Today I want to talk about the importance of using a professional lab. With the digital age in which we live, printing is easier than ever. You can use a home printer, you can download your photos to an online service and have your prints mailed to you, or you can pick them up from your local Walmart. You can purchase inexpensive canvases and other products that are delivered to your door within days. So the question is: why should you go through the time (and expense) of using a professional lab?
I think a visual demonstration might be best to show you the reason. (Disclaimer: I have not altered the images of these prints in any way. In fact, I didn’t scan them, I took a picture of the print itself in order to get the most accurate representation possible.)
Here we have a print done by the lab that I use (White House Custom Color):
And here we have a few examples from various online and in person shops:
When you view them as a group, I think it’s easy to see the discrepancies between each print. But to break it down further, I’ve taken each photo and shown them side by side with the professional lab print:
Something you really need to see in person is the quality of the paper with which the prints are made. There’s a definite difference to the feel and texture. Professional labs also offer various choices such as linen, matte, glossy, metallic, etc. Choices you don’t get when you print somewhere else.
Now let’s take a look at another popular product: Canvases.
For this demonstration, I’ve used two different canvases that I have hanging in my own home. One I ordered via an online special that I came across from Easy Canvas Prints and for the other, I used my professional lab (Simply Color Lab).
Here are the two canvases:
One of the biggest differences is the canvas itself – the Easy Canvas Prints is quite a bit thinner and is not pulled very tightly. This allows for the light, and thereby the frame, to show through when held up to a light source as seen below:
You can see evidence in this photo below as well, as the edges of the frame are seen through the canvas.
Here’s a close-up of the different frames, one is made of real wood, the other is particle board.
And finally, here’s a look at the differences from the back:
Hopefully, by looking at theses prints and canvases, you get an idea why I so strongly recommend having your products professionally made. The difference really can be striking and well worth the extra costs. But don’t let me convince you… order your prints through a professional lab (i.e. your professional photographer) and see for yourself!
(To view more of the professional products that we offer, come visit our web page here.)