We really want our clients to have quality prints and products available.
So, we have done a lot of research into the products we offer and vendors we use. We only work with pro-only labs who have proven to be excellent at what they do and in the service they provide.
After seeing some other photographer friends post comparisons like this using every consumer lab imaginable, we decided to randomly test a few of our local spots as well.
I will skip the paragraph where I explain the whys (different people manning the machines, monitor and printer calibration, difference between professional and consumer lab chemicals, printers, and papers…) and go straight to the results.
In the images below, we have….
Top Right: CVS- (too contrasty and overexposed), Top Left: Walgreens (too pink), Bottom Left: Costco (very desaturated, lifeless), Bottom Right: Our Pro Lab
You may also notice the cropping changes on the images (even though they were all sized at 4×6)
We do give our clients digital copies of their images in the form of USBs or discs. But, honestly in my mind, the main reason for offering those is purely for the fact they can keep those digital negatives for the future. They can back them up on a hard drive at home.. keep them for way down the road.
I don’t recommend using the USB to make prints to decorate your home. Now, you can. You have our permission. But, I know they quality we will provide is so much better. And if it is something that will be on display for you to view constantly, get something that is quality!
If you did decide to make some prints on your own.. here are a few recommendations we have. Order just a couple at prints first. See some samples and if you like them. Maybe even go a few places like we did and compare. Also, talk to the photo lab attendant and ask them NOT to correct your images. The colors do not need to be changed or fixed at all and the images can be printed as they are.
Either way, have fun showing off your photos! 🙂