Differences Between Professional Print Labs versus Consumer Labs
We have seen the topic of print comparisons covered by many fellow photographers on their blogs – but we were always a bit skeptical to believe them. Why? We always thought, “Oh, that was totally edited in Photoshop or they just added a crappy filter on Instagram.” Well, we finally decided to try this comparison out for ourselves and we were mind blown! We can promise you that these are the prints we received back from the labs – untouched. Ready? Set? Go.
(Top: Taken by Jess – [Pay attention to the door in the series], Bottom: Taken by Erin)
Even someone who has never picked up a camera in his/her life can see the differences. One thing we would also like to point out that you can’t see in this post is the paper quality. Professional labs tend to use high quality, long lasting paper whereas your consumer lab is just trying to save a buck and use the cheapest paper possible.
Another example: This time, we chose a photo by Erin and a photo by Jess with a white background to make note of any differences. You may have heard Jess or Erin talk about how as photographers they want their, “blacks to look black and whites to look white.” In layman’s terms this just means that they want the photo to display true color – not look enhanced in any way.
(Top: Taken by Jess, Bottom: Taken by Erin)
Prior to working for JessFoto, I have to confess that I am guilty of printing my professional photos at consumer labs (my labs of choice were Walmart and Target because I could grab my household essentials while I waited for my prints). So here is our rule of thumb if you skipped all the reading and are just seeing this bold print:
IF YOU CAN BUY YOUR TOILET PAPER AND TOOTHPASTE WHILE YOU GET YOUR IMAGES PRINTED, YOU ARE DOING YOURSELF A DISSERVICE!
I have seen firsthand how disappointed Jess and/or Erin are when they hear or see a client has printed their work at Target or Shutterfly. Same goes for holiday cards. We understand 100% that you have spent your money on a professional photo session and the prints are a by-product of that. One thing you may not know is that Jess and Erin equally spend HOURS upon countless HOURS working on editing your sessions – the last thing they want is for their work to be hanging in frames around your home resembling anything of lesser quality than what they intended.
If you are going to take the time to book a fabulous photo session with us, why waste it with the final product? Just a little food for thought the next time you are about to open up your internet browser and upload your photos to Rite Aid – imagine a pretend little LDC sitting on your shoulder whispering in your ear, “Toilet Paper. Toothpaste. DON’T DO IT!”