So, you’ve invested money to have beautiful professional photographs taken (by me!). You’ve chosen to purchase the digital files so you’ll always have a copy as a back-up and probably so you can run off a few prints whenever you feel like, right? I completely understand! When I choose a photographer for my family, I want to be able to purchase the digital files too! But photos can’t be enjoyed sitting in a drawer on a USB, you need them printed; in albums or up on your walls for everyone to see!
This is where it gets tricky.
When you hire me as your photographer, you aren’t just hiring me to press a button. You’re hiring me for my artistic vision, and part of that is editing and polishing each image before I deliver your final product. Without getting too technical, I can spend up to 30 minutes editing ONE photo, sometimes longer if it’s a composite image. I make sure every single photo has the perfect colour, contrast, sharpness etc, down to every detail. I want to make sure this effort isn’t wasted, so I have calibration software I use to ensure that what I see on my monitor is exactly what my chosen professional labs produce at the other end. Before I deliver the print to you, I quality check it and make sure it’s perfect. When you hold a professional print from me, it looks exactly as I intended, and is of the highest quality.
So what happens when you take these beautiful files, that you’ve paid me to perfect, and print them at local photo labs? I wanted to see for myself so I went and got a few samples and compared them to one of my preferred professional labs.
First up we have gorgeous Frank. Here is the digital file for reference.
And here are the prints. I have tried to be as accurate as possible, these are photographs of the prints (more accurate than scanning). I chose a few of the more popular print labs, using a cross section of stores from across Australia (this was done in conjunction with a group of professional photographers I am friends with as an experiment for our studios). We have Snapfish, Big W, Kmart, Harvey Norman and Camera House.
Let’s see how little Frankie looks.
How do you think they compare? To be completely honest, even I wasn’t expecting them to be quite this… different. Poor Frankie even has black smudges across him in the Camera House print! And the worst of it is, because non professional labs don’t have the strict protocols that pro labs do, if I do this again in a month they could look completely different, and results will be different from store to store within the same company. It pains me to think my customers may have something like this hanging on their walls!
But I didn’t want to rely on just one image, so I ordered a couple more to be sure. Here is Holly and Spencer.
Beautiful Holly – Digital file.
Cutie-pie Spencer – Digital file.
Yep. I’d say I’m pretty sure.
So there you have it! Why pay for professional prints? Because, as with most things, you really do get what you pay for. You’ve invested in professional photography, you want to make sure that what is hanging on the wall is of professional quality. Don’t waste your money!
These samples are also available in studio for you to view. If you’d like to discuss more information about the print products I have available, or would like to book a session, I would love to hear from you!
*Professional photographers – please feel free to share, but please be sure to credit me as the author. Thank you!*
Maternity. Newborn. Baby