Nice print!... Now what do I do with it?
Looking at my photographic activity for the last year, I realize I have exposed and developed a lot of film. I do a contact sheet and scan the film for databasing in my on-line photo catalog. I haven't printed much...
Why? I'm not motivated.
Why not motivated? Because I don't know what to do with my prints. I can only mount and hang so many. I found that I was collecting stacks of un-mounted and un-loved prints. So I stopped printing.
If I knew what to do with a good print beyond throwing into a stack somewhere then I'd be actively printing again.
What do you do with your prints? What keeps you motivated to make more and more?
I ask people to be models, and i give them prints in exchange
I have the same problem. Not much motivation to print if you can't do something with them. I occasionally swap a print with other photographers. It's interesting to see what others are doing. I get prints from around the world and am starting to put together an album. I have no intention of becoming a professional. That leaves few options. I'm just happy if someone gets a little enjoyment from one of my prints.
I get lots of satisfaction from just seeing the finished product. I also enjoy showing them off to friends and family.
Searching my way to perplexion
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I like to give prints away. I also plan on making a nice album of smaller prints.
I am the opposite -- gotta turn the negative into a positive...
Several things come to mind...
First, with my work, there is a flow from the initial seeing to the print. It just seems odd to me to interupt that flow by not making a print (with some editing out of obvious vision errors and processing errors.) I have an obvious bias towards a fine print. Image is important and throwing it online is fine, but the hand-made print is what I love. I guess I am not satisfied with just recording neat-looking things and odd weather happenings. I want to take the next step and make it my own by making a print.
Second, how can I know if I am doing anything worthwhile if I don't print it and find out? I like to put a new print on the wall -- if I stop looking at it after a few weeks, how can I expect anyone else to give it even a second look (let alone bother to look at it at all!). If one has a wall where one can show 4 to 6 prints, give oneself the challenge to put up a new set of prints every 6 months or so.
Third, how can I know if I am improving if I don't have the prints to show myself the progression? Get the prints behind windows on white matboard. Just the hassle of matting the prints forces one to do some serious editing...and then look at them...line them up some where you can stand back at see them. Edit them again by picking out the one you feel are the strong images. Find out why you felt they were the strong ones.
What to do with prints...show them. Build up a collection of 30 or 40 or 50matted prints and edit them down to the strongest 12 prints. Have a show locally -- I am lucky to live in an area that has ample opportunity to put work up. Price them to sell -- enough to cover your material costs at least, and then let someone else worry about what to do with them.
I have boxes of window-matted prints...16x20 silver prints from 20+ years ago to recent 8x10 platinum prints and carbon prints. And I will go thru them all occasionally...and less frequently I go through the boxes of unmatted prints. For me, photography is a learning process. Looking at my own work helps to review the lessons I have already learned so that I can handle the new ones I come up against.
Anyway, that is what motivates me. Your results may differ....
I just went to your APUG personal gallery, and I think your work will only gain in importance over time for the people who live where you live. While most of us are contemplating our navels and wondering, "What is the meaning of ART?," you're out there documenting "the here and now", which in the future will be, "How fascinating...that's what it was like here then"!
Your images of the place where you live, of activities you're interested in, of your son and his peers in the context of your time, place, and personal vision will be of historical importantance in the future.
Whatever keeps making you drag your camera to all these events will, I'm sure in time, force you to print, mount, frame, and display them. Then you'll look back at your tracks in the sand and say, "Now I understand "
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
I see this as the main reason anaolg photography is at serious risk of dying out all together. If you cannot sell the prints, why spend the money on materials? If there is no end market, why bother?
Personally I do not print as I used to, and proof all my negatives digatily, scanned, played with in Photo shop, and if worthy, maybe posted on my web site. If someone wants to buy a print, then the darkroom is cranked up.
I shoot ALWAYS with film. This afternoon I was in Asbury Park CV Hall shooting around, with the Hasselblad and Pan F Plus which will be developed in PMK, but proofed by scan.
My advice, keep shooting and printing analog as much as possible. Look for avenues to sell, prints, images, exhibit. Or find another medium in which to vent your artistic inspirations.
Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.
I was in the same situation a few years ago. Then I joined an art guild, entered shows, won awards, sold a few prints (not enough!), served on the board of directors, became president, kept shooting and entering shows, and in this year's Juried Exhibition won Best in Show.
Originally Posted by SchwinnParamount
Yes, I still have lots of unsold prints in boxes, along with framed ones hanging on my walls; but at least I'm motivated to keep shooting, printing, framing, and showing my work.