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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Newhall

Why Should I Print Drafts?

Last time we talked about printing draft photos. Why should you make draft prints? Why not keep it just in the computer? Isn't keeping it in the computer cheaper?

Yes and no. It is definitely cheaper in the short term to keep it on the computer until it's finished. The computer screen can be deceiving though. In my experience I often see something wrong when I print out that "final" print, if I don't print out drafts along the way. Since I use a professional printing service for that "final" print, it's also a potentially expensive mistake.

Isn't keeping it in the computer cheaper though? Good question, and that depends. In the short term, yes. Paper, printers, and ink aren't cheap. That's obvious. But neither is printing from a professional service. The professional services usually charge something between 1-3$ for an 8x10 glossy print. Since I like to print them in bulk (to save time and money) I usually buy something like 50 individual prints of 50 different pictures. That's between 50-150$ for a set! Comparatively speaking, the good, basic, printer that I use cost about 100$ one time. The paper (pack of 50) I bought was about about 5-6$. The ink cartridges were about 20$ each. So that's something like 140-150$ to the first printing set. Then, assuming I have to buy a set of cartridges and paper every time) it's about 40-50$ after that.

So, while that's still in the lower end of the range in the Salt Lake valley, I a) don't need to spend as much on transit costs b) don't need to spend as much time waiting And c) I can print and edit more efficiently. While I don't get super nice drafts, I still get some good quality drafts that can help me make better final drafts.

Even when it comes to selling photos on my website, I still need to print drafts to check the quality. When you sell photos, you have to make sure they're the best photos! I always make sure my photos are the best they can be.

So, in summary, while printing draft photos is neither cheap nor efficient, it is an important step in making final prints. If you want to make the best, you have to invest (in good printing). Hey, that (sort of) rhymes!

What do you think about printing draft photos? Do you have a question? Message us!


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