The Importance of the Photographic Print

This post is contributed by Midwest Photo Exchange’s Imaging Expert Angela Smith.

Epson Printer
“Casual Business” at Kitchen Table Gallery (Philadelphia, PA)

The Importance of the Photographic Print

Prints are the way we photographers see our images come to life…  People want the tactility of an image and not just a digital file that you can view on your computer screen.

-Louise O’Rourke

As photographers in the digital age, we sometimes forget the importance that the physical print can have for our creative practice. We can overlook how important it is to see our images on display to receive feedback, to experiment, and to show our clients that the photographer’s skill set can go beyond their online portfolios. Creating an excellent photographic print is the perfect tool for sharing our photographic experiences and for bringing our vision to fruition. The print has always been the main objective of the photographic process and now more than ever there are endless possibilities on exploring that realm.

Fellow photographer and owner of Kitchen Table Gallery in Philadelphia, Louise O’Rourke spoke to me about the importance of the print.  “Prints are the way we photographers see our images come to life. Being able to turn your vision into an archival image for selling, owning and displaying is how we market ourselves as artists, hobbyist and lovers of photography. People want the tactility of an image and not just a digital file that you can view on your computer screen.”

EPS1598 Epson P9000
The Epson P9000 large format printer is capable of 44″ wide prints.

Louise’s passion for photography led her to present one of the recent showings at Kitchen Table Gallery.

“The most current show at Kitchen Table Gallery was focused on photographers of the Philadelphia area and was titled ‘Casual Business’. Bringing together ambitious photographers shed some light on the importance of the print and how important quality is for the gallery. ‘Casual Business’ was a great show for KTG and for the artists because it brought a diverse audience together to take in a large scale production of various photographers’ works. Each photographer shot with a photo journalistic style and all succeeded in developing their own unique voice through their photographs.”

Prints on the wall
“Casual Business” at Kitchen Table Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) Nothing looks better than prints on the wall.

Louise continues, “Those who attended the show were able to take in full scale prints of the works that were most important to the individual photographers’ vision and the works were able to be bought right off the walls and at fair prices. Having the ability to display quality photographic work and at fair prices benefits the artists, the gallery, and the viewer because it helps support the photographic community and encourages work to be more accessible. As a gallery director it was a great experience to meet multiple artists and to build connections with them and their work.”

In addition to being a gallery owner, Ms. O’Rourke is an active and experimental artist. She recognizes the importance of the photographic print for her own artistic endeavors involving a scanner and collected memories.

“Like a camera, the scanner is a more intimate way of capture the detail of the things I collect. The idea of the light slowly moving across every single detail of the object, it’s as if the light touches the memories that are attached to them. I scan such items as polishing rags from the silver that belonged to my great Aunt Augie, or the hair I collected from my mother’s brush that reflects upon the time she was sick when I was a little girl. Only a scanner could do the capturing work that my camera couldn’t. Being able to skillfully create a photographic print gives me the ability to bring the images to the scale I see fit for viewing that allows the details of the objects and the memories to be featured.”

Epson Perfection V750
The Epson Perfection V750 can scan everything from film negatives to old prints.

Epson’s #PRINTYOURLEGACY campaign is expanding upon the importance of the print while also showcasing the advancements printing has made over the past year. It is a campaign to share the insights of professional photographers and what the photographic print means to them. Through improvements of their print head, inks, paper and canvases, Epson has delivered technology that is fully capable of rendering the photographers final vision. Within the past week Epson has begun delivering the new additions to the SureColor P-series printers which showcases the advancements in their printing technology.

With the addition of large format printing to this line (which also now includes an option for an additional ink Violet cartridge) the printers are able to match Pantone Color swatches at 99% accuracy, while also achieving deeper black density for greater contrast control. This advancement in print technology gives the Artist, Photographer, Designer, and Hobbyist endless possibilities in ways to make their finals visions superb!

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Follow Epson on Instagram for inspiration for your printing projects.


Louise O'Rourke
Louise O’Rourke – Kitchen Table Gallery Owner, Artist        Facebook and Instagram

Angela SmithAngela Smith – Imaging Specialist – Midwest Photo Exchange

Be sure to contact Angela at Midwest Photo Exchange about ordering your Epson today!

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TJ Hansen

Photographer at

2 thoughts on “The Importance of the Photographic Print

  1. I’v been running my local central Ohio photo business since
    I’m not sure who all Louise O’Rourke has as clients or where they may be….but the majority of mine being event, sports, portraits and weddings want digital images. I get very few print requests anymore. Everyone wants social media speed and convenience. I might get a few parents or clients that want one print, possibly 2….weddings still want albums.

    I think a lot of the importance of the print to the client is a very different thing depending on who they are and what they are wanting it for. I’m not saying that the print is dead, but it is definitely not the major player it once was.

    1. Andrew,
      I hear you, and that has been the word coming from a lot of pros for a while now. I think that many people in the digital age haven’t been exposed to the physical nature and beauty of the print and may not be aware of how cool it is. That’s the real trick… getting people exposed to the print and how if informs your relationship to the photograph. When it’s printed it lives in a physical space instead of the a digital place. Keep up the hustle, Andrew!

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