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Where should you print your professional photos?

After you receive your photo gallery from your photographer, you are likely eager to print your photos to display in your home, at work, and to share with loved ones. So, where should you print your professional photos? There are many options for where you can have your photographs printed, and it is important to choose the right one. While drugstore and discount printing can be convenient and cost less, it is worth considering the great benefits of using a professional print lab for your photographs. After all, you have put a great deal of time, energy, thought, and money into choosing a photographer and planning your photo session. It only makes sense to have your final products be as high-quality and beautiful as they can be!

Using a professional print lab rather than a drugstore or other discount print lab for your photos can make a significant difference in the quality of your prints. Here are some reasons why:

Color accuracy: Professional print labs use high-quality printers and color calibration tools to ensure that the colors in your photos are accurate and consistent. Drugstore print labs may not have the same level of color accuracy, which can result in prints that look different from what you receive from your photographer.

Paper quality: Professional print labs offer a wider range of paper options, including archival-quality papers that are designed to last for decades without fading or yellowing. Drugstore print labs may use lower-quality paper that can degrade over time.

Print size options: Professional print labs can often print larger sizes than drugstore print labs, which may be limited to standard sizes like 4x6 or 5x7.

Overall, using a professional print lab can result in higher-quality prints that will last longer and look better than prints from a drugstore print lab.

Putting print labs to the test

I decided to conduct my own experiment using three popular discount photo print labs as well as three professional photo print labs to see the difference with my own eyes, and share the results with you! I ordered the same photos from each lab to make the comparisons simple and easy.

The results are crystal clear! The professional labs delivered prints with deeper and more accurate colors, significantly more detail, and true highlights and shadows. The paper quality is thicker and cut nicely.

The biggest problem I noticed with the drugstore/discount prints is that the highlights are very blown out, resulting in too-bright photos with lost detail. The colors are simply not accurate and look a lot different from the original files delivered to my clients. The paper is thin.

Have a look below at the samples to get an idea of the differences between the photo labs. (Click on the photos to get a closer look.)

Who do I recommend for photo printing?

My top recommendation is to order your prints directly from your gallery! I use a professional print lab called Miller's Professional Imaging. The quality is superb! Using cutting-edge equipment, they print on the world's finest photographic paper with beautiful color and archival quality. When you order from me directly, the color and quality are guaranteed.

Next, I love Mpix! I have been recommending (and using!) this consumer print lab for years! The quality is outstanding. The shipping is fast. The prices are affordable and they offer sales frequently. I can't say enough good things about Mpix!

My other favorite consumer print lab is Bay Photo. They offer beautiful high-quality products and many fun and unique textures and finishes. Plus, they are a California business located in Scotts Valley. I think you'll love the results from Bay Photo.

As tempting as it may be to use a non-professional lab for your prints, you will lose out on the beautiful, detailed, vibrant archival quality that your professional photo session prints deserve. Luckily, it is easier than ever to obtain these amazing prints directly through your gallery or online through a professional print lab. You won't regret having stunning, true-to-color, long-lasting prints of your beautiful photo gallery proudly displayed in your home.

Now that you know where to print your photos, make sure that you print them! Your beautiful memories were never meant to live on a hard drive.


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