Discount vs Professional Photo Printing

Ever picked up pictures from a one-hour photo lab only to think, they looked a lot better on your computer screen? Your disappointment ends today!

Photographer Jami Edman breaks down why you get different results from different labs, and where to go for the best prints.

So many of us have our photos taken and then they are put on a CD/DVD disc and we put the disc in the drawer. Why would we spend the money and the time to capture those moments if we are not going to print them. (see attached picture, we would do this on your fake wall)

We should also print them because technology fails. What if all our prints from the 80’s were on 8 track or cassette tapes. Would our children even be able to retrieve them? How do you feel when you find that great black and white photo of a Great Aunt or Great Grandparent? If we rely on CD’s to store our photos, you are risking losing those photos. Apple has already stopped putting CD drives on their laptops.

Why not decorate your home/office/life with those precious memories. But you do need to be careful where you print those photos. There is no 1 printer fits all.

First with photo prints …what you pay for is what you get? For instance it a 1 hour discount photo printer is convient and fast. But they are not going to be good at color correcting your photo, go or making the correct crop, etc. Look at the difference we see in these four photos.

Two were printed at a 1 hour discounter and 2 were printed at photo labs that specialize in photo printing.

Second, the labs that specialize in printing offer things the discounters might not. One of my favorite things is the different finishes on photos. We all know about matte or shiny finish. But the good photo labs also offer a metallic finish that adds saturation and brightness to the photograph. They also offer a lustre finish which adds a rich sheen and repels fingerprints. Adding these finishes to your photos only adds .50 cents to a few dollars depending on the size. They are a unique way to display those photos. I love a company called Pro Digital photos for this.

The labs that specialize in printing, also offer a new take on cards and invitations. They offer what is called Press Printing. You can choose from professionally designed templates, paper choices (not just shiny 4×8 cards from the discounters). Here again I love Pro Digital Photos, because you can choose from hundreds of templates, shapes of cards, and types of papers.

Fourth, some labs do a superb job at printing those specialty products. For instance, a new trend is the canvas gallery wrap. one of my favorite labs who happens to be local to Utah. Pro Digital Photos in PG. (I could have 1 to show) The thing I love from Pro Digital, is they have many size choices, the wood they use is very sturdy and will not break and they color correct. Their corners are wrapped well and this is a high quality piece of art that will be on your wall for a long time to come.

The other thing these labs provide are unusual sizing. Whether you need a square print or a paticular size to fit just right over your fireplace. Their are labs that offer that. For instance Persnikety prints in Orem offer random sizes. Anything from a 2×2 print ups to a 30 x30 print.

As you can see you get what you pay for and often it is best to look for photography labs like, and

Here at we would like to offer the studio 5 viewers a chance to win a free class just go to our website enter your name and emails between now and Friday and we will announce a winner Saturday, April 27th.

Jami Edman is a professional portrait photographer based in Utah, and is the photographer behind She specializes in newborn, high school senior, and family photography. For the past 3 years she has been teaching new DSLR camera owners how to use their camera. She recently put her classes on video and launched the new website

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