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Sunday, October 1, 2006

Sharing Your Vision

From gallery-quality prints to self-published books, you have options for displaying your images

Sharing Your VisionLet's suppose you've worked hard to build a beautiful portfolio. Well, it's time to reap your rewards. There are few things more rewarding to a photographer than seeing an elegant presentation featuring one's own art! I'll be practical and list different types of presentations to help illustrate your options. Among your choices are a book, a slideshow and prints for an art show or an exhibition. The presentation you select can be an important starting point for marketing your photography and developing a career.

Discovering what you want to do with your work is a fun and challenging process. Keep in mind the importance of maintaining high quality and a consistent theme. The results will have a stronger impact by applying these principles.

Fine-Art Prints. For many photographers, the ultimate expression of their art is a high-quality photographic print. I've used many options for making the fine-art prints I sell in galleries—from making Cibachrome prints in Ansel's darkroom in Yosemite to using high-end custom labs to finally having my own gallery-quality printer in my studio.

Much of the fun of photography these days, especially with current digital technology, is the ease with which we can make excellent prints from even the less-expensive printers available. Even if you have no interest in marketing your photographs, making a few prints for yourself, family or friends is a great reward for all your effort. Besides, if you wish to improve your skill in Photoshop or any other digital-imaging software, making a series of proof prints really helps you see how your adjustments translate in print.

Whether you make your own prints or use a custom lab, the matting and framing formalizes your imagery, making the whole process more rewarding, and states clearly to all that you're an artist! The following are some good options for custom printing.

Portfolio Binders. I've used high-quality binders for many types of presentations over the years. Prints can be assembled in a binder and left with galleries for display or sent to art consultants for presentations. This is a great way to show many images at once, and the binders are easy to update. The binders work especially well if they're printed on the same material as your final prints so that viewers can clearly see the quality they can expect if they purchase a print. Since the pages are removable, the images within can be customized. I've used Prat Display Products (www.prat.com) for my portfolios.

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