It’s no secret that printing can be quite pricey, which is why many photographers turn to third parties to process prints. For many photographers—both amateur and professional, the thought of dropping major money on an at-home printer is a daunting option, and therefore many end up continuing to send their work off to printing centers instead.
But did you know that in house printing is an absolutely integral element in owning the process? First of all, owning the process essentially refers to retaining your creative control and direction over the entire process—from the moment you snap a picture until the moment you grab it hot off the printing tray.
When you send off your work—work that you have more than likely spent hours sifting through and editing—to an out of house printer, you no longer totally own the process. Basically, you lose the critical time in which the prints are electronically sent over and formatted for print. You do not get to make sure everything is exactly how you intended for it to be, and you do not even get make sure you actually like the finished product.
For these reasons, in house printing is the production method you need to be following. After all, you took the shot and did all of the hard work that comes with getting that perfect snap so why would you hand over your perfect bundle to someone else to physically produce?
If the cost is still a deterrent for you, you should know that investing in an at-home printer will actually be way less expensive in the long run. Sure, it hurts a little bit when you have to front a large amount of capital for a machine, but when you do the research, it quickly becomes clear how in house printing is far superior than any other option—both financially and creatively speaking.
So if you, as a photographer of any level, want to completely own your process from start to finish, and to have total creative direction in order to make your vision come to life, you absolutely have to begin in house printing.