another way to present your images to people. I can tell you that it is much more rewarding to receive a like in person than online. You can even tell a story with your images by curating, printing, and selling photography books. The options are endless. So don’t be afraid to participate in contests, rent a small stand at a trade event or create a book. You never know who might fall in love with your work.
Printing your images will enable real-world networking
We take the theme from above a step further here. Printing your photos and placing them in contests or local businesses will open many doors for networking. Forget about random people and bots sneaking into your DMs; networking with people in your area can pay huge dividends.
When people see your work and like what they see, it creates an opportunity for them to contact and interact with you. A simple “hello” could turn into a sale. What was one sale could blossom into a dozen. Networking with just one person can lead to many more introductions that could create more opportunities for you down the road. Thanks to word of mouth, you won’t even have to pay for advertising to get your name out there like you do on social media sites.
Networking with real people, whether business owners, fellow photographers, or potential clients, is so rewarding. The true friendships and even business opportunities you can create just by printing your images are worth it.
Print stimulates creativity
As mentioned above, seeing your images come to life will elicit feelings that posting on social media can’t match. You’ll be so enamored with your work that you’ll be itching to capture that perfect scene again to see it in print.
Another area that makes printing so much fun is paper and different print media. The type of printer paper you print your images will radically change their rendering. Semi-gloss, matte, gloss, Barytra, fiber paper and others will give different results. Once you learn what each paper looks like, you’ll start creating images for each type of paper.
Calm. While it’s true that you’ll need to invest in a printer and media or send your files to a printing service, the cost of entry is worth it. Printer technology has improved a lot in recent years. As a result, you don’t need to go out and spend a fortune to get a good printer. I use the Epson SureColor P900 (read our review here), which is a bit pricey printerbut then I sprint and sell my images.
You could easily spend a lot less on a printer. The Canon Pixma Pro 100the Canon G620 or Epson Expression Photo XP-970 come to mind. All three are solid budget printers. However, if you want better quality, watch the Epson Surecolor P700 / P900the Canon PROGRAF 300 Where Canon PROGRAF PRO-1000.
So yes, posting on social media is worth a point because it’s free. I mean, it’s not really, you pay for it with your soul and you are bombarded with advertisements. So it’s time to bring back the second half of photography, the printing stage. It’s time to move away from social media sites that really don’t care about their user base. It’s time for us creators to shine our images and work for us. So start printing, and I guarantee you’ll enjoy photographing and sharing your work much more.