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Servidemic Circle

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Joshua Moore
Joshua Moore

Photo Labs

Order prints or photo giftsColor prints as low as 35 eachOrder Prints Photos Gifts starting at $12Order Gifts My go-to Photo Lab for professional film developing. The darkroom is always fast and consistent with high quality scans perfect for impatient photographers like me!

photo labs

I am a photographer in Northern Virginia specializing in portraits of newborn babies, children and families. My photography has been featured in Northern Virginia Magazine, Front Porch Living magazine, on and, among others. My work is currently on display at Premier Birth Center in Chantilly, VA, South Riding Pediatrics in South Riding, VA, NOVA Birth Partners in Stone Ridge, VA, and the Inova Children's Hospital NICU in Fairfax, VA.

Looks like almost the exact same type of results I got a couple years ago when I experimented with finding a pro lab & was curious to see what the commercial labs would give me (should have saved those ugly commercial prints to show clients!) HILARIOUS!

Where is a good inexpensive place to get professional prints of photos an amateur mom has taken. I also have professional ones taken and just purchase them all on cd, so looking for a place to print them and have a canvas made. Thanks!

That is pretty funny about the cheerleaders photo. I totally agree with you that people should also invest in some professionally printed photos if they are going to pay for a professional photo shoot.

P.S. I did a recent post which compares professional photography with photography from the big box studios because I have come across many people who love my work, but would rather only spend the same amount or less than that of what the big box studios charge for photography. -mA

I have been getting good results calibrating my workflow to my local Costco using ICC profiles. I am getting good results as far as color and contrast. For art pieces, I still print myself using higher quality photo papers that increase the overall dynamic range of the final print.

There's a big difference between a digital photo and a printed photograph. The latter is a physical object, rather than just an image file displayed on a screen. Sure, you can hold your phone up to someone's face to show them snapshots of your baby niece, but that's no way to proudly display or physically share a favorite shot. Online photo printers like Mpix, Nations Photo Lab, Shutterfly, and Snapfish exist because people still want their pictures printed.

The services included here can produce high-quality prints and memorabilia from your digital photos, whether that's in the form of wallet-size snapshots or wall-size photo canvases. And some, like CVS Photo, can get your shots in your hand within an hour.

Nations Photo Lab has been delivering high-quality prints since 2005, when three professional photographers couldn't find a lab with the quality, pricing, and turnaround times they required. Now the service serves both pros and amateurs, and it delivered the best quality prints in terms of sharpness and color accuracy in our test orders. Shipped photos arrive in the sturdiest packaging of any services tested, too.

This photo printing service is for both professionals and picky consumers who don't mind paying just a little more for better quality than you get with budget-minded services. It's also a good option if you're looking for photo greeting cards, wall art, and gifts.

CVS produced the sharpest photo prints among one-hour local pickup services we tested (Walgreens and Walmart were the others). You pay more for that convenience, but when you need it CVS's excellent printing equipment and paper are up to the task.

Anyone in a rush. If you're looking for the absolute top quality, you'll want to order photos from a high-end service like Nations Photo Lab or Mpix, but for the fastest turnaround, CVS is a good option.

Mpix is one of the more expensive mail-order photo printing services we tested. It delivers fine prints in some of the strongest packaging of any service, and its giclée(Opens in a new window) and metallic paper and are truly impressive, almost giving your shots a 3D look. The service also uses long-lasting Kodak photo paper.

Value. Despite its market-beating price of just 9 cents per 4-by-6-inch print, Snapfish delivers pleasing print quality and sharpness. The packaging it arrives in can't match that used by more expensive services like Nations Photo Lab, but it's good enough and you'll be paying a quarter of the price. Snapfish also offers some useful photo editing tools and online gallery sharing.

Snapfish is good for those who want prints but don't want to spend much money. For example, a set of 50 photos would cost just a mere $4.50 plus shipping from Snapfish. That same order would cost $18 from Mpix.

Printique comes from Adorama, a name long trusted by professional photographers. The company delivers photo prints on a good choice of papers and in the sturdiest shipping material of any service we tested. The site also has one of the clearest, most capable interfaces for assembling and organizing your order.

Pros who use Adorama will be comfortable with this service, and anyone who needs to be absolutely sure the photos will arrive unharmed should consider it. Pricing is on the high end, but the ordering interface is tops.

Our test one-hour photo order from Walgreens Photo was ready the fastest of any similar service we tested, in just nine minutes. It's two cents cheaper per 4-by-6 print than our local-pickup Editors' Choice pick, CVS. The Walgreens Photo site lets you grab photos from your social networks, do a little editing, and share galleries with friends.

