Reese: {2 weeks new} | Mahtomedi MN Newborn Photographer

Today, let’s talk about the importance of editing on a high-end graphic design monitor that is calibrated, as well as running test prints. Recently, I did a newborn photo session for a good friend of mine’s daughter, Sweet Ms. Reese. Prior to this session, my trusty monitor went out. We’d had a good run, over 10 years in the making. But then one day the screen went black, never to be turned on again. When it comes to electronics and spending money, I spend a great deal of time researching the best possible option for the lowest possible price. You could probably call researching a pastime of mine because I’m so obsessed with making perfect choices. So, my monitor went out and I knew it was going to take me some time to research, order, receive, and set up a new monitor but I had this current session due in a week. I turned to my little brother in desperation who was about to be deployed for a year. He’s a bit of a gamer and when hanging out at his place, I had taken note that his monitors looked really nice. So I set one up, ran my calibrator, and went to work. All the images I looked at on my computer looked pretty great so I figured I was good to go.

Fast forward two weeks and my friend/client has received her edited photos in time, I’ve put an example up on social media and I’m super excited about how pretty they are. Win! Right? Well, I thought so until I navigated to my facebook business page from my phone to respond to a message and saw the most horrific image staring at me. My heart sank! The photo that looked so beautiful on my computer monitor was over contrasted and blown out on my phone. Everything else on my phone looked normal so I wondered if I had saved the image in the wrong format. Checked that and no, it was standard web RGB. Darn. So then I ran a test print on my pro printer: the Canon PRO9000 (which I highly recommend if you want to print large format at home. It’s kind of old but that means you can pick it up for real cheap!). Sure enough, the photo looked just like it did on my phone. Next, I contacted friends to look and take a screenshot on their phones. Same problem, which one friend stating she thought the photo looked funny but she didn’t want to insult me by saying anything. Finally, it popped into my head that I was working on a new monitor. Even though I had thought I had done my diligence by calibrating, maybe that wasn’t enough. So I borrowed a friends pro monitor and re-edited my photo and sure enough, the newly edited photo looked amazing. I ended up buying my dream monitor, the BenQ SW271 pro graphic design monitor because I mentally just couldn’t chance picking something cheaper that ended up not performing well. It’s a real beaut! But that isn’t enough. During my education, while working in the camera industry, I learned that monitors are often calibrated to be extra contrasty which makes images pop and videos look amazing but is not ideal for editing accurate photos. For several years I’ve been relying on the x-rite i1 display pro monitor calibrator. It’s so easy to use and the different it makes is unreal.

Moral of my story is that it truly is essential to invest in a pro monitor. The cost bites but your images will look a million times more professional. Second, always check your images by a secondary source before delivering to a client. Whether it’s making a cheap test print at home or loading the photos to your photo to check them on another screen, it’s always best to double check. For many years, I worked where there was a pro photo lab. After editing nearly every shoot I’d run off a test print in the lab just to check for accuracy. Sometimes when our profession becomes second nature, we forgot to step back to the basics and for me, it was also losing that convenience factor – no longer working where I had lab access and so many years of successful outcomes, I got too comfortable. So here is the before and after. Crazy, right?

Why you should buy a pro editing monitor and calebrate it


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