One of my favorite pieces of advice about photography came from documentary photographer Eugene Richards. He told us to print our photos, hang them on the wall and look at them. Printing an image allows you to see in a different way, appreciate the details in a deeper way than by simply looking at it on a laptop screen or a smartphone.
I’ve always loved printing my photos, I find that its extremely useful in editing large bodies of work and inspiring to look at printed photographs. The walls of my apartment are covered in a mixture of framed photos—some that I’ve purchased, some that I’ve been gifted from friends and a number of my own pieces. Printing images helps me remember the work that I’ve done, the memories tied to certain projects and inspires me to keep shooting.
When I had a chance to try out Saal Digital’s gallery prints I had just the project in mind.
Last fall I found myself on tour with a band called Thick, who’d hired me to document their time on the road and run the merch table. I’ve been friends with the band for a long time, worked on a number of music videos for them and was excited to create a tour diary for them. The majority of the photos that I was making on this tour ended up being used on social media to promote the upcoming gigs. During the time I spent with them I captured a few thousand photos: killer live shots, quieter back stage moments, portraits before the gigs and a number of long days in the Sprinter van.
Although my primary purpose on tour was to capture images for social media, I was also working towards something bigger—a project about what it means to be a mid-sized rock band hitting the road after a pandemic that shuttered live venues across the world.
I was editing on the road for fast delivery, and once I got back home spent a few days culling through the GB of files, making edits and delivering web-res selects to the band for future use. Then, as projects so often do, the photos sat on a drive untouched for a few months. Eventually I ordered some small prints to help me visualize how the story might translate into an edited portfolio.
Having a chance to print a few of the images as gallery prints gave me a chance to seriously reevaluate the project with fresh eyes and create a tighter selection of some of my favorites that told the story of the tour.
These particular set of photos have been shared on social media a number of times since I created them last fall. Although I did make small prints of about two dozen selects, having the chance to print the images as larger gallery prints changed the way that I thought about them. Rather than opting to create one large print I decided that this particular story would be best told through a collection of smaller images. I ended up selecting four images that stood out as memorable moments from the tour: a staged portrait, a candid moment at the gas station, a live shot and a shot of fans losing their minds at a show.
I created the gallery prints using Saal Digital’s Design Software. I navigated to the Wall Decor section, selected Gallery Print, chose the sized that I wanted to print and simply uploaded my images. I selected HD Glossy for print mode and added an aluminum subframe mount to give the images a floating look once I hung them. From there I simply dragged and dropped the images that I wanted to create gallery prints of onto the template and placed the order for my four prints.
The prints arrived a few weeks later in a small cardboard box, each individually wrapped to keep them safe in transit. Each gallery print was covered in a protective blue film to prevent damage to the glossy HD finish.
That glossy quality looks excellent, the aluminum subframe made them easy to hang and I love the little story that these four images tell. I’m excited to display these four prints prominently in my home and re-live some of my favorite memories from life on the road with Thick.