Makia Images' Photo Lab Printing Comparison | Denver Colorado Family Photographer
March 29, 2019
As I kick off my second blog post of the year, I'm excited to finally bring you some words of wisdom on printing your images. If you recall, from my first blog post of the year, I have these 5 pillars that make my business tick. I know you have all the pillars memorized so I won't recap all of them, except #5.
The 5th pillar is, I want the memories we create together to end up on your walls, and in books on your coffee table rather than trapped on your desktops, laptops and devices, never to be seen again. You have invested a ton of time and effort planning your session, spent money on outfits, session fees, and digital images, so the artwork we create deserves to be on your walls for you to enjoy it, for your children to look at with pride, and for your friends and family to "oooh and ahhh" over them when they come to visit. And I don't intend to create fear, but the other reason to print your photos is you don't want to be that one person whose photos are still stuck on your computer and your computer crashes and you lose everything on your hard drive - you will have nothing to show for your session except those 4 images you shared on Facebook. It happens, so don't be that person.
I chose to showcase this beautiful spring session for two reasons. The first is that this family had a new addition join them through the beauty of the adoption process. Printing photos and getting them up on their walls would be an important task, so that their newest son sees himself as a welcome addition to the family. The other reason I chose this session is I wanted to try different printing labs to see how they would replicate this gorgeous lighting. So before we dive any further into which labs some of my favorite peeps liked the best when I printed the photo at the top of this blog post, I want to share some highlights of this session and how beautiful it was.
Now that you have seen a glimpse of how beautiful this session was, why would we even care about getting some of these photos up on this family's walls. According to an article published by Design Aglow titled, "How Family Portraits Boost your Child's Self Esteem", there are many benefits of family photography for your child's self esteem. One expert states, that it is really important to show a family as a family unit and it is helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. Another expert states, "It (family photography) lets children learn who they are and where they fit." And to take this further, you fully realize this benefit when photos are printed and in prominent places for children to see and observe.
I think I have convinced you that you need to print your digital images, now what's next? What's next is you need to decide where you want to print them. Of course you can always decide to print through my lab, but if you don't want to do that, my friends/family and I have done some leg work for you to recommend some of their favorite consumer options.
I had the title image printed in 5x7 size at 7 different places. Four of the 7 photo labs were part of big box consumer stores that you probably shop at during your weekly/bi-weekly shopping runs and the remaining three photo labs were on-line only photo labs dedicated to consumers. The 4 big box consumer labs were the cheapest in price if you picked up in store and the three on-line labs were more expensive because you had to factor in shipping. A print from one of the big box photo labs (hint, people wear pajama pants when they shop there), didn't even make it to me. The ordering process was unclear on whether it was going to be delivered to my home or to the store (rolls eyes). When it never arrived, customer service also was confused as to where the print was supposed to arrive, and as a result the photo was lost so people only chose their favorites from the 6 remaining labs.
So without further ado...I had 10 of my friends and family select their 3 favorite prints and here's what they loved in order of highest to lowest:
Target - this came in glossy only and note, this is NOT their 24 hour printing service available in store. This is only available through their on-line ordering process which can be shipped to the store nearest your house. I think folks loved this one because it had a "light and airy" feel. To me, it lacked contrast because it was so light and airy, but my peeps loved it, so what do I know, ha?!
Shutterfly - I chose the pearl finish because if given a choice, I do not care for glossy and note, this is NOT their 24 hour printing service that is available for pick-up at Walgreens or Target. You order on-line and have it shipped to your home. I think the pearl finish is what did it for people, as it had a gorgeous sheen to it, that I have not seen before.
Mpix - this is an online lab that has a professional printing side (you have to be a registered professional photographer to use this part) and a consumer side (which anyone can print from). I had already been recommending that clients who purchase digital images print at Mpix in my print release (but who even reads my print release, lol). I personally liked this one the best because it was exposed perfectly (not too light and not too dark), but also had the right amount of contrast so that it didn't look washed out.
So if you needed a kick in the "pants" to print those images, this is it...my peeps have done the legwork for you. Just decide which images are your favorite and login to one of the websites above and get going. If you want to see the photos up close and personal, either stop by (if you know where I live, lol) or we can make plans to get together. ANDDDDD...once you do print your images, and get them on your walls, text or e-mail me a photo pleaseeeee!!!! I love to see what my friends and clients do with their images.
If you want to check out a similar blog post to give you ideas on what you can do with your photos, check this one out:
See ya next month!