Photographic Prints: How They Are Made

Photographic Prints

Have you ever received an email similar to this from a potential bride or client?

Describe to me the most difficult wedding you ever photographed. Describe to me your philosophy and approach to wedding photography?  What type of ink the prints are made with? Do you use archival paper? What type of equipment do you use? What is your style?’

Most of those questions are pretty easily answered. You know your style, you know your equipment, you remember your most difficult wedding you have photographed. But the one question you may or may not know the answer to is ‘What type of ink are the prints made with?’.

Our Photographic Prints,  Preview Prints, Preview Booklets, Tuscany Albums, Mosaic Albums, Glacier Albums, Sierra Albums, Echo Albums,  Destiny Albums, Legend Albums, and the Nexus Albums are not printed with ink.

Photographic Prints

Yes, you read that correctly. Our photographic prints, preview booklets, and albums are printed by exposing light sensitive paper to different spectrum’s of light.

Let’s look a little deeper in to the photographic printing process.

When making a photographic print, we start with a light sensitive silver halide paper. We use Kodak Endura Paper. Color photographic paper has three layers of light sensitive silver halide crystals coupled with cyan, magenta and yellow dyes suspended in an emulsion. Each of these three emulsion layers are sensitive to one color of light, either red, green, or blue.

When you upload an image file to us, we input your image into one of our printers that has been loaded in a dark room with the light sensitive paper. The printer sweeps red, green and blue lasers across the paper to expose your image.

We use a traditional wet photographic process to make your print.  This means that after the paper has been exposed, it travels through a series of chemical baths that develop (make your image appear), bleach fix (stops the developing and fixes the image on the paper), and a wash (removes the silver from the paper).  The dyes remain in the print as the image that you see. Your print is now ready for us to package and ship back to you for delivery to your client.

Photographic prints are a continuous tone print which means every pixel is accurately represented in one of 16 million colors. This contrasts with press prints where each dot is one of four colors and you perceive the variety of color from the frequency and distribution of the dots. Most professional photographers believe that the photographic process produces the most beautiful reproduction of portrait images.