It's like trying to make a decision on what to have for dinner. So many choices and let's face it, sometimes you just don't want to be bothered so to the closest drive-thru you go...plus it's cheap...after-all what can it hurt (oh the pharmaceutical companies love that train of thought). Oh we've all "been there - done that." We also know that there are places that provide both reasonably priced and quality food in under 15 minutes that don't include excessive amounts of grease and stomach pain later. There IS a happy medium. Here in Stafford you've got Chipotle and Panera literally 3 minutes apart..good food...decent prices...yum.
So back to the subject at hand...Printing. Yes, people still want prints...old is new again (have you seen what folks are getting for that rusted old mattress spring they've marketed as 'industrial?'). Sometimes it's just nice to see that beautiful family portrait on Molly's wall vs. using the long arm yoga stretch to see Sally's newest grandbaby on that cell screen. All pride aside it, might possibly be my eyes but you've got to admit, there's just something about the rich colors and incredible detail in a printed image. Wait - what? Did I hear you correctly? Your images actually look better on your <gasp> phone?! Say it isn't so!! "Houston, we have a problem."
I'm not going to name - names...that's not the point in these ramblings. When all is said and done...as your photographer, I want your images to look as gorgeous as they do when they leave my screen. You took time getting ready for that photo session (you even remembered to do that 'check-in' facebook thing we suggested - you did, didn't you?). And although it ended up being infinitely more fun than you thought it would be (yes, as photographers, we know some of you were drug unwillingly to your family session), we know there were other things you could've been doing for that hour. Hey now, your wife was kind enough to bribe you with tickets to that ball game...that's gotta count for something! Any-who...back to the topic. I, as your photographer, spent hours (yes, true story) editing your photos so that the finished product was one you're proud to...post on your wall. NOOOOO - hang on your wall. Posting is fine (just please don't forget to tag your photographer - we'll love you for that) but having a large framed print for your living room or even smaller framed print for your office...is just nice. Grab that rusted bed spring and google vintage frame hacks or Pinterest Farmhouse decor/frame/old spring...you get the idea.
Professional printer (noun) does not always equate to professional printing (verb). I know it's easy to go one place and have your prints done while your oils being changed in your car at the same time you get your shopping done but please remember all printers are not created equal. There's no better way to show you then by giving a visual. This same image below was uploaded to a local printer for printing the other ordered through the professional printing company Stills that Speak Photography uses. One was done in an hour the other was ordered late Tue night and shipped via over-night shipping the next day (free). It arrived Thur. Time will tell but one's colors, based on my experience, will begin to fade within months the other, again based on my experience, will not. Matter-a fact here's their wording 'Standard Archival value of 100 years in home display; 200 years in dark storage.' I'm not even going to 'go there' re the "dark storage" thing because honestly it just sounds creepy but hey, if you want great colors for the 2 century anniversary opening of your time capsule - it sounds like they've got you covered. One offers you glossy or matte the other? Wait for it...FIVE paper types for your standard printing each boasting the 100/200 year thing. Color correction? Because we know there will always be variables - even with our calibrating our monitors weekly. Looks like both printers offer color correction - I'll let you compare. The 8x10s below were placed side-by-side in natural light and photographed - the results are below (NOTE: they're both showing a bit lighter but I wanted to avoid any editing so they're posted 'as is'). These results are not only indicative of local printers but mail order as well - to include that well known one that has saturated the market with "free" print coupons. So to answer your question, "Yes, it matters where you have your prints printed." That being said, we at Stills that Speaks Photography have always provided our customers with digital images. The choice is and will continue to be the client's as to where they have their images printed.
Professional Print Company vs The Other GuyThe difference in print quality is clear.