Currently, I offer high resolution digital photos in a web gallery for my clients. They have the option to print the photos from the integrated professional photo lab (Miller’s), have me upload the photos to Mpix (consumer-side of Miller’s) for a slightly cheaper option, or they can download the photos and order them through any professional or consumer lab of their choice. In 2017, I will be including in all of my packages all photos printed as 4x6s and a USB flash drive of the photos (except for mini-sessions).
I find it interesting that a lot of people DON’T order prints. They either save the photos to their computer or their phone. Let me educate you as to why this is not the greatest idea. You should at least get 4×6 prints of all the photos you like or want to keep, even if you just stash them in a box somewhere. You invested the time and money to get your photo professionally taken so you don’t want to lose that investment. What happens if your hard drive crashes? What happens if all the sudden all your photos on Facebook get erased or Facebook goes away? How will you be able to preserve those photos for future generations? Data can get corrupted. I only save each of my client’s galleries online for 1 year so after that you don’t have access to it anymore.
The other thing I am noticing is that people would rather pay 10 cents per 4×6 photo rather than invest a couple dollars per photo. Let me explain a little bit about consumer vs. professional photo labs. Consumer labs usually use very cheap paper (prints and canvases) that can fade over time. Also when you use a mass production consumer lab like Walmart, CVS, or Shutterfly, many times they match the colors in the first batch of photos that are printed and apply it to all the other customers they print that day. That’s why the colors in your prints may be “off” compared to the image the photographer sent you. Professional labs use better quality inks and many times for free they will custom color correct any photos that are submitted to make sure you are getting perfect skin tones. I also have had issue with consumer labs cropping out parts of my photos when printing them. I’ll get a photo back with half of a person’s head missing, which was not in the original photo! So you get what you pay for. Of course this also reflects on the photographer, so if you love my work, please don’t get them printed so they look terrible!
There are lots of reputable professional photo labs out there. I personally use either Miller’s Professional Imaging (their consumer side is MPix). Next time you get your digital photos from me, highly consider getting them printed (which is very easy to do through your Shootproof gallery). And if you’re going to invest in getting them printed, use a reputable high quality lab so your investment is worthwhile and you get prints that look like what your photographer gave you! You’ll not only be saving yourself money in the long run but you’ll also have beautiful photos to capture these moments in your life so you can share them with future generations. Don’t let go of the tradition of creating family photo albums!