The hidden message in the business name
All about the wall art
One of the surprising aspects of modern life is that while we’re all taking more photos than at any time in history, we’re actually printing out fewer! And I want to do my little bit to change that.
If you’ve looked through the Paw Prints website you’ll have seen lots of imagery showing pet portraits on walls in rooms. You may have noticed there’s a page dedicated to Wall Art. If we’ve met in real life and I’ve passed you a business card, you’ll have seen wall art items displayed on the back of the cards, rather than simple pet portraits.
You see, I don’t think of Paw Prints as a business that provides pet photography services – it’s a business that provides pet photography products. It’s not called Paw Digitals 😉
My experience of pet photography as a customer
My first experience of pet photography, several years before I did it for a living, was as a customer. We had been bought a photoshoot experience as a present (although the full tale is for another time) and took our first dog Tooty, who was heading towards the end of her life. The session was great fun and afterwards we bought three decent-sized printed artworks for the walls – but I also really wanted a copy of the full set of images. For a bargain £100 the photographer let me have a CD with the entire gallery of unedited raw images.
Fast-forward many years and I’m getting my own photography business off the ground. A few early customers asked about digitals, and it struck me: what had I actually done with the digital files I’d bought from my own pet portrait shoot all those years ago. Where was the disc? Do I even have a CD drive any more?!
To my embarrassment I realised that I – a photographer! – had done precisely nothing with all the digital files I’d paid for. Out of sight, out of mind. That £100 wasn’t really a bargain after all.
The mounted and framed prints we bought are, of course, still proudly displayed on the walls!
Photo credit: © Scott Wardell 2010
A little research among a few clients (of my own and of other photographers) led me to the conclusion that the most common fate of digital files from photoshoots is to be popped in a drawer and forgotten about. I even heard an anecdote of wedding clients who’d never gone back and looked at the photos of their big day, let alone had any printed.
The end result of a photoshoot experience with Paw Prints isn’t a CD or a USB stick to lose in a drawer, it’s something to proudly display in your home. If they’re a part of the family, they deserve a place on the wall.
But what about those who do print from the digitals?
A minority of people who only buy digital files from their photographer do indeed get some of them printed. But where do they get them printed? At home, on the high street, at the supermarket, online?
As well as any concerns about consistent quality of such retail photo companies, it’s unfair to expect customers to know enough about the technicalities of the printing process (colour profiles, paper finishes, ink types, pixel resolutions, file formats) to make sure what they order is going to look good and last a long time.
I hear occasional horror stories from other photographers: my favourite is of the customer who got their own large canvas made from a web-sized file so low in resolution that the end result was so pixelated “it looked like something out of Minecraft” 😳
If you go to the trouble of commissioning a portrait of your beloved pet then you deserve the best quality products that a professional photographer and trade photography labs can provide. What you get from Paw Prints is a finished product, to professional quality standards.
Is this more expensive than using a high street company? Undoubtably. Is the quality far superior? Absolutely.
Digital photos definitely have their place
I’m not anti-digital, of course. These days when a client asks about digital files I just ask what they think they will use them for. If the answer is to post on social media to show to their friends, I explain that all product purchases come with an accompanying web-optimised digital version. If the answer is, one way or another, ‘to sort out the printing myself as it will be cheaper’, I politely explain the gist of the preceding paragraphs 😀
To find out more about what kinds of wall art products are available from Paw Prints, take a look at the Wall Art page.