Selling Prints

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by KalaMarie, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. KalaMarie

    KalaMarie TPF Noob!

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    For those of you who sell your prints, where do you recommend having them done? I am setting up an Etsy shop, and will be offering some of my photos for sale as prints. A wedding photographer told me that a lot of professionals use Sam's Club or Costco. Your thoughts?
     
  2. damonb

    damonb TPF Noob!

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    I know a lot of pros use services like Bay Photo and Mpix.
     
  3. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    Where are you?

    Online services are some times only available to particular places.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'd suggest using the best quality lab that is convenient to you...preferably a local pro lab where you can actually talk to someone face to face.

    The products you sell, are a representation of your work, your business and yourself. Do you really think it's worth saving a couple dollars by having your prints done at a cheap consumer lab?

    The actual cost of a print should be a very small fraction of the price you charge for it. So get the best quality prints you can.
     
  5. rhondag

    rhondag TPF Noob!

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    whcc
     
  6. KalaMarie

    KalaMarie TPF Noob!

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    My intention is not to save a couple of dollars. The reason I asked the question is because I took a beginner's photography class last year and the guy who taught it is a professional photographer. I live in the Chicago area, and this guy said that most pro's in our area (including him) use Sam's Club or Costco. I was a little surprised by that, so that is why I started this thread.
     
  7. loopy

    loopy Brave little froggy...

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    Using consumer labs can vary in results. It all depends on who is working. I used to work at the walmart photo lab here in Canada. I would put time into correcting prints, but a lot of my co-workers did not. Also when ordering online, we had no way to correct prints. They were printed off automatically as-is.

    I own a Giclee print shop, so my images are printed out using our large format inkjet printer. You may want to look into a shop in your area. The cost (atleast at our shop) is very competitive with professional commercial labs. Although this option may not be the most economical for small print sizes.

    I think the benefit to giclee is the selection of fine art paper available. From canvas to watercolour.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Maybe that's why he's teaching a class instead of working for his own clients. ;)

    To be fair, it really can vary from one place to another. I've had a long time pro tell me that he used a drug store chain lab (London Drugs). Granted, they have a dedicated photo department and are actually a pretty good lab...but their prices weren't really much lower than the pro lab I use now.
    I've had decent results from a Wal-mart but mostly when one particular guy was working. I've tried Costco, great prices, but while the results were decent, I would consider them to be far from professional.

    Also, I really hate standing in line. Most times I would go to a 'consumer' lab, I'd end up standing behind some "old lady" who had no idea how to use the self serve kiosk...or was otherwise clueless about the whole process. I've also had some consumer labs loose my photo...especially when they were sent in via internet or were a size that needed to be sent out.
    With the pro lab that I use now...the service is much better, I rarely have to wait and the quality it top notch.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Mpix..... www.mpix.com
    MpixPro..... www.mpixpro.com
    Millers Professional Imaging..... www.millerslab.com I use both Millers and Mpix

    They are all the same company. The pro lab is the biggest in the country and you'll have to go through an application process with both them and MpixPro. Mpix is their online consumer outlet that is used by many wedding and portrait pro's. All 3 have very responsive customer service and offer a wide range of products.

    There is also WHCC.... www.whcc.com , already mentioned and H&H..... www.hhcolorlab.com. I use H&H Color Lab for all my B&W prints.

    I haven't used WHCC for a couple of years but I never had any problems.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  10. jubb

    jubb TPF Noob!

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    I've been happy with MPIX. You gotta try it out. Print a picture at a bunch of different labs. See which one is best.
     
  11. EventShooter

    EventShooter TPF Noob!

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    There is a great little local lab here in S. Fl. Magic Image. They are a small little shop but do great work. They have a pro online website too. Also...costco's new 20x30 "satin" print in-store is great at 9 bucks each!
     
  12. KalaMarie

    KalaMarie TPF Noob!

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    I'm goint to try printing a couple of photos at both Mpix and a local lab.
     

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