Magazine Article


Getting It All Together


Getting It All Together
Creative Ways to Present Digital & Film Images, Side by Side


While attending this year's PMA (Photo Marketing Association) convention, it quickly became obvious that digital technology provides an ever-increasing array of options for professional photographers to create and showcase photographic images. Less obvious is the fact that each new option may introduce challenges that require new solutions.
For instance, many photographers now use a combination of traditional and digital image capture, manipulation, output, presentation, and storage. It's becoming more and more common for wedding photographers to use digital capture with their reception and photojournalism coverage, while relying on traditional film exposures for their more formal portrait and group images.
Similarly, many portrait photographers are finding the control their studios afford provides a good digital capture environment, while the variables presented by outdoor and location photography may often be best handled by the wide latitude that film exposures allow.
And while the combination of digital and optical processes is expanding creative horizons for many photographers, the variations between resulting images create certain obstacles. Differing image size/format, border and paper sizes, color quality/saturation, dye and ink stability and durability, and varied paper surfaces are just a few of the things photographers need to factor in when combining images that began as film and digital files.
For some photographers, a varied album presentation is a plus. For others, it presents a challenge that needs to be addressed. Fortunately, while waves of digital innovations sweep through the industry, solutions ride their crests at the same time.
So after searching PMA vendor booths and exhibits and raising the subject with several professional photographers, here are my top five challenges, along with some of the best solutions available in the marketplace today.

How to create a preview book or album presentation using a combination of borderless photographic prints and bordered inkjet prints.
Solution. Taprell Loomis ( has introduced an innovative book-style presentation called the Sable album, which can be used as either a preview book or a finished album. The Sable album uses base pages to which overlay mats are attached with adhesive strips. Bordered and borderless prints can be individually positioned behind the mat opening, giving photographers complete control of how the image is viewed (tilted, offset, centered, etc.). And the mat covers the print edges, concealing the borders of inkjet prints.
Blank pages (without mats) can even be included to create scrapbook-type presentations for souvenirs or memorabilia like dried flowers, ticket stubs, or party favors.

2. How to create presentations when using a combination of photographic and inkjet prints, which may have dissimilar paper surfaces.
Solution. Some tried-and-true workarounds can lessen the apparent differences of paper surfaces created from multiple sources. Traditional solutions include coating the prints with a lacquer spray, texturing the prints, and using albums that feature acetate pages and insert mats, available from both TAP and Topflight (
These techniques help reduce or eliminate the problem of paper surface variations. And there's another solution: Inkjet printing papers are now available that simulate the look and feel of photographic paper. For example, Epson's Premium Luster Photo Paper ( and Kodak's E-surface photo paper ( have very similar surfaces and can easily be used in combination.

How to present an increasing number of preview "proofs" to clients.
Solution. TAP has created an innovative solution that allows photographers to customize their folio presentation. Their CustomView covers, mats, and extenders are keys to an affordable, professional system that allows photographers to create a variety of combinations for a number of photo-packaging options, from preview presentations to finished albums.

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