Is it just me or do other photographers get excited when prints and other printed products arrive? It's like a miniature Christmas Day at my house. Today I received two prints that are going to be entered into a competition, so they were a little more elaborate than most photographic paper prints. They turned out beautifully and I couldn't be more thrilled!
However, when I order products like metals, or fine art canvases for instance -- the FedEx man generally gingerly sets it down and tries not to make his presence known until he's part way back to his truck. (I think he's afraid that I'll knock him over with my enthusiasm!)
Prints bring our work to life! Yes, seeing them finished on a computer screen or even a large monitor is nice, but once they're tangible, it becomes completely different.
This brings me away from directing this to other photographers and towards our clients. Many of you want print releases so that you are free to print wherever you want (or for as cheap as you want.) What you don't realize is the quality that you are giving up by not printing at a lab that your photographer is color calibrated with and by not printing on premium style papers, that you are selling yourself short. You have paid good money for your photographs, why give up the quality now?
Ask your photographer to show you paper samples and samples of other products as well. You deserve to make the choices when it comes to your photographic products that are going to preserve your memories for generations.