Collecting Prints and Your Photographic Legacy

If it isn’t printed; it isn’t real” I am not sure who first coined this phrase but I find it extremely apt and very true. In a world where millions and millions of digital files are consumed and discarded at light speed across all manner of social media platforms there is something very comforting about the ‘permanence’ and life of the printed image.

Unlike digital files, prints are not just consumed. They are admired, treasured, valued, respected and adored. The true beauty of the print is in its longevity of life. And I am not talking about print permanence, but in how much joy and pleasure it brings to the viewer during its life on the wall. How many of you can remember that great photograph you saw on social media last week? I’ll bet no one. Our brains are programmed to instantly consume it and start looking for the next meal.

The truth is, the digital file we so voraciously consume online is nothing but a poor facsimile of the fine art print. It is swallowed whole like a giant fish consumes a sardine and we move on looking for the next meal; often before we have even taken the time to appreciate what we just ate. By contrast, the print is enjoyed slowly over its lifetime on the wall. It is savoured as new flavours are discovered with each viewing. The print maybe a financial investment for some, but in my case (at least in my own collection) its purchased purely for its beauty and not for financial gain.

I have been collecting prints for many years now and my collection includes some quite big names in the game as well as many lesser known photographers whose work I admire and respect. Some of my collection I purchased, some I inherited and some I swapped with other photographers. I have also given prints to other photographers whose work I admire who are not printing but I believe should be.  Not everything in my collection is framed and hung on the wall (I simply don’t have the space), but a great many are and in this way I can enjoy them on a daily basis.

Prints in my collection range from as small as 6” x 4” inches to as large as several meters. The size of the print is not important; what is important to me is that its printed and that what I am looking at is the photographers final vision for their photograph.

I have written before on many occasions how I never feel like I have truly finished with an image until I have made a print. The print being the final art object and the final embodiment of my vision for the image.  The truth is it goes much deeper than that for me though. The print is not only the final art object, it is the physical manifestation of my vision. When I purchase or swap a print from or with someone I am obtaining their final vision and the ultimate embodiment of their work.  It is the ultimate output and the final expression. The digital file is just one stage of the production process and really isn’t the final output. In fact, its nothing more than a stepping stone to the final print.

I believe the print is also the photographers legacy. Speaking for myself, when I am gone from this mortal coil (when I end up in the ink maintenance cart) its the prints I have made that will live on and not my tens of thousands of digital files that reside on ageing digital media that are more than likely going to end up either formatted and re-used, or simply otherwise discarded. If you want your work to survive (bearing in mind nothing lasts forever) then I urge you to take the step into printing. Not only will you create a legacy, but you will discover a whole new joy to the photographic process.

Fine Art Limited Edition Prints now for Sale through Melrakki Publishing

Over the last few years I have often been asked if I would consider selling small prints of my work, suitable for the average home or office space. To date, I have only made my Limited Edition Fine Art prints available through galleries in large sizes and this will remain the case going forward for my 20″ x 30″ inch, and 40″ x 60″ inch and larger prints.

I am excited though to now be offering Limited Edition Fine Art A2 16.5″ x 23.4″ inch prints directly for sale through my online store – Melrakki Publishing. These slightly smaller prints are printed on exactly the same paper as my large gallery prints and are printed to the same exacting standard of perfection. Like my large gallery prints these smaller prints are also Limited Edition with each print hand signed and numbered. These prints are a more intimate offering designed to showcase the highest possible craftsmanship of each photograph in a smaller footprint – more suited to the average sized home. They are perfectly suited to framing and sized for the average wall space in either the home or office.

My large gallery prints are limited to just ten in 20 x 30″ inch or only five in 40″ x 60″. These new 16.5″ x 23.4″ inch prints will likewise be limited to just twenty five of each photograph and only select photographs will be made available. You can check out the currently available selection over at Melrakki Publishing. Each photograph is supplied with a certificate of authenticity with security hologram and is carefully packed for shipment anywhere in the world.

Unlike my large gallery prints which typically escalate in price as each edition is sold the 16.5″ x 23.4″ inch prints will each be sold for the same price (without increase). Thus you can purchase No. 25 for the same price as No. 1 was sold for. Once all 25 are sold there will be NO MORE – EVER. The prints are priced to enable most people to start collecting without the price being the primary barrier to starting a fine art print collection.

The first prints are now available at Melrakki Publishing Online. As a result of pre-orders some prints are already well into their editions, so please contact me if you would like to know what the next number is in the edition. Once sold out, they are gone forever….