Wednesday, May 18, 2016

It All Comes Down to the Paper

Darren White Photography
Darren White Photography
A task like choosing photography paper as a novice — or even as a seasoned professional — can be daunting. There are many materials to choose from along with finishes, shades, and textures. Luckily, we have many customers who can provide excellent recommendations based on years of experience.

We talked to Darren White, a well-known photographer who’s been at his craft for almost 20 years. White has some great suggestions for selecting paper and using American Frame’s resources to build your photography business.

Falling into your passion

You could say White began his career at a young age: At just 12 years old, he started taking pictures while skateboarding around town with his friends. By the time he was 18, he was getting paid to photograph sporting events, weddings, and family reunions. These early jobs enabled him to build his business and work in a more artistic direction. Now 99.9% of the work he does is in the area of his passion: landscapes.

On his reasons for pursuing photography, White says, “What drew me to doing what I do now was the beauty of our world — how I see it, how you see it, and how we all see it differently.”

For this reason, White takes special care to give his customers unique and powerful experiences with each photograph.

“I try to give people a sense of place and a sense of emotion so they feel something when they look at my images. We can all appreciate how beautiful our world is, and we all know it needs to be documented.”

Paper pleasers

When it comes to printing paper, White’s selections are as unique as each photograph. He mixes it up among the Canson Baryta, Moab Lasal, Epson Hot Press Bright, Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, and the Epson Somerset Velvet.

“I can honestly say that I don’t have one single favorite. Each image lends itself to a different paper. I do like the Baryta papers for their slight sheen and texture, but not all images work on those papers.”

How do you pick which paper will work best? As with all things, it depends.

“It boils down to the image itself,” says White. “Is there water in the photo? Is it moving or still? What colors are present? Are they warm or cool tones? What about light — is it day or night? It completely depends on the effect you’re going for and the elements you want to bring out.”

Testing the waters

With all of those variables in mind, it can be difficult to know where to start. White suggests taking advantage of American Frame’s free printing paper samples. This testing service gives him the opportunity to see how each paper performs.

American Frame, left, has no glare from the matte paper.Competitor, right, has glare from the matte paper.

“You can take one image and print it on any given paper. But if you want the best, you need to print on the right paper that’s going to perform the best for that image.”

And sometimes, it’s trial and error until you get the hang of it.

So why does White choose to go with American Frame? He says he likes the ease of the ordering process and the quality of the prints.

“After I got my very first images back, the image was spot on.”

However, what really sold him was the customer service

“When I had a question, a real person answered the phone and took the time to talk with me. I never felt like I was in a phone queue or asked to be put on hold — that is just miles above and beyond the other labs that I’ve worked with.”

Darren White Photography

Make sure to take a look at Darren White’s incredible work on his Facebook page, where he also has a very informative side-by-side comparison between American Frame and a competitor. We are honored to have talented artists like White working with us and look forward to more opportunities to bring the beauty of the world to life for customers around the world.

Ready to print but not sure where to start? Check out American Frame’s printing paper samples or give us a call at (800) 537-0944 and we can help you get started!

Laura Jajko
Laura Jajko is President of American Frame and a longtime contributor to "A Good Frame of Mind." Here, she delights in bonding with others over her love of art and framing. With more than 40 years of practical experience, she brings a unique perspective in a straightforward style that she hopes will spark lots of interesting and relevant dialogue in our online community. Connect with Laura directly here on the blog or follow her on Twitter @LauraJajko.


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