Shasta Marie Photography » Ann Arbor Wedding Photographer

Blown Away by the Differences in Professional Photo Printing vs. Retail Prints


Recently my husband and I did a “Trash the Dress” photo session of ourselves. How do I put this? …. I am a person who likes to have instant gratification. I wanted to have a 5×7 printed of one photo in particular and frame it for my husband to put on his desk at work. Since I wanted the picture and frame that day, I uploaded my image to the store, picked it up an hour later, bought a frame and thought I was good to go.

When I got home and reviewed the photos that I ordered, I was very disappointed. As a Photographer you have a certain level of expectations for your prints and want them to look nothing less then perfect and the color to match that of the image you see on your monitor. My photos were very dark and had a green tint to everything. This just was not acceptable, I guess this was another personal lesson learned about patience. I ended up going through the professional printing company that I use for my clients which only takes a few days, but also gets much higher quality prints.

When I received my package 3 days later, they were finally as I expected. They were of higher quality, bright, colorful, and stood up to my expectations. At this point I compared them to the prints that I had received from my local store and I was absolutely blown away.  I knew there would be a difference in quality and was aware that the color formats are going to vary between locations, but did not expect such a significant difference.

I want to make it clear that I’m not saying that you should not have your photos printed at any of these places, but I just want my clients to be aware of the differences. When you choose to have your photograph taken by a professional photographer vs. JcPenney, Walmart, Target, etc. you tend to invest more money and more time into doing this because you want those special moments to be represented in the best way possible. I would hate for someone to invest money in a Professional Photographer and not get exactly what they wanted because of the printing company that they chose to use.

If you want the best prints for your money, it is definitely worth going through your Professional Photographer.  In addition, it is typically not that much more expensive. I have included some example pictures in this blog for you to view the differences. For each set of photos the top image is from Meijer and the bottom image is from my professional printing company. However, I do want to point out that there are some good companies out there to use for printing, and you don’t always have to go through your photographer. The point of this blog is to inform clients of the different options that are available, and the importance of researching these printing options before you make a choice between fast/cheap and high quality.  Please share this link with your family and friends.



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