We live in a digital age and everyone wants their images on a disc. Most professional photographers do not give away the disc. Most will allow you to purchase it, but it’s going to cost you. Probably the amount of a typical print order. When you do receive a disc it is tempting to run to Walmart or Walgreens and get your amazing photos printed (in an hour). You get there and they look "off". Not quite like the online gallery or what you saw on your disc. They may be darker, blown out or have a color cast to them. I promise you, this isn’t what the photographer saw on their screen. I just wanted to shed some light on why those prints cost so much more and why they are worth the added cost.
“I’ll just print them at *insert drugstore lab*. It’s way cheaper and I can pick them up in an hour. It's the same thing anyways.”
I used to feel the same way. I mean, they’re the exact same thing, right? Wrong. There is a big difference. Have you ever held a drugstore print and a professional quality print and felt the difference? Not to mention the color and tonal difference. A photographer only wants their best work out there; what they have created for you, not what the local Walmart printed out in an hour. A professional photographer has invested a lot of time and money to ensure that their monitor is calibrated and what they see on their screen matches their professional lab of choice. Drugstore labs have employees that push a few buttons and then the printer goes to work spitting out prints. There isn’t a professional there to check the printer’s colors and tones or to see if an image is cropped correctly. You certainly wouldn't receive a phone call or email if something seemed a bit off or wrong.
A professional lab has trained technicians (many are photographers themselves) who monitor the quality of the chemicals in their printers, analyze the color and density in the photographs and have regular maintenance done on all of their equipment. They will also fix any problems before handing the finished product over to you. You can rest assured that your prints will look the same every time you order. They offer quality paper with multiple finish options and are archival quality. This results in a beautiful, polished final product that will last a lifetime. One that you had in no doubt envisioned when you began your search for a photographer.
If a client chooses not to have their order printed through my chosen lab, I always suggest mpix. They are a very good consumer option. I also let them know that I can only guarantee prints and products that come from my professional labs. You’ve invested your hard earned money in a photographer for your family or event. Make sure that your final product is a reflection of that investment.