Custom Prints vs. Fine Art Prints

A client asks: what is the difference between a Custom Print and a Fine Art Print?  I retouch and refine both types of prints.  The differences are:

Custom Prints:

  • They are printed by a professional photo lab;
  • They are made with a professional grade photographic paper;
  • They have industry-standard longevity;
  • They are resistant to scratching and fingerprints;

Fine Art Prints:

  • I personally print them using my large format printer;
  • They are made with archival pigment inks on a fine art paper that has a beautiful look and feel;
  • They have the extended longevity of prints made for galleries and museums;
  • They are matted in a thick beveled white mat and ready for framing;
  • I sign each print on the back;
  • While the paper is sturdy, the surface scratches a little more easily, so it is recommend for prints that will be framed.

Please note: it is very important to keep both types of prints out of direct sun light and away from sources of heat and moisture.

See also: How to Order Professional Photographs, at this link.

Here are all of the type of prints that I offer:

1. Proofs. Proofs are the 4×6″ prints that are included with some of my services, or offered as an add-on. All Proofs receive basic adjustments for brightness, color and contrast. Proofs are printed as a batch and cannot be ordered individually. Proofs are generally uncropped. Traditionally, “proofs” were not final prints but rather small trial prints for making selections and corrections before final printing. 2. Standard Prints. Standard Prints receive the same basic adjustments as Proofs, but are available in various sizes and can be ordered individually. They are printed on Kodak Endura paper. Standard prints are less expensive than Custom Prints and are perfect for photos that require no retouching. Cropping is available.
3. Custom Prints. Custom Prints are recommended for all portraits. Retouching is included in the cost of each print and typically removes blemishes, reflections, eyeglass glare, facial shine and stray hairs. These prints may also have further refinements such as dodging and burning. They are printed on Fuji Professional Luster paper. Cropping is available. 4. Fine Art Prints. These are the most expensive option. I make Fine Art Prints personally using archival carbon-based inks, and sign each one on the back. I can choose from papers in various tones and textures. Fine Art Prints are more sensitive to handling, but less sensitive to light. When matted and framed, they are the longest-lasting. Fine Art Prints are currently not available via the online gallery, but may be ordered by phone or email.

Updated: July 2014

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