I occasionally have the pleasure of working with print layout teams who aren’t particularly concerned whether low resolution proof photos or finished high resolution files are used in publication. To say that habit bothers me is a substantial understatement. As hard as I try to produce graphic, elegant compositions with interesting light and relevant moments, my images sometimes need all the help they can get. Publishing them as pixelated, uncorrected, unsharpened mush doesn’t exactly help the cause.
In response, I have begun branding all the proof images I send out with a prominent ugly red proof stamp. So far, the result has been that I have not seen a single proof image slip out to the presses. Success!
Download my photoshop action here, install it in Photoshop, then follow the screenshots below to make your own proofs with ugly red stamp via Bridge / Photoshop: