Getting Photos Printed

Often times people who choose to get professional photos done in the first place is for the sole purpose of having them printed. So when it comes time to print all of your great new images, what do you do? Well, it depends. This post is meant to help give you an idea of the options available to you and help you decide what’s best for you and your situation.

What do you want

Do you just want some 4x6’s or do you want something mounted, or maybe a whole book about your day? Are you going to get multiple small prints to share with others, or perhaps even make a card and have that sent out to friends and family? One thing to keep in mind is size. A lot of professional cameras shoot in the 3:2 aspect ratio, so if your print isn’t in that aspect ratio it may have to be cropped or have a border. Common print sizes in 3:2 aspect ratio include: 4x6, 12x9, 20x30, etc. Sizes such as 5x7 and 8x10 typically require the photo to be cropped to fit in those dimensions.

What about photo books

You’ve probably seen them floating around out there and for good reason. Photography books are one of the best ways to print your memories, especially for weddings. There are a lot of different options out there for different price points and what you want. One thing you want to look for in a photo book is ‘lay flat’ pages, as these will give a better and more professional look to your book. Here are a few online stores that offer photo books that you can compare for yourself:
Artifact Uprising
AdoramaPix
ShutterFly
BayPhoto

What type of paper?

Depending on where you go, you might not get many options. If you do get to choose, glossy is usually the standard that people use but Luster and Matte are also good choices.

Materials other than paper

With technology now you can get photos printed on wood, metal, canvases, you name it. BayPhoto offer a lot of different print mediums but can be a bit pricey. AdoramaPix also offer products such as metal and acrylic prints.

Display

If you get traditional paper prints you will most likely want to get a frame to display them. Frame prices and styles have a wide range and many photo printing companies offer frames/framing, but overall if price is your concern, something from a local store will get the job done. One thing to look out for is to make sure that the frame has real glass in it and not some flimsy plexi-glass type of material. Now, if you get acrylic or metal prints these typically are displayed on their own, no frame or anything additional required.

It all comes down to personal preference and maybe price points from different providers. In the image at the top of this post, I got a 16x20 size poster print for a family member and I had it done at a local WalMart in an hour. The quality is fine and on par with many other print providers because a lot of them use similar technology. A company such as BayPhoto or AdoramaPix will produce a better print because that is their specialty, but if you don’t want to go through the extra steps and shipping of online prints, a local store such as WalMart will probably be sufficient for you, and that’s okay.

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