Have you got a collection of photos on your camera, computer or phone that you keep meaning to print but never get round to it? Is that because previously you have been disappointed with the prints you have received or it’s just a bit too much of a faff?
If I can give you one piece of advice don’t go with the convenience option, do not use those instant photo printer kiosks you find in the likes of supermarkets. They may be convenient but the print quality is truly awful. Always Always use a decent printer. To be fair most online printers will do a reasonable job and many for low prices when it comes to standard small prints. If you are in a rush and cannot wait for prints to be sent from an online printer then hunt for a Boots with an instore lab (will normally offer 1-2 hour printing turn around) or a Fuji shop or similar camera shop. Some will offer excellent quality, others not quite so but they will all normally do a far far far better job than the instore machines.
When looking at canvasses or larger prints, quality does really show a big difference between prices. I had had cheap canvasses font by a couple of the major cheap online printers and also ones by my preferred print labs. You can tell the difference from a mile off with both the print quality and the canvas build and finish. A lot of people will be happy with the quality and finish of the cheaper labs but personally I will only ever offer the more quality product to my clients as I don’t feel the cheaper canvasses offer a true representation of my work.
I do though give clients the option in so much they can purchase the digital image in high resolution and have it printed themselves elsewhere in whichever format they wish. When sending my digital images I do though offer the following advice:
- Use a decent lab (as I discussed earlier)
- With canvasses in addition to quality be wary of what prints on the side. Normally to prevent the original being cropped use the ‘mirror’ function.
- Beware of auto cropping if printing in a different ratio. Most camera use 3:2 ratio as standard so if you print at 6×4″, 9×6″, 12×8″, and so on the image will be printed in full. If though you print at say 10×10″ this is obviously square so will involve some of the image being cropped. Online print labs will give you options as to how the image will be cropped, make sure you review this and choose carefully.
- Don’t use the colour correction option on any photos that have been provided by a professional photographer. Photographers will calibrate their computer screens so any colour choices are deliberate. Colour correction can adversely change the colours. It can though be useful for phone photos or photos from a camera not edited on a calibrated computer screen.
- Some print labs offer a white border option for prints. This is a good option to utilise if framing your prints as the white border prevents any of the image being hidden behind part of the frame. The border is the standard size of overlap on all frames/mounts.