Photography Information

Should You Print Your Digital Photos at Home or Use a Photo Printing Service?


There are lots of options available for getting your digital photos printed, but which method is the best and most economical choice for you? Let's look at some of the options and the pros and cons of each.

PRINTING YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOS AT HOME

Convenience and instant gratification are two popular reasons for printing your digital photos at home. Depending on your printer, you can print directly from your camera or from your memory card in most cases. Or if you want to touch up your photos first you can copy them to your computer, use your photo editing software (I like Photoshop Elements 3.0) to enhance your images, and then print right from your graphics program. You don't have to make an extra stop to drop off your photo memory card at the photofinisher or drugstore and then return to pick up your prints, and you save the shipping fees the online photo services charge.

However, printing your photos on your home printer may be more expensive than you realized. The per-print price can approach $1 per picture when you factor in the cost of buying a photo printer, high quality photo paper and lots of color ink cartridges. If you print a lot of photos you'll go through ink cartridges and paper rather quickly, which gets expensive, especially if you make mistakes and have to reprint. If you use inexpensive or off-brand paper, you will likely find that your photos may start to fade or discolor within a few months. According to industry experts, if you print at home, use the same brand name paper as your printer manufacturer (i.e. if you have a Canon printer, use Canon photo paper). Your prints will be better quality and last longer.

USING AN ONLINE DIGITAL PHOTOFINISHER

Online digital photofinishers like Ofoto and the new PhotoWorks make the process of printing your photos very easy. You can edit your photos either using your own photo editing software or download free software from the online line printing service to crop, fix red-eye, and add special effects or borders to your images. Then simply select the images you want to print, click to upload to the photo site, and you will receive your order, printed on high quality photo paper, in your mailbox in approx. 2-5 days. In addition to prints you can order customized photo calendars, photo cards, photo books, mugs, and other photo items. With some online services, like Shutterfly, you can even try out and order frames for your photos.

The downside: you do pay a shipping charge, so you may want to wait and order a number of photos or photo products at one time to make it more economical. Print costs for 4x6 inch photos range from about 19 cents to 29 cents, depending on the company.

Wal-Mart.com's prints are inexpensive and the bonus is you can upload your photos to their website and then pick them up at your local store and avoid shipping charges. Photo stores like RitzCamera.com or WolfCamera.com are also good options because you can either upload your photos to their website and pick them up at a local store in as little as an hour, or you can drop off your memory card at the store and pick up your prints later.

PRINT YOUR PHOTOS AT THE DRUGSTORE

Digital printing is now available at drugstore chains such as Walgreens and Longs. You can bring in your memory stick and use their photo kiosk to crop and edit your images and then print them. The cost is about the same as an online printing service, but you have to stand there at the kiosk and edit/upload your photos. Not something I really want to do, nor do I want to wait in line while someone else finishes their photo order. The good news is these drugstores also offer online photo services so you can upload your photos to their website and you can pick up your prints at their store usually the next day.

The other option is you can drop off your memory card or CD at the drugstore's photo department and pick up your prints anywhere from an hour later to a day later, depending on the service selected, just like the "old days" of 35mm film. The print cost is about the same as full service online photo finishers (less the shipping fee). There are frequent sales, so the per-print cost can be relatively low if you hit a sale, but you don't have the option of cropping or enhancing your images unless you edit your photos then burn them to a CD first.

My suggestion is to experiment with several methods and find the best one that works for you. Whatever you do, don't just let all those digital photos pile up in your memory card or on your computer, get them printed so you can show them off. Of course you can also share them online with family and friends, but that's another article.

Valerie Goettsch publishes the digital photography website http://www.digitalphotos101.com featuring reviews of photo editing and album software and digital photo printing services.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Fstoppers

Try to Master One Simple Thing in Your Photography
Fstoppers
To stop yourself from falling into this kind of routine, it's helpful to choose something in your photography that you can focus on improving and stick with it. It's difficult to fully dedicate yourself to learning numerous things at a time, because ...



Fstoppers

Is the Future of Smartphone Photography Bright?
Fstoppers
In fact, talk to a smartphone user and it's likely they will consider photography to be: point (often at one self), click, tap (to process) and Instagram or Snapchat it. That is photography. It may well be that the sheer exposure to a vast number of ...



FOX 13 News, Tampa Bay

Old school pics: Rediscovering the joys of film photography
FOX 13 News, Tampa Bay
While photography is not Berger's day job, the mountains of rolls of film in his home would make you think otherwise. Ironically, having a finite number of photos is another reason he enjoys film photography. He says having a limited amount of shots ...



A Refreshingly Honest Travel Photography Vlog
Fstoppers
Like the most popular Instagram profiles, a lot of Youtube photography vlogs have become incredibly formulaic. This video, by wedding and travel photographer Taylor Jackson, deliberately breaks from the successful formula to give the viewer some much ...



Fstoppers

Three Helpful Macro Photography Tips in Just Two Minutes
Fstoppers
Interested in trying out macro photography? This quick and helpful video will give you three tips to keep in mind when you start shooting the small stuff. Coming to you from ZY Productions, this excellent video will offer you three useful macro ...

and more »


Herald & Review

5 Questions with ... Teran Stephenson, owner of Teran Elaine Photography
Herald & Review
Name: Teran Stephenson. Age: 35. Occupation: Photographer and owner of Teran Elaine Photography. City of residency: Mount Zion. What was it that sparked your interest in photography? I didn't grow up with a camera in my hand or always possess this ...



New York Times

An Eye for Photography, but a Google Suite for Events
New York Times
I absolutely love what our photojournalists have been doing with drone video and photography. A few months ago, I worked with my colleague Josh Haner on a story about plans to make the Hoover Dam into a giant battery. Josh was able to capture stunning ...



Fstoppers

Getting More out of Your Landscape Photography Locations
Fstoppers
Landscape photography can be a fickle thing, as you don't get to choose your lighting or even what a big chunk of your composition (the sky) will look like. This great video talks about how you can maximize what you get out of a location no matter what ...



Mankato Free Press

Morrison: Wildlife photography can easily turn into outdoor addiction
Mankato Free Press
Nowadays, I probably spend more hours recording animal behaviors with my photography gear than I do hunting. Besides being a second source of income, it's a hobby that has become a serious rival to my other outdoor passions. That's because some of my ...



242 Creative Art showcases photography and painting
WJTV
Summer photography and paintings were featured, while 242 creative is celebrating its first year in business with the public. "We just needed more venues for the local vendors," said Gabe Porter. "There's a major demand for public assets. There's a ...


Google News

home | site map | Seashell Photography
© 2006