New York Photographers

An Update to my Printed Book

A printed portfolio?! While that concept may seem quaint in a world that’s becoming increasing digitalized, having a solid printed book is still extremely important in the world of commercial photography. There are three main reasons –

  • It helps you stand apart
  • It’s easy to hide a poor quality image on a digital display; it’s hard to hide a poor quality image when it’s printed
  • In certain worlds, it’s just plain necessary

Let’s get a bit more in depth with each of these…..


It helps you stand apart

Media is increasingly experienced digitally – phone, iPad, computer, etc. Stopping and leafing through a printed book with nice paper is a tactile experience in a way that flipping through work on an iPad can never be. It makes you memorable. There are a lot of photographers out there – if you can do something to make yourself stand out, you should do it.


It’s easy to hide a poor quality image on a digital display; it’s hard to hide a poor quality image when it’s printed

Something that looks great on a screen can look like total garbage when it’s printed. While the end use for an image may very well be the internet, it isn’t always. Showing that your images look good while printed elevates your work.


In certain worlds, it’s just plain necessary

I’m going to reference the fine art world for a second. In the art world, a portfolio is displayed as loose prints in a box that reviewers can handle. The piece is not solely seen as the image. It’s viewed as the whole object, both image and paper, so the choice of paper is extremely important. If you attend a fine art review with an iPad to show your printed work, you instantly mark yourself as inexperienced and will be taken less seriously.

In the commercial world, especially as you progress in your career, lacking a printed portfolio can yield the same result. While showing your work on an iPad is more acceptable in the commercial world, you’re still going to set yourself apart and show yourself as more serious and committed if you have a printed book.


Now, let’s hear about the portfolio

This portfolio update was long-overdue – it’s been a long time since I’ve updated it, and I decided on a new physical book and a new edit. For the book, I ordered through Hartnack & Company, a small portfolio company headquarted in England. The portfolio is a screw post book, meaning that the prints can be taken in and out freely. This makes it easy to update the book when producing new work. It also makes it much less of a big deal if a single print gets damaged.

For the edit and printing, I elected to work with a consultant. I wanted to sprinkle bits and pieces of my fine art work in with my commercial work in a way that made sense, and I felt that bringing in a second set of eyes would be invaluable in bringing this vision to life. I ultimately decided to work with consultant Stacy Swiderski on this project. Stacy went through ten years of imagery I provided her. This included fine art bodies of work as well as commercial, commissioned, and personal work.

The end result was a current and up-to-date edit that represents my vision quite well, and includes a wide variety of imagery. Stacy also handled the printing, and as someone who has printed his own work for years (and has high standards), she left me impressed with her printing abilities. They look great.


Schedule a viewing

If you’d like to view the full book and my work in a printed form, please schedule a portfolio viewing. This can happen at my studio or your location. If you’re interested, write me at studio@matthewbenderstudios.com, or if you’re feeling socially minded, feel free to reach out on your preferred social media platform of choice – this is Facebook, and here’s Instagram.

-Matt