Professional Prints vs Drug Store Prints - Is there a difference?
Okay, so you just had professional portraits done, what now? In today's technology ruled society, the most popular option would be to purchase the digital package, so you can print the photos at your convenience and share with your friends and family on social media. Totally makes sense right? Its cheaper to print through a non professional drug store type print company. Plus its super quick, no waiting to hang your images on the wall.
While this may SEEM like the best option, it may not be. I have seen this topic brought up many times, with clients and fellow professional photographers alike. Both seem to have their own opinions on the matter and what is actually best. I decided to do some research and honestly, the results are pretty shocking. I have heard how bad some consumer labs can be but now I have seen the results for myself.
These images depict prints in their true form. No editing has been done to them whatsoever, other than adding the name of the print company. Only one lab's print was similar to the original digital file -- you guessed it, the Professional Print Laboratory. *Photo credit to Wade McDonald Photography.
Honestly, I find it disheartening that this is how my work may be displayed. I spend hours shooting and carefully edited your images to provide you with only the best possible quality portraits to be cherished for years to come. It is definitely upsetting because, as you can see, these are not accurate portrayals of the artist's work. Please take note that you may order prints in any size up to 8x10 anywhere you choose, but I cannot be held responsible if your prints do not look like the digital file I delivered.
Don't get me wrong! These consumer print companies are great for snapshots taken with your phone but if you are spending the money on a professional portrait session, why not make the most of those images?
Just some extra information!
Lab results will vary based on location. If you decide to print through a consumer lab, be sure to click on "do not color correct." That will ensure your print will appear as close as possible. Also, this post was in no way intended to bash consumer print companies. It is meant to provide a basis for why I choose to offer professional prints and products.
I believe in prints. I believe in products. I believe in these things as a photographer, as a mother and as a lover of preserving memories. This is why I offer quality albums, prints and wall art. So you can go to sleep every night under your favorite engagement portrait, so you can hang your favorite maternity portrait in your newborn's nursery or so some day your children and grandchildren can look at your wedding album. I believe in turning moments into memories. This is also why all my sessions include the option of in person consults and ordering appointments.
If you still decide you would like to print at your convenience, I would recommend www.mpix.com. Although their color processing may not match exactly, they are the closest I have come across.