"Where is the best place to have my images printed?"
Well, this is a question I hear often so I thought I would take some time to help give you an informed answer! You may think that my opinion is biased, and truthfully it is because this is something that matters to me! Why go to the expense of having beautiful pictures taken only to end up with poor prints hanging on your wall that you are not happy with? So, I ordered prints from some of the most popular photo labs to see how they compared....
Here is the original image. This was produced from the print lab that I prefer to use, WHCC. My monitor is calibrated to their printer, which means the prints I receive are printed to the EXACT colors that I see on my monitor. Now, take a look at the rest. Some of them were pretty close....some of them were not....!
The results were shocking! Let me break it down....
The print from Costco had more red tones in it compared to the original.
The print from Snapfish was more yellow with less contrast than the original.
The print from Walmart had lots of darks and more magenta tones that the original.
The print from Walgreens came out more green than the original and was also over-sharpened.
The print from Target came out very yellow, it lacked contrast and was over-sharpened.
The print from Shutterfly was more orange than the original and lacked contrast.
So as you can see, not all printers are the same! That is not to say you can't get your images printed at any of these places! I honestly get my Christmas cards printed at Costco! Why? Because it's affordable, quick and let's face it, they're going to end up in the recycling pile in a couple of weeks! However, the 20x24 prints that I have hanging around my house I have professional printed, because I look at them EVERY day...my visitors look at them... and ok, I might be a bit OCD when it comes to this stuff!!
"But, your prints are expensive!"
Yes, it's true! Ordering prints from any professional is going to be more expensive. Getting your hair done at a salon is more expensive than doing your hair yourself! You get the point! Here's the reason why... professional print companies are held to a higher standard..it's what they do! They are committed to providing reliable, high quality products. They check their ink settings to make sure that each and every one of their printers are printing correctly so you can get the same print over and over again. Other companies do not do this! I could reorder the same print again and get different results.
Now, this post is not intended to reprimand you!! Heck, I'm just happy if you PRINT your images!! The purpose of this is just to inform you of the results I found! My greatest fear as a photographer is that you print your images and hate the picture you look at every day which results in your lack of trust in my work. I aim to provide you with a service that is consistent and high quality and I hope that keeps you coming back time after time, because I truly love capturing images for you! It is also for this reason that this year I have changed my approach to ordering products. I will now be offering you a variety of packages at your in-person sales appointment to get the exact product that fits YOU.
If you have any comments or questions, please let me know! I'd love to hear from you!!
P.S. I will keep these photos at the studio for you to take a look at!