Your Ultimate Printing Guide: What To Consider When Exhibiting Your Photography

By Ellen Clipson - 5 min read

We caught up with WhiteWall’s product manager and three EyeEm photographers to find out what makes the perfect photography print. From shooting and selecting the perfect photos, to choosing the ideal size, format, and finish. Learn how to exhibit your photography with confidence, whether it be for large-scale exhibition halls or the walls of your own home.

Find out the essential steps that you should take to go from photo shoot to final print like a pro. WhiteWall’s product manager, Jan-Ole Schmidt, tells us about the benefits of different formats, sizes, and mounting materials. Plus, we gathered professional advice from portrait photographer and EyeEm Photographer of The Year 2019 Kate Phellini, architect photographer and Awards 2018 finalist Simone Hutsch, and visual artist and winner of ‘The Creative’ awards category in 2019 Vitaly Golovatyuk so that you can learn how to confidently transform you creative portfolio into a collection of industry-standard prints.

We’re proud to be partnering with WhiteWall for this year’s ‘The Architect’ awards category. Find out more and submit your photos to win our over €1000, have your work exhibited, and published!

From Shoot To Exhibition: Essential Steps For Elevating Your Photo Prints

The Shoot

By training yourself to think ahead when you’re photographing and preparing your portfolio you’ll make the exhibition and printing process much more pain-free. Here are three top tips for maximizing your photo shoot to ensure you have what you need when it comes to the time of printing.

1. Always Shoot With The High Resolution

Shooting your photos at the highest resolution possible will ensure that you don’t get caught off guard later on in the process. Instead you’ll be able to gain a new level of professionalism and confidence as you know that all of your images in your portfolio are ready to be printed on anything, from canvas to metal.

“People would often ask for my images in higher resolutions and I’d regret that I didn’t have them,” says architect photographer Simone Hutsch. “I quickly realized that I should have every single photo edited as if it would be ready for print and exhibition. Editing all of my photos at print standard also motivates me to push myself further as a photographer.” In other words, looking for the perfect light, ideal composition, and colorways will become second nature if you treat your photography portfolio with it’s full print potential in mind.

2. Create With A Purpose–Think Print

As a professional photographer it’s important to treat your personal projects as if they were professional commissioned works. By shooting your images as if they were for your favorite brand’s billboard campaign or your dream gallery space will enable you to tap into more creative potential. Visual artist and creative photographer Vitaly Golovatyuk tells us more. “When it comes to my personal photo shoots, I prefer to treat them as if they are for a future exhibition or print right from the beginning. This makes me very selective with the photos that I take.” Shooting with printing in mind means that when the opportunity comes for you to have your images exhibited or showcased in somebody’s home, your portfolio is already ready.

3. Broaden Your Shot List

Another way of ensuring your portfolio is print-ready and professional standard is avoiding sister shots and always aiming to get the most variety you can. ‘The Architect’ awards category is all about looking beyond the four walls in search of new perspectives. This should always be your mentality no matter what your photographic subject or key themes. Our advice is to proactively look for alternative angles, lighting, colors and different conceptual perspectives because as Vitaly told us “You never know where your photos can end up.” Maybe you’re printing large-scale metal format prints for a warehouse exhibition or highly intricate Giclée print for a private client. By having a large range of shots in your portfolio, you’ll gain a certain professional and creative edge that will pay off in the moment when it matters most


The Selection

You’ve shot the perfect images but now for the hardest part, selecting which images to send to print. Here are some fail-safe golden rules that will help you achieve printed perfection.

1. Trust Your Eye

It’s critical that you let your passions pick. Your artistic eye is unique and the wide-variety of printing format, framing, and mounting options shouldn’t make you forget it. Instead, first select the images that you are most drawn to because it’s most likely that those are the images that will stand out at the exhibition gallery. Then select the right printing services that will emphasize your visual style and reinforce your image choices.

When printing her bold and vibrant architectural shots Simone selects the images she’s most drawn to. Whether it be the “interesting shapes, famous buildings, or the way the background colours match with the composition.”


2. Take Time to Select Your Best Works

When it comes to selecting photos for print, consider not only which images you feel most drawn to but also which ones represent your wider portfolio. The same principle should remain when you’re printing your photos. For The EyeEm Awards 2021 we not only crown our category winners, but also The EyeEm Photographer of The Year award because we want to challenge our photographers to showcase their wider photo projects. Is your portfolio served best with a single, large scale image print or a collection of prints?

Here’s our 2019 Photographer of The Year Kate Phellini’s advice: “the series of images that you present as a body of work has to be solid both visually and in a storytelling sense. The best way to check whether your selection feels consistent is to print the expanded selection in at least an A5 or A6 format (let’s say you need 10 images and you have a wider selection of 20 to go down from). Lay it down in front of you on a table or floor and try out different selections adding or subtracting images to create a visually appealing set. At this point you might only concentrate on colours and composition. Eliminate the images that are too odd or distracting (unless it’s the idea of your project). The second part of the selection process requires trying out different picture chains and generating stories based on those sequences. Let it be your creative exercise, try out unexpected orders and make an effort to still come up with a cohesive narrative. Think about it as a writer and use the classic story elements. Set the location and time of the action, introduce the main characters, show the conflict/problem of the story, its development and outcome. This way you can make your photographic story more natural.”

Psst…remember, there’s no limit to how many photos you can submit to The EyeEm Awards 2021. Submit your photo projects to ‘The Architect’ now to catch the eyes of our jury.

3. Consider Your Formats

In the same way your image choices matter, so does your choice of printing service. “It’s the combination of your photography and the material you present it on that creates the final piece of art” says Jan-Ole, WhiteWall’s product expert. It’s important that you take the time to research your options and find what works best for your portfolio of work.

From Acrylic glass and HD Metal print to matte canvas, it’s important to consider what your photos will look like with different formats. Wider frames can make your photo the focal point whereas printing on aluminum can create a more subtle look for your images. Because it can be tricky to know what to go for WhiteWall’s 3D preview, automated product recommendations, and sample kits are great resources designed to help you a lot while making your decision.

It’s this kind of attention to detail and forward-thinking approach that will ensure your work always looks cohesive–whether they are being used for an individual photo gift or a large event like The EyeEm Awards annual exhibition.

Check out the broad range of WhiteWall’s high-end printing services and test out what your prints will look like with WhiteWall’s RoomView.

Road by building against clear sky

The Spacial Design

After you’ve shot and selected the ideal photo for print, it’s critical to consider the space in which your image will be displayed. These tips will allow you not only to ensure your photos work with the space, but ensure the space works for your photography.

1. Use Pro Tools

Even when the pressure is on, it’s important not to rely on guesswork when it comes to printing your photographs and hoping they work well with the space they’ll be showcased. There are great practical tools like WhiteWall’s RoomView that make it easy for you to take your decision-making and creative process to the next level.

You only need two photos to use WhiteWall’s RoomView. One of the room or wall that you will be exhibiting your work in or on and the image that you’ve selected for printing. It will then create a true-to-scale visualization of what the print will look like in the space so that you can order your prints confidently. Not only will the final look and feel benefit from this pre-planning stage, your wallet will also.

Try out WhiteWall’s RoomView tool with your own photo projects now and feel empowered to submit to The EyeEm Awards 2021 that you know will best showcase your work at The EyeEm Awards exhibition.

2. Pair The Right Size With Your Format

There are so many options when it comes to printing formats and so it’s important to consider what kind of texture and finish will best serve your photography. Will a matt finish canvas add to your brutalist architectural style or do you want to add a gloss finish to your pop-art style cityscape?

Not only is your choice of format important, but the pairing between the finish and the size of the final print can make a major difference. “The perfect size of your print is based on some different aspects. Naturally, the available space on your wall might lead to some limitations” says WhiteWall’s product expert Jan Ole. “How far can you step back from your print is important for creating the impact you’re looking to create. The further you can step back, the larger the print can be. Besides that, technical aspects like resolution or sharpness of an image has some impact on the maximum size. When ordering through WhiteWall, sizes that would lead to a blurry print are automatically hidden from your options. You can also order watermarked proof prints at a special price to be extra confident.”

3. Mounting Matters

You’ve taken nearly all the steps you need to get your portfolio ready for print. You’ve got the perfect photo, you’ve chosen the perfect size and format using WhiteWall’s RoomView tool. Now, the final step in the exhibition process is learning how to hang up your photography. Product expert Jan-Ole compares the broad range of mounting options to a bouquet of flowers: “You can pick your favorite one from the numerous options available but there’s no right or wrong decision. You can find a good solution for all situations.”

Here are three practical steps to make sure your work is best displayed with style:

Select the right mounting material: Whether you’ve decided to frame your print or choose an invisible frame like WhiteWall’s new Aluminum hanging rails, choosing the right mounting option will make the difference between a professional finish and a rushed job. Jan-Ole tells us more: “Think about what you want to emphasize. Mountings on aluminum or under acrylic offer a pure reflection of your work whereas canvas prints give a natural texture to it. Frames will add a visual border and a passepartout will add visual room for the viewer. If you want a natural look we recommend a wooden frame but if you want a more clean finish then a thin aluminum frame works great. The WhiteWall’s 3D preview is great for discovering all of your options and finding your favorite.”

Top Tip: Choosing invisible mounting options can create a more minimalistic look whereas frames can be a great way of introducing a certain narrative or cohesion to your work

Think about exhibition viewing time: choosing where to mount your work within a space should be influenced by the viewer’s experience. If you want your work to be viewed as a collective then selecting smaller prints all mounted on one wall is a great option. If you have more time to play with and you want your images to be viewed as individual masterpieces then mounting them spaced further apart will work brilliantly.

Create your static display before mounting: first test out your display with WhiteWall’s RoomView tool, then try it out in real life. By placing your images on the floor against the wall they are due to be mounted on you’ll not only get to see the practicalities of using the space, but also get a better glimpse into what the exhibition viewer’s experience will be. “Although glossy surfaces enhance colors and contrast, they can give you some reflections you might not want to have. Therefore, it’s important to consider large windows opposite to your prints” advises Jan-Ole.

In a Snapshot:

The Shoot:

Shoot your photography with print in mind ensuring you always use the highest resolution and avoid sister shots.

The Selection:

Trust your creative eye when it comes to selecting images for exhibitions and then select the right format, size, and finish that will reinforce your visual style.

The Spacial Design:

Don’t rely on guesswork when it comes to printing your photography. Rely on pro-tools like WhiteWall’s Room View and always plan ahead when it comes to mounting your prints.

Explore WhiteWall’s high-end printing and mourning options via their website or follow them on Instagram for more visual inspiration.

About The Architect


We have partnered with WhiteWall to bring this year’s awards to life! Not only have we joined forces to bring The Architect back for another awards season, but we’re also partnering with WhiteWall as our printing sponsor for The EyeEm Awards Exhibition. Our annual exhibition is all about giving emerging creative talent the space to showcase their work and get the recognition they deserve. All finalists for this year’s awards categories will get their work exhibited as well as get the chance to win this year’s cash prizes.

Find out more and submit your photos to The Architect awards category to win over €1000, have your work exhibited, and published!