Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash
I covered how to DIY your printing at home last week, but how do you get picture-perfect photography prints without all that effort?
In this week’s article, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know to have a great working relationship with your local photo printers. I cover how to choose a printing lab, how to make sure your photo files communicate with their equipment, and how to get picture-perfect photography prints.
Research Photo Labs in Your Area
photo by Sladic via iStock
In my experience, photo labs are more than willing to let you come in and do some research on them.
Do you need a master printer? What about a consumer-friendly lab?
I find researching labs is easiest if you know exactly what types of photo prints you want (posters, canvas, etc). While you could always go with the Costco printing lab like you did back in the 90s, the quality might not be as good as it would be if you really take your time to speak with printers in person.
Really, this tip is all about doing your due diligence. The more questions you ask, the more involved you are in learning about the process of printing photos, the better equipped you will be to select the best print lab for your needs.
Calibrate Your Computer Monitor
If you are at the beginning of your printing career, you may want to watch this introductory video by TechQuickie on learning how to calibrate your computer screen.
You need to know exactly what your photos are going to look like once they are printed, and there is no way for you to do if you don’t calibrate your computer screen. Doing so ensures the colors in your display are perfect.
There are calibration devices to easily calibrate your display, or you can do it yourself.
Plus, an advanced printing lab will allow you to get their printer profiles off their website so you can calibrate your screen specifically for the printer the lab will be using. Nice!
Know What Color Space to Use
PHLEARN walks you through what exactly color spaces are. Once you understand color space, you need to understand what color space your lab uses.
Adobe RGB, Pro Photo RGB, and sRGB are three of the most common versions.
Once you know what color space your lab takes, you’ll also need to know what file size and type they want your photos delivered in.
Again, knowing these details will only ensure success when having your photos printed. Though it takes a little time to do so, it’s certainly worth it in the end.
photo by ChristinLola via iStock
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of finding your own printing lab, CanvasHQ is a tried and true PhotographyTalk favorite for your canvas prints.
I have used CanvasHQ over and over again over the years, and I keep coming back for more because the quality of their prints is second to none.
A big part of that quality is in the frame behind the canvas. Each frame is hand built to ensure it keeps its form and doesn’t sag or bow. The kiln-dried wood used to make the frames helps in that endeavor, too.
They also hand cut each photo, then hand stretch your photo over those excellent frames.
Because of the time, effort, and care that’s gone into making these canvases, the quality is simply off the charts. Even though I have several dozen CanvasHQ canvases in my home, with each new one I order, I’m still blown away when I open the box. They’re that good!
And if you think people who put this much effort into each and every piece of art they create would poorly crop your photo, think again.
CanvasHQ representatives have caught problems with my photo prints that I didn’t on multiple occasions. Their eagle eyes will watch out for mistakes and omissions for you too.
And, if something goes wrong or you just don’t like your print, all you have to do is send it back within 30 days and you’ll get your money back or a brand-new print sent your way.
Plus, CanvasHQ almost always has a deal on their canvases, which means you don’t have to go through the effort of printing anything yourself, but you also don’t have to pay master printer prices!