Photo by Ray Potes

On the Hamburger Eyes ig acct stories mode, I have been hosting a Q + A that has been pretty fun. In fact starting tomorrow we’ll do it regularly. So if you have any questions about anything, tune in on Tuesdays.

One of the questions from the last sesh was about what to do with a photo after it’s processed and scanned. At first I thought it was maybe sarcastic, but it wasn’t. I am realizing in this modern era, the finishing of a photo means many things to many people.

This has to do with the intended destination of your photo and the workflow that is needed to get there.

When I learned photography, a photo wasn’t “done” until you had a final print spotted flattened mounted matted and turned in on time. Your contact sheets and work prints were different from your “final” prints. I purposely made smaller sized “work” prints so I could scan them for my zines.

Fast forward to today and my photos still have the same 2 main destinations, either a print or a book, or both. Not every photo I snap, maybe 1 out of 25. Sometimes 1 out of 50 or 1 out of 100.

In school it was common to get critiqued and edited by peers and teachers before final prints. Posting on social media and my blog reminds me of this, these zones are sort of a testing place for a photo before decisions are made concerning a book or a print. (For me.)

This is how I arrived at my current process/workflow. You will arrive at your own. A commercial photographer’s finishing of a photo might be a billboard or the side of a bus, while a photo journalist’s might be front page of a newspaper or website. Both will have an entire process workflow system and sometimes whole teams to make it happen. Each photographer has their own thing and at this stage of the game, you will need to figure yours out.