April 9, 2021
You’ve received your digital files from your wedding day and are stoked to decorate your home with artwork! Now looms the big decision – do you have your photos printed by a professional print lab or a consumer-grade print lab?
No doubt, consumer “big-box store” print labs like Walmart or Costco are definitely the more affordable and easier option, but you may want to rethink if this is really the best route when printing your most cherished memories.
Hopefully this blog post gives you a different perspective on why one print lab trumps the other. You guessed it – professional print labs are the way to go. Here’s why.
Remember how I mentioned in my last blog post that when you print your wedding photographs, you are making a lifelong investment? I want to drive this home again. By printing through a professional lab, you are making an investment on quality wedding photographs. You’ve decided to invest in quality wedding photography, so why decide otherwise for your printed artwork?
Professional print labs provide the best quality prints, hands down. It begins with using professional-grade printers, inks, paper, and even final packaging. Professional-grade printers deliver the most accurate representation of your high-resolution digital files on archival-grade paper, which are much less prone to fading for decades to come. These prints are crisper and sharper, whereas consumer print labs will not provide this same level of colour and contrast accuracy. In addition, just based on touch, you can feel the difference in build-quality vs. consumer-grade prints instantly. A professional lab also ensures sturdy protection of your final prints in their packaging.
This is a big one and links back to #1 above – at a professional print lab, artisans take pride in their craft, care for their work, and are extremely knowledgeable in their field. They take the utmost care with all their professional equipment from regular maintenance to quality assurance adherence. Prints do not leave their shop unless they pass quality assurance control, ensuring consistent print quality every time. This means that your digital files will be accurately reflected in each print.
In fact, it all begins with the photographer. Every professional print lab ONLY works with professional photographers and is not open to the public. A professional photographer is expected to routinely colour calibrate their computer screens prior to sending out a print job to the professional lab. This is to ensure that your digital file, as seen on the computer screen, matches the colour and contrast output on the final print product.
As for a consumer-grade print shop, they do not have highly skilled artisans. Less care and attention are provided and once the print job is completed, they are handed straight to the customer with limited quality assurance control. You definitely will be paying for what you get and are sacrificing quality and longevity. In the end, you may end up spending more to reprint where you can get it right the first time through a professional print lab.
A professional print lab is like a one-stop shop. They offer more paper options and a variety of types of artwork. Professional labs can offer lustre paper, which are great for albums, deep matte, which are perfect for wall art, metallic, linen, and even cotton-rag finish for museum-grade pieces. They even come in different thickness levels for those who want more sturdy printed solutions.
In addition, you have more options available to you other than just loose 4×6 prints. You have the option of having an album that you can fully customize from the cover material, type and thickness of paper, and embossing design. There’s also options for canvas wall art and even framed fine art wall art pieces to name a few.
If you plan to print your wedding photographs yourself through a consumer print lab, you are likely going to forget, won’t have time for it, and will never get around to it. Chances are, you’ll likely keep pushing it back telling yourself, “I’ll do it next week.” The next thing you know, it’ll be one year after your wedding without any tangible photographs to reflect back on. With the Brian Ly Photography Experience, we go through ordering of artwork after the wedding during our Reveal Celebration. That way, you can furnish your home with beautiful heirloom and share your stories right away!
In summary, although professional print labs are not the cheaper option, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you are making an investment in all the benefits described above. If you were unsure if a professional or consumer print lab was the way to go, hopefully this blog post gave you some insight for either scenario. With Brian Ly Photography, only the best printed product solutions are offered to make this part of the process seamless.
One of the most important vendors is your photographer that you select for your wedding. You can learn more about my approach towards your wedding day here!
A Durham wedding photographer in Ontario, Canada, Brian Ly Photography specializes in candid wedding photography, storytelling real moments for laid-back couples who live in the now.
Brian Ly Photography provides services at wedding venues in Durham Region as well as the GTA.