Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Printing Series: Randy Hufford – Visual Artist and Printing Guru


My Favorite Randy Hufford Photo
Copyright © Randy Hufford – All Rights Reserved

Randy Hufford is the photographer we all dream of being one day because he lives in Hawaii, takes great shots and gets to enjoy selling huge prints clients on a regular basis. Tell me you haven’t dreamed of being Randy!!!

While Randy has been enjoying many great days in Paradise as a photographer, he also has been in the business of printing fine art prints for many great artists on the Hawaiian islands. During this time he has amassed an amazing wealth of knowledge about printing that he has shared in his series The Perfect Print which I reviewed on this blog a while back. I loved this series and it has changed the way I work, but few things in this series has been more fun than chatting with Randy on the phone and getting to tap his vast experience that goes beyond what could ever fit on a stack of DVD’s!

Randy on Epson & Canon Printers

Randy is very unique in all off the people that I have interviewed in my printing series because he is not a Epson or Canon sponsored master printer – he’s even better than that. Randy is an authorized reseller of both platforms, so he not only uses them but sales and services them so he knows his printers inside and out – literally!

In his DVD’s you hear him sing the praises of Epson printers of which he has a long and successful history. More recently after the release of the new Canon iPF6300, iPF6350, and iPF8300 printers he has purchased the Canon iPF5100, iPF6350 and iPF9100 printers to run the largest printing business in Hawaii.

When I talked to Randy about which is better, Epson or Canon, his answer was a pretty common one – “they are both fantastic printers so you can’t go wrong with either”. As an owner of both Canon and Epson printers, I couldn’t agree more!

With his in-depth knowledge of both platforms, Randy is the perfect teacher for those who wish to become a master printer on either platform. If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to hear him do a presentation on printing, then jump on it as you’ll be hard pressed to find someone more experienced with the finest printers from Canon and Epson.


Copyright © Randy Hufford – All Rights Reserved

Randy on ColorByte ImagePrint

The more I use ColorByte ImagePrint (discount) the more I love the results, and the more I find myself just using it to make my life much more simple/efficient. Randy is the same way as his business depends on quality and consistency. He sites ColorByte as having the largest library of profiles that are better than most people can generate themselves as being a key component that make them the only RIP he recommends for the Delta E tolerances he demands of his work.

ImagePrint has a variety of different profiles for each paper, but a useful tip he had is that he generally finds that the RF2 profiles are his favorite. In fact, he said that he typically will use the Relative Colormetric rendering intent for art reproduction and the Perceptual rendering intent for photographs.

While this advice only applies to Epson printers for now, ColorByte is hard at work with new Canon drivers for the next release of ImagePrint (which I’ll definitely review) that are sure to be a hit. ColorByte founder, John Pannozzo, says that he is able to do things with the Canon printers that simply aren’t possible with the Epson for results that will produce the best prints his software has ever created. I’ve seen some pretty amazing stuff rolling off my Epson from John’s software, so this should be pretty fun – Randy and I can’t wait!

Randy on Profiling

Randy’s “The Perfect Print”  is a great resource on profiling your digital devices, but in our discussion he expanded that he really likes to do profiles with at least 918 patches (the more, the better) and that he does profiles using up to 3000 patches (which means he’s got automation <g> – see my X-Rite i1XTreme review for more info).


Copyright © Randy Hufford – All Rights Reserved

Randy on Paper

Randy is a guy who prints every day so he knows what he likes and he uses a lot of it. This is why he is a huge fan of Canvas and does most of his daily printing on it, but he also said that PremierArt’s Smooth Hot Press Fine Art Paper 500 gsm paper has unreal detail! In fact, he was so excited about it that he even promised to send me some to help me find the religion – woohoo!

Aerials For Marriott Ritz Carlton
Copyright © Randy Hufford – All Rights Reserved

Advice for those who want to sell Fine Art Prints

Randy (like Vincent Versace) says that if you want to become a better photographer you need to print your own work, and to sell those prints you need to get them in front of people. This is why he recommends that you carry more than just an iPad! A physical print portfolio is a must so your potential client can connect with the image. He brought this point home by reminding me the experience you have at a fine art gallery where they dim the lights on the image to help you see the image and connect with it.

Some of Randy’s suggestions for success are:

  • Consider yourself as a visual artist and not just a photographer
  • Create images that control what the viewer does with their eyes
  • Make a statement with your images
  • Make sure your prints look good in different lights and conditions
  • Create a limited edition series (100 or less prints – ever) of your best work, and keep tweaking and refining those images as you print them for your series so that the last images of the series are the best
  • Get feedback from others to help you improve and refine your skills

Printing is Randy’s passion so he reminds us that most photographers only want to shoot, so they could never afford to print everything. However, there’s value in doing the printing yourself as you control the output of your original work.For those who print themselves, this extra step in the creative process shows and it is what sells fine art prints!

Randy Prints HUGE 60” wide prints

Randy believes if you show large, you sell large so he prints this at 60” wide!
Copyright © Randy Hufford – All Rights Reserved

Randy has enjoyed his life in paradise by making sure he’s always selling prints, and his key to success is large prints. He says you earn more money with large prints, so to sell large you must show large! Simple but effective advice so he encourages people to have large prints around their home and studio so you have something that will turn visitors into buyers.

He also points out that the bigger you print, the less competition you have. so if you really want to set yourself apart from the masses – go huge! This is why Randy is a big fan of the 60” wide print on his Canon iPF9100 printer. In fact, he’s so excited he’ll be printing a big 60” wide print for me help me understand why he loves large format printing so much. I’ve discovered a great joy when I’ve done big 24”x53” and 24”x43” prints, so I can only imagine how cool it is to see my work on a huge 60” print!

Conclusion

I had a fantastic time talking for hours with Randy, and I’ve learned a ton from his “The Perfect Print” DVD series. If you’ve got any desire to get into printing and make money from your work, this series is a must as Randy explains the real ins and outs of the business like few have the experience to do.

It was an honor to get to meet and know Randy, I encourage you to get to know and learn from Randy as well by watching his DVD series and by visiting his web sites at:

Special Offer

Visit my article on The Perfect Print DVD series by Randy Hufford to get a discount on his DVD series. I loved this series as it is a more in-depth review of all things in the digital workflow from start to finish. It’s what I wanted to do in this printing series, but just don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish due to my real day job. I HIGHLY recommend it!

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