These days people are always looking for instant gratification. I am definitely guilty of this myself most of the time. Technology and the digital age have completely taken over which is not necessarily a good or a bad thing. Personally, I have switched to providing my clients with “digital downloads” of their images instead of hard copy disks. Hardly anyone wants to order prints of their sessions and when they do, they don’t want to pay more to order them through their photographer. By offering digital downloads to my clients, they have all of their edited images and can print them wherever they want, make albums, post on social media, etc. The day and age of ordering these products through your photographer has dwindled because people don’t want to assume the expense of having their professional do it. I get it! Everyone is trying to save money somewhere, including myself! When it comes to quality, your professional photographer will always have access to higher quality prints, albums, etc. which also means that they are going to cost a little bit more.
After talking with a few people recently, I have come to realize that getting prints of your professional photos made with which you will be pleased definitely takes some time, expense and expertise. As a professional, I have never had an issue with the colors being off when I order for my clients. A base point to know is that every printer is calibrated with a different color setting. I started doing some research on some of the most popular places from which people order their photos. I couldn’t really get a clear picture from the online universe as to what these photos would actually look like in person, so I ordered the same image from 5 of the most popular companies. What I found is quite interesting. I ordered with standard image settings with a matte finish (except from target- I ordered glossy.) Here is my breakdown listed in order of my number one pick to my least favorite.
- Shutterfly: I read some pretty good things about Shutterfly online. However, I received feedback from a client that when they ordered prints of my photos from Shutterfly that the colors were off and they were not satisfied with them. With the print that I ordered, I completely agree. The colors are off and do not look as vivid and beautiful as they do on the original image. But, this is still the best out of all 5 companies.
- Walgreens: This print is too yellow.
- Snapfish: There is also too much yellow in this print.
- M Pix: Way too much cyan in this image. It makes the whole image way to cool.
- Target: THE WORST! This image is almost gray. It is so muted. Their print quality is just absolutely terrible.
Now, you may look at the images above and think “These all look the same!” It is very hard to tell by looking at them this way, which is another reason I am writing about it. Here is the what the image is supposed to look like so you can compare.
I am not overly thrilled with the prints from any of these places. So, I guess my point in doing this research in the first place is to show that every printing company is not the same. If you are going to spend the money on ordering prints and want to be guaranteed that they will look like your original image, I still suggest ordering prints through your photographer. If there is a company that you use that provides you with wonderful prints PLEASE let me know! I want the best quality, experience and cost effectiveness for my clients. Let me know your thoughts on these printing places as well. I know that most of you have ordered from at least one of them at some point!
Until next time!