THERE IS SOMETHING MAGICAL THAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PRINT YOUR PHOTOS.
Whether its one in a frame on your dresser, a canvas on your wall, a leather heirloom album that will one day be shown to your kids & grandkids. They all have a way of making the images come alive.
Friends, images were never meant to just live on our phones & our computer hard drives. Remember the days of sitting on the floor with a box of old photos flipping through them and remembering every moment? That is nostalgic. That is something that will happen when you look at images. Suddenly, you are time-traveling back to past moments in your memory & can recall details that the photos bring to the front of your mind.
So, take all those photos you’ve taken, photos from your last professional photo session, photos from your wedding 14 years ago – and PRINT THEM. Printed photos are the fastest way to complete a room, brighten a space, and personalize your home!
….BUT KELS. WHERE SHOULD I PRINT MY PHOTOS?
Well, I’m your photo Godmother. Because I decided to order the SAME print from 3 different common places and give you all the details so you can know EXACTLY where to print and why!
The Contenders : MPix.com, Shutterfly.com, & My Client Gallery*
*Every client that I photograph receives a 10 year online gallery of their photos. This gallery is connected to my PRO print lab & allows clients to order DIRECTLY from my lab in their gallery. The link can be shared with family and friends & they can do the same!
Why did I choose these 3 options? Because I have clients from all over, and choosing online options meant that anyone can read this and has the opportunity to order from these 3 retailers. I also have recommended MPix to my friends & clients in the past, and wanted to see how their quality is lately. I know that Shutterfly is a SUPER common place for people to order photo books, Christmas Cards, & prints – and they offer frequent sales & coupon codes – so I wanted to see if their quality could match up!
I chose this image to print in all the sizes at ALL the retailers. I wanted to choose the same image that also had a lot of white in the image because one thing that differs between printers is their ability to keep consistent colors. I wanted to be able to look and instantly know who keeps their printed images as close to the original as possible. This will help when ordering photos of people, knowing that your skin won’t appear to yellow/green/pink/orange based on the quality and output of different printers.
I also chose the standard photos from each place. Instead of upgrading to different finishes – I wanted to see what the quality was of their standard images, because I think that is what most of my clients would default to ordering.
I also chose the cheapest shipping options from each retailer. PASS did not come with tracking, but Shutterfly & MPix did.
8×10 images are a different ratio than most digital images, so when you order an 8×10 the image will need to be cropped. MPix and PASS allowed me to choose & preview my crop, which would be helpful when ordering images where you want to make sure nothing important will be cropped out on the final image.
All images were ordered at 3:30PM on 4/26/18.
Contender #1 : Mpix – $7.97
Cost of Images : 4×6 – $.29 | 5×7 – $1.14 | 8×10 – $2.40 | Economy 4×6 $.19
**Note that I ordered 2 different 4×6’s from Mpix. I wanted to see the difference between their standard & economy 4×6. Even with the extra print added, MPix was still the cheapest.
Cost of Shipping : $3.99
Date Arrived : 5/5/18
Quality of Prints : Without having to pay extra, these prints arrived with Luster Coating on all of them. We could barely tell a difference between the economy 4×6 & the regular 4×6, which means if you are ordering a large amount of 4×6’s, the economy version would save you some cash!
Overall Review : 9/10. The quality of the prints was excellent & the color compared to the digital image on my phone/computer was very similar. Having the images show up with Luster coating was a very big plus. Luster coating helps resist fingerprints and also makes the image look more vibrant. However, these images took the longest to arrive. Overall (shipping included) MPix was the least expensive. But if you are on a crunch for time (or are impatient like me) you might want to order something that arrives a little faster, or upgrade the shipping.
*One thing to note – MPix also offers “Color Correction” as a default option. As I always professional edit & fine-tune the colors of my images before sending them to my clients, I would recommend not color correcting. Also – by color correcting, you won’t know what the image will look like until it arrives. However, if you are printing vacation photos or personal photos and have not edited them – this would be an option to get the colors maybe a little brighter or better before the prints arrive.
Contender #2 : Shutterfly – $13.42
Cost of Images : 4×6 – $.15 | 5×7 – $.99 | 8×10 – $3.99
Cost of Shipping : $7.07
Date Arrived : 5/1/18
Quality of Prints : The colors were bright, and the quality was nice. These prints were glossy, which is my least favorite finish of a print – but by far, the most common. Glossy images tend to have a glare when looking in certain light, and also tend to show fingerprints very easily.
Overall Review : 7/10. There is nothing wrong with these images – but I would recommend MPix or the PASS gallery before recommending Shutterfly. These prints arrived the fastest, but were also the most expensive overall (shipping included). If you had a coupon code or something to bring the price down & wanted to order some prints – I wouldn’t tell you not to – I just prefer the other prints, mainly for the finish of them.
Contender #3 : PASS Online Gallery – For My Clients – $12.99
Cost of Images : 4×6 – $1.00 | 5×7 – $2.00 | 8×10 – $4.00
Cost of Shipping : $5.99
Date Arrived : 5/2/18
Quality of Prints : Without having to pay extra, these prints arrived with Luster Coating on all of them. THIS alone is worth the extra cost as the luster coating is a much higher quality finish than a standard glossy finish. Luster coating helps resist fingerprints and also makes the image look more vibrant. The Color of the prints was exactly the color of my digital file. You can know that the color you are seeing on your device will be the color that shows up on your doorstep.
Overall Review : 10/10. HIGHLY Recommend. The cost was not substantially more than the other options, but the quality of the prints was outstanding. Truly a professional quality print at consumer prices! Also – we thought (Kyle & I) that the color of these images were the closest to the digital image on our computer/phone. Which means you are not going to be surprised when you open the package, because these images will look very similar to the ones on your phone!
So friends, I hope this helps you when choosing where to print your photos & encourages you to get those beautiful images off your phones & computers and into your REAL LIFE! Buy a frame or two, and brighten up a dresser, a wall, or a bookshelf with some images of you & your family!
Also – if you have a favorite place to print your photos – let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for a new place to try out!