HOW PRINTING BOOSTS
YOUR CREATIVITY AND CLIENT BASE
Many photographers recall the xcitement of the first time they picked up a camera, but there’s also a spark of magic when you first print your work.
“After more than 20 years teaching digital-printing workshops, I still see the profound power
of the print,” photographer John Paul Caponigro
says. “People make a physical connection with
their images when they print them. You can hear
the emotion in their voice when they say, ‘I made
this.” People don’t print images of what they had
for lunch—usually—but they do print their “hero images,” the photographs they’re proud of, the work
they want to endure. Printing your work signals to
the world that your images are important, and, in
a world of fleeting social media feeds, prints only
strengthen that notion.
Though Caponigro is renowned for his fine-art
photography, turning pixels to prints is an ideal
way to grow as an image-maker in any field,
including wedding and portrait photography.
“The print can make a noticeable difference in
how you appreciate your images,” he says.
Caponigro will hang new photographs in his
studio that he’s printed with his 44-inch Epson
SureColor P9000 and, whether he spends time
analyzing them or simply observes them in
passing, the constant visual reference helps him
pick up on subtleties and nuances in his work.
You may notice something you really love in your
photograph and want to try that technique again,
or something that didn’t work out quite the way
you intended that you want to return to. “The print
acts as a visual reference of your photography
that gets into your system and keeps your mind
centered on your work,” he says. You simply can’t
achieve the same effect with images that live on a
Prints are also important for establishing yourself
in your industry. “Every year, I send out
a calendar of my images that I print myself to
the people I want to stay connected with,”
Caponigro says. Prints sent out to your network
don’t vanish in an inbox or disappear under a wave
of Instagram posts; it’s something your friends,
colleagues and prospective clients can see, touch
and connect with—a reminder of your work that’s
hard for people to ignore. “You can’t swipe left on a
print,” Caponigro says.
Framed prints also play a crucial role for wed-
ding photographers as an important or new reve-
nue stream. Many budding photographers don’t
realize that it’s quite simple to get a beautiful print
from your image without shelling out thousands for
expensive hardware or software or spending hours
in Photoshop, Caponigro points out. In fact, the se-
cret to making a stunning print is that there’s no real
secret at all: a laptop, Lightroom and a professional
JOHN PAUL CAPONIGRO
I Made This:
inkjet printer, such as the 17-inch Epson SureColor
P800, will do just fine. If you want to really ensure
success, throw in an inexpensive monitor calibrator.
“In fact, the more photographers print, the
more they’ll find themselves returning to print
the same images, in the same way that analog
artists were rarely satisfied with their first pass
in the darkroom,” Caponigro says. In this way, a
print isn’t a static thing but a process, a means of
connecting with the experimental and creative
joy that has marked photography’s evolution.
To get photographers started on their own
print initiatives, Caponigro has published a
helpful guide on his website, The Digital Printing
Quick Start Guide, that will have you up and printing in no time: bit.ly/1ryM2HE.
To learn more about Epson printing solutions, visit
epson.com. To see more of John Paul Caponigro’s work
PICTURED: Caponigro’s latest series,
“Interference,” features textural landscape images that
he plans to print on Epson Legacy Fibre paper,
using his Epson SureColor P9000.