There’s no doubt, the evolution of tech has simplified how we do things in the world of photography, but it has also compromised quality photo mounts. In recent days we’ve witnessed the emergence of cheaper options of photofinishing. Lucrative deals of cheap mounts and frames headline social media every day. The difference in price is so immense, one can’t help but wonder whether traditional prices used by most photographers and printers are extortion of innocent clients.
Let’s look at an example. The good quality 12 by 18inch mounted print at Virtual Studios costs you somewhere above Kshs 6000 ($60). The same size is going for a meager Kshs 950 ($9) elsewhere on online outlets that mostly market their work on social media. So, the big question is; why the big difference in price for the same product?
Photofinishing is perhaps the most crucial aspect of photography. For a photographer, taking pictures is not enough. The best photography skills can be ruined by unprofessional photofinishing. This is why the final product matters so much. Printing, for instance, can make or break your work as a photographer. Your passion, creativity, and execution can be top-notch, but the printer will easily frustrate and ruin your quality work. Printing factors such as color profile, calibration, resolution check and the type of print paper will go a long way in determining the end product of your artistic work.
In order to understand the aspect of quality photo mounts, let’s do a breakdown of the entire process. After taking and editing a photo, it is sent to the photo lab for printing. One of the reasons why people choose to mount or frame photos is for preservation. Mounting breaths into photos an archival character, meaning a mounted photo is preserved for the archives. The type of printing needed for this purpose must, therefore, be imperishable. The ink used should be permanent. The paper should be of good, glossy, and lasting quality.
Let us now consider printing. The most enduring prints today are from laser printers like those at Virtual Studios. The technology uses static electricity to stick ink to paper and produce whatever you want. Laser printers are cheaper to run especially when printing in bulk. They are accurate, permanent, fast and convenient. However, the printer to use is determined by a lot including, budget constraints, quality and quantity needed. Needles to say, however, photos meant for mounting require the highest quality prints available in the market. This is the only thing that can guarantee longevity.
Finally, let us look at the mounting process. The quality photo mounts we produce at Virtual Studios, Nairobi, require good quality wood. This is opposed to other variants of wood like the medium density fiberboards (MDF) which wear out faster especially when they come into contact with water. Secondly, photos meant for mounting should be laminated to safeguard against dust, moisture and other environmental hazards that precipitate wear and tear. Having put all this into consideration, let’s now demystify the big difference in pricing as analyzed in paragraph two.
Cheaper mounting uses cheaper options. For example, some use solvent printing. Although these type of prints usually needs no lamination, they are less durable, susceptible to scratches, abrasion, water, and mechanical damage. This considerably reduces the lifespan of your mounts. Instead of using wood, which is more durable, cheaper mounts are made of MDF boards or hardboards. As a result, cheaper options wear-off quickly while good quality mounts may last a lifetime.
As the saying goes, cheap is expensive. The price of quality photo mounts is not expensive per se. It covers the best quality printing and wood mounting costs. Therefore, next time before you settle for cheaper options, consider the aforementioned facts and settle for the finest, most durable mounts for your photos. Do you want the best quality mounts? Virtual Studios, Nairobi, is the place!