Why stop at ordinary photo prints, when you can have your pictures grace mugs, playing cards, and even pillows? The services here offer a remarkable assortment of objects that you can personalize. All offer greeting cards, calendars, and photo books (more on this below). Most also offer phone cases, blankets, and coffee mugs.

Holiday cards mean so much more when they include a photo or photos of your family, and most of the services here can produce them for you at reasonable rates. Most online photo printing services offer 5-by-7 flat cards, which cost in the range from about 50 cents (from Walmart) to about $3 from the higher end services. A few offer traditional folding cards for a bit more. You'll pay less per card with a larger order volume. Premium options like foil printing, special cutout shapes, and linen card stock can be had at premium prices.

Shutterfly offers the largest selection of photo gifts, with flowerpots, blankets, cell phone cases, pillows, shower curtains, and even food bowls for your pets. CVS can sell you a necktie featuring your picture or multiple copies of one shot. I'm still waiting for someone to offer photo-embellished rugs and lampshades. A couple of fun options that many do offer are puzzles and magnets. Walmart will sell you a teddy bear wearing a T-shirt sporting your photo. Some of the latest photo gifts I've seen are capes for kids, drawstring backpacks, tea towels, pot holders, bottle openers, tote bags, pet food containers, and of course face masks.

Two services included here, CanvasChamp and CanvasPop, don't even print standard small photos, but instead offer only large wall art (as well as magnets and pillows). CanvasPop offers 12-by-16 canvas prints wrapped on a 3/4-inch frame for $90. The company also offers retouching and restoration services. CanvasChamp offers prints up to 54 by 54 inches and is more budget-oriented than CanvasPop, with prices starting at just $4.25 for a 5-by-7 or 8-by-8-inch canvas, but the quality doesn't match that of CanvasPop.

Those two services aren't the only ones that can turn your photos into large wall art. Nations Photo Lab's canvas offerings start at $56.35 for an 8-by-10 stretched on a 3/4-inch frame; Snapfish canvases start at $39.99 for 8-by-8s, and Printique surprisingly undercuts that at $29.99 for an 8-by-8. But canvas prices can jump up very high with larger sizes: at CanvasPop, you'll pay $566 for a 72-by-40, but that's a lot of canvas.

Most of the photo printing services here offer a choice of hard backings for larger prints, and they'll also frame your picture. Mounting options for Shutterfly include printing on card stock, which starts at $3.99 for a 5-by-7.

Card stock isn't as suitable for wall hanging as other options, such as styrene, standouts, gator board, and metal prints (more on this last type of print below). Gator board is stronger than standard foam plastic and it's easy to hang on the wall because it's impregnated with wood fibers. All these types of backing are available from many of the online photo printing services included here.

Mpix offers a CollageWall option that lets you group related shots with a matching background. These start at $79.99 for a 2-by-1-foot array consisting of five photos; that can go up over $1,000 for 10-by-3-foot wall display with dozens of component photos. Other services, including Printique, offer similar décor solutions.

Metal prints are an elegant, more permanent option offered by several services. With this process, your photo is printed directly onto a metallic surface for more vivid colors and contrast. Mpix can print to paper using a similar effect, with its Metallic Print option. In actual printing on metal, Nations Photo Lab charges $18.40 for a 4-by-6-inch metal print, and $32.20 for an 8-by-10, for example. Its largest metal option is a substantial 24 by 36 inches, which lists for $264.50.

Framing adds the ultimate wall-art touch to your large photo prints. It also adds cost. A framed 3.5-by-5 from Mpix costs $26. For matting, you pay an additional $10. Printique charges $102 for framed and matted prints at the 8-by-10 size, while Snapfish starts at $40.49 for that size.

Almost all the services included here can print books featuring your photos. For special events such as weddings, graduations, and vacations, nothing serves as a better reminder than a professionally printed photo book. The entry-level price for a book is Shutterfly's $19.98 for a 8-by-8-inch hardcover. Printique and Snapfish also charge $19.99 for an 8-by-8 book, while Mpix charges that for a 5-by-5 book. Nations Photo Lab only makes hardcover books, which start at $33.35 for 5-by-7-inch books. Mpix offers hardcover books with sewn bindings, called Premium hardcover books starting at $39.99 for a 20-page 5-by-5-inch book and Economy hardcover books starting at $19.99. 041b061a72


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