Are Your Images Being Seen?
While some people take photo's for their own personal enjoyment and safely store them on their computer, many of us wish our images to be seen by others. Keeping up with social media rules algorithms can be difficult since they can seem to be in a constant state of flux. So, have you considered printing your images?
Printing can be a complex process, so here I will try to highlight work flow providing specific links to certain processes when necessary. One of the first questions in you would like to go this path is deciding the basics of Who, what, when, how etc. from the literary world.
Perhaps you have already answered the WHO, if you are sharing your work on-line. People who enjoy the type of art you produce will likely result in you producing more of the same type of art for similar groups. If you see some of these people in real life, your cell phone images may not do justice to your work. Depending upon the type of art you create, the general public may enjoy your images as well. You may ask yourself, how to move forward if I want to print, which is a good question.
The HOW part really depends upon you. There are some excellent national labs such as Mpix ,White Wall, Bay photo , Nations as well as many more some which may be more local to you than others. Most professional labs offer a wider selection of print options that what may be available at your corner drug store, which in turn will really make your photo's shine to others. Printing at home may be an option if you have a high quality photo printer but keep in mind that you may not be saving money when you add up the cost of paper, ink and other consumables that you may be using with your home printer. If you are a CreativeLive fan, there are several great classes to help you completely understand the printing process even if you choose to do it yourself.
How will you display your work? One way to start out is with a Print Portfolio. You may have a nearby art store that sells these books or you can certainly purchase them on-line. But this leads to another question, WHAT size should I print images? Once again this is up to you from relatively small 3" x 3" images up to gallery size 30" x 40" images. The WHAT size is really going to a large part determine how you display your images. Smaller images can certainly be held in a print portfolio as shown above, whereas larger prints will likely need to hang on a wall. Keep in mind that small images may not show the detail that you would like people to see; larger images may be difficult to store and handle. Also keep in mind that the larger you print, the more obvious any edits or problem areas in the image will appear to your viewer. A good place to start may be 8 x 10" prints in a print portfolio. This size will typically highlight your work, but is also easy to handle.
WHERE would you like your images to be seen? Well, if you have a print portfolio, the possibilities are almost endless from groups that you already may attend to new groups of people or individuals. Are your ambitious and would like to see your work hanging on a wall? Perhaps visits some restaurants in your neighborhood and ask them if they will hang one of your pieces. Of course, this means that you will likely need to have it mounted or framed. If you stick with standard size photo images ( 8 x 10, 11 x 14 ") you will likely be able to find an appropriate frame in a nearby art store. Of course you may also wish to have your image mounted on material such as foamcore when you have your image printed from a professional lab. A rule of thumb is to look at images already displayed where you wish to hang your image to determine how best to proceed. You may even choose to have your images printed on metal for a very unique look.
Other possibilities include local art shows, special events at photo clubs that display art, or even professional galleries in you are really experienced. If you would like a really good tutorial on gallery work, I would recommend that you look up 'Brooke Shaden' on CreativeLive.com. She provides a comprehensive on-line class on how to prepare your work and how to approach gallery owners to display work that you have created.
Is your work polished enough for everyone to see. This is a question that plagues EVERY artist with almost every piece of art that she or he creates. Sometimes it can be helpful to get an honest portfolio reviews from several professional reviewers (Notice that I have commented several, since one opinion may vary from the other). Take it as a learning experience and move forward to display your work!