The digital age has changed the name of the game in the world of professional photography. Photography is now faster and more tech-savvy than before, with professionals embracing this transition and discovering ways to take photography to new heights. The digital revolution in the professional photography industry means prints are now more valuable than ever before.

In the age of social media and smartphones, it’s easy to share photos with the touch of a button or a tap on the screen, but there is much to be said for the gathering of family and friends to share printed photos and reflect on special memories, life events or significant milestones. In the digital age, prints have become so much more valuable than they were before — clients only choose the best of the best photos to frame in their homes or share with loved ones.

Offering printed photos can be profitable for any professional photographer looking to expand on their services and distinguish themselves in the industry.

Photo by Rex Huang

Leveraging prints for additional profits

Professional photographers can offer prints in a variety of ways to help increase their bottom line.

Upselling to offer prints

Many photographers offer their clients early “previews” of some of the best shots from a photoshoot to build anticipation and create an incomparable client experience before they receive the finished package. With on-site printing capabilities, photographers can offer printed preview images at the end of the photoshoot to give their clients before they leave.

On-site printed previews also create a great opportunity to upsell packages to clients that include prints — there is a lot of persuasive power when a client is physically holding a beautiful image and realizing their ability to share the image with loved ones and keep these memories for a lifetime.

Adding printed photos to a photographer’s available services increases the clients’ perceived value of the photographer because it creates an entire experience from beginning to end. With on-site printing, photographers are in control of the output of their photos and can make necessary adjustments to ensure the photos look great both on screen and in print.

While third parties are great for printing, it can be difficult to ensure the quality of the print will turn out perfect every time, and reprinting a photo means a longer delivery time to the client. With on-site printing, photographers can easily make adjustments and reprint without having to go through another service.

Takeaways to gain future clients

On-site printing capabilities also create new ways for professional photographers to market their work.

Today, social media is an important tool for photographers to share their portfolio with a wider audience and curate content that will appeal to their following. With on-site printing, photographers can support their marketing efforts by offering potential clients instant prints of their work. They can then take these home and remember the next time they want to book a photoshoot.

Photo by Zach Schiffman

The printing technology matters

When it comes to printing photos, one of the most important decisions a professional photographer can make is choosing the right printing technology for their business.

The two most widely used methods of printing are inkjet or dye-sublimation. Inkjet printers use small droplets of ink on specially coated paper to print the image, while dye-sublimation uses a dry technique that diffuses dye from ribbons that is then absorbed onto the paper with a special receiving layer.

Cost effectiveness of dye-sublimation

Dye-sublimation technology offers many advantages over inkjet printing. Perhaps one of the most important advantages for professional photographers is the high margins and low costs per print. Unlike inkjet printers, the price of the print is not affected by how much color is used, making it extremely easy for photographers to budget for photoshoots and ensure a profit. Without the need to refill ink and toner, the total cost of ownership for dye-sublimation printing comes from the energy, media and operations.

Dye-sublimation printers are extremely cost-effective, low-maintenance machines with reliable output for every print. Photographers don’t need to worry about having to reprint photos because the ink has run out, and they don’t need to worry about the quality of the first print after a long period without use.

Unlike inkjet, dye-sublimation printers can’t “dry out” over time, ensuring every print — whether it’s the first on the roll or last — is high quality. On top of that, without the use of wet ink, photographers don’t have to worry about smudges or fading over time. They can have peace of mind knowing any print they sell will last a lifetime.

Photo by Two Dudes Photo

Speed of dye-sublimation

Speed is another important factor for photographers to consider when looking into photo printers. Dye-sublimation photo printers are the fastest on the market and can print a full-bleed customized image in a matter of seconds. When photographers are printing multiple images from a photoshoot and preparing the final package for their clients, it’s important they can print them off quickly and efficiently — time is money in the photography industry.

DNP is the industry leader of dye-sublimation photo printers and has a line of printers available for every type of photographer and any studio size. DNP also manufactures various types of media for photographers to take their photos to the next level. Its unique Luxury Metallic Media is designed to increase contrasts and shadows while making blues, oranges and reds pop off prints, while its Luxury Silver Pearl media enhances natural skin tones while softening edges to give photos a “fine art” feel.

Printing is an extremely effective and important service for professional photographers to provide for clients that can set them apart in the industry. From upselling packages to providing a great client experience that will keep clients coming back, photo printing can have a major impact on the livelihood of a photographer and their bottom line.

Get started with wireless on-site printing!

Be sure to join DNP ambassador Rex Huang for a free B&H Event Space event on Monday, July 27 at 5:30 p.m. ET. He’ll show you how to print wirelessly from your iPad or iPhone, whether you’re an at-home consumer or professional in the photo booth industry. Learn more and register today!

Lead photo by Zach Schiffman