During the past few sessions and weddings that I have covered I have been asked various times where digital files given to the clients should be developed. Since I now offer the option of having your photos stored on a disc/usb for purchase (can be printed up to an 8×10) in addition to purchasing prints I figured it would be worthwhile to write a quick blog about it. Now don’t get me wrong, my dvd/usb option is still accurately priced as you are paying for the art/effort that went into making these fantastic photos, they are not priced as to what the disc/usb costs. But, for some this option is more cost effective than purchasing prints.
When you take photos to an over the counter in and out place like Walmart or Walgreens you sometimes get photos back where people look less than attractive, often times zombielike, blurry, the color isn’t crisp, the crop is all wrong, etc. As a photographer I can tell you that I put a lot of heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, and effort into editing my photos. These pictures are my babies, they are works of art, and this is why you have paid me to take your photos. Sometimes I will spend an entire evening working on one photo to ensure that I get everything right. (So I’m a little anal retentive…)
I cringe at the thought of handing over a disc with images on it because I have heard all too many times “why don’t they look the same as they do on your webpage?” Places like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, etc. just don’t do these pictures justice, which is why I always recommend purchasing professional prints straight from the photographer. However, I understand that sometimes you don’t want to purchase 25-30 prints and you just want a disc of the day, so I recommend staying as far away from these drug store chains as possible…and let me throw this in there too…please don’t print them on a cheap online printer either. I know, I know- you can get an 8×10 for $3 when you purchase it online or at your local store, so why would you pay my cost for the same thing, right? Wrong. I use a professional printer, I make sure that all of my images are incredibly sharp and full of rich color before they are printed. I give you the option of which type of photo paper you want- be it metallic, lustre, lustre paper and coated, linen, glossy, etc. I sit down with you and show you examples of what your product will look like. Not only do my printers use the highest quality paper and ink, but their machines are calibrated. Your basic walk in and out or over the internet printers are not. I get to see the final product before my client does so that I can make sure everything is perfect. Have you ever hung a canvas print on your wall expecting it to look beautiful only to find that 6 or 7 months down the road it looks dull and dingy? Canvas prints aren’t cheap to buy, but much like photos not every printer that you purchase a canvas from is the same. You product will fade incredibly fast and disappointment is sure to follow.
For you everyday pictures that you take with your iPod, iPad, iPhone, digital camera, etc. sure, go right ahead and take them to an in and out place. That’s perfectly fine, but if you’re looking to get photos printed from a session with a photographer and have high end photographs to frame and display in your home please please please either purchase them directly from the photog or use mpix.com. Unlike other places the exposure will be correct, the sharpness will be correct, and the crop will be correct. You might see a bit of over saturation (warmer colors) than what is on your disc/usb, but it will be so much better than the alternative.
I hope that I have been helpful to you in your quest to find the perfect prints!