Where should I have my photographs printed?
You might wonder if it really matters where you have your photographs printed. The answer is YES! You’ve spent the time and money on a professional photographer, so having a professional quality print should be a priority. A lot of time has been spent editing your image to be the right color tone, exposure, and sharpness. Hopefully you want to see this in your final printed photograph as well.
My recommendation is to use Mpix.com for any print that you are going to have enlarged/framed. Mpix is a professional photography printing lab, so you will see a BIG difference in your prints. The color is great, especially skin tones, and the images have crisp detail. They use higher quality photo paper, higher quality inks, and special coatings that ensure your images are resistant to finger prints, dust, and fading. All you need is a free account, and the website is very user friendly. The cost really isn’t that much more compared to the excellent quality of prints. A 5×7 is only $1.59.
Another professional photo lab I suggest is Nations Photo Lab. You have to create an account and install a free photo software called ROES to order prints, but their quality and color tone is great.
Shutterfly is a good place to go for photo books, photo cards, and other fun photo ideas. I’ll admit the frugal side of me likes Shutterfly for their great deals. I regularly receive specials with free prints and photo books, and you can easily find online coupons as well. I wouldn’t suggest using Shutterfly for wall/framed enlargements because the quality is good, not great. I find the color tone doesn’t always match to the edited image, and sometimes the images lack detail.
Locally I suggest using PSF Photo Lab in Christiansburg, VA for prints (in front of Lowe’s). The images are professional quality, so they won’t fade over time and they are great quality. You can even send your order to them online and receive your enlargement within the hour.
Now this is a touchy subject because I love Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS… but not for photographs. Yes they are cheap and convenient, I know. These type of printers are good to use for your snapshots or vacation photos, but they are not a professional print lab. Images often turn out under/overexposed, very satuarted, and redish in tone, and they tend to fade over time.
I’ve had several canvas prints made from Canvas on Demand, and have been very happy with all of them. Several of my clients have had canvas prints made too, and they were very happy with the quality and customer service.
I have a portfolio that you are welcome to look through that includes image from several different printers, and with different types of prints including glossy, matte, pearl, and metallic.