Pick Your Prints
A new approach to printing your photos can save you hundreds of dollars
With film, every photo you take gets printed. The good, the bad, and the really ugly. It’s a bit like writing your resume in one take and then sending it out to hundreds of companies. It’s fast, but not terribly efficient.
A better approach is to do some editing before you publish. The same idea can be applied to your digital photographs.
If you edit before you print, you save a lot of money and get a higher percentage of great prints that you will want to look at over and over.
Let’s Do the Math
I take anywhere from 300 to 500 photos a week for one simple reason — because I can. The digital format means that I can experiment with every photo that I take. Rather than grabbing one quick snapshot, I can experiment and try to find a unique angle or new point of view.
Let’s break out the calculator now. On average I take 400 digital photos per week. This amounts to about 1600 photos per month and almost 19,200 photos per year. Shake your head to clear it and look at that number again: 19,200.
Now let’s say that I drop by the drugstore each and every week and have every single photo that I take printed. Since the average print costs about $ 0.30, I could be spending almost $ 5,760.00 per year on prints.
Edit Before You Print
Since I prefer not to throw my money away, I always edit the photos that I take before I print them. I start by tossing out all the ones that are out of focus. Unless it was intentional, I want my photos to be nice and sharp. Then I remove all the ones that are poor exposures. Finally, I eliminate the photos that just don’t speak to me. Sometimes a lot of photos are in focus and properly exposed, they just are an experiment that didn’t work out.
Print the Winners
Once you’ve gone through all the photos you take and only print the winners, you will see why taking digital photos is much less expensive than film.
If you take two 36 rolls of film and have all the prints processed, the cost of the film and the printing might add up to about $ 30.00. If you take 100 digital photographs, but only print the 10 best ones, you will spend $ 3.00. That’s a pretty big savings!
In the long term, these savings will add up, and eventually will make up for the price difference between a film camera and a digital camera. How’s that for justification?
Look Like a Pro
Here’s another neat side effect of only printing your best photos — it makes you look like a pro when you show the photos to friends and family. Since you’re only printing the best of the best (and deleting or hiding the so-so shots), your photo albums will take on a professional look that will make you proud to share them with visitors.