One of the most frustrating things for wedding photographers is knowing that people will print their images somewhere else. They’ve got a disk and they can just pop into the drugstore and make as many prints as they desire for a very low price.
Here’s why you should order prints from us and not a local drugstore:
1. Better Paper
One of the ways that discount chains are able to print so cheaply is that they seldom use high-quality paper. This is why you will get a stack of 4×6 prints and they are all curling up. The paper is not as thick and not as good at absorbing the ink. Professional print labs use top-quality paper that make a better print (and it will last longer too!)
2. Quality Control
This is a biggie. The kid that is running the printer at Wal-mart is not a professional technician. They typically just turn on the machine and let it run on “auto.” This is bad for the same reason that you don’t want a photographer who shoots pictures on “auto.” It takes a human eye and human experience and skill to look at an image and make corrections during the printing process on an individual basis. In fact, professional labs charge more money for printing because they have a technician look at every single image before it prints to make any corrections necessary to color, exposure, density, etc (this is in addition to the fact that your photographer has already looked at it as well.) Then, after printing, it moves to the quality control department where it’s looked at again. It’s like eating in a fine dining establishment; every plate is checked by the master chef before it goes out.
The images on your disk have been “global retouched” by the photographer. That means that we check them all and make corrections for color, exposure, white balance, saturation, cropping, etc…. so that they are good, clean images ready to print.
When you order a print from us, we take a second look. This is called “hand-retouching.” It’s called that because it frequently involves a digital pen and pad. We smooth