Christmas is approaching and families everywhere are in the process of creating their Holiday cards. It is important to remember that WHERE you print your photos or cards is an important decision! Not all print labs are created equal. Drugstore print labs are almost always a bad choice, but are always a popular choice. They are convenient, and low cost, however just like everything in life, you get what you pay for. The goal when choosing a printer should be to have an end product that looks as much like the original digital file as possible. If you hired a photographer, dressed up the family in carefully chosen outfits, and hauled everyone out to some field in the middle of nowhere, you will be mighty disappointed if your photos come back looking like your family has been possessed by Oompa Loompas.
Most photographers (myself included) will give you a list of recommended printers if you order digital files. There is a reason we include that information. We want your pictures to look GREAT! Photographers spend hours and hours carefully editing and adjusting the color, exposure, and contrast on every individual photo. We want our clients to be thrilled with their photos, so we are very careful to get everything just right. Having them printed at a good print lab will help ensure all those adjustments are not transformed into a print that looks like Willy Wonka’s employee group Christmas photo.
The printers I recommend to my clients for prints are www.AdoramaPix.com and www.Mpix.com . If you don’t want to pay shipping or are in a hurry, there is a local San Diego printer that delivers great prints – Fromex Pro Lab www.fromexprolab.com . They are in the college area, they are very fast, you can send your photos over the internet and either pick them up (usually the next day) or have them shipped.
Even with all this information, many people are just used to getting their prints done at a particular place and don’t really believe there is a big difference. So, I am providing photographic evidence. Below you will see the large original digital file, and a photo of the drugstore print next to it (From various drugstores and Target). Oompa-Loompa, crazy contrast, over-saturated City.
For just a few cents more, you can get great prints that will really WOW all your friends and relatives. Take the plunge! Print well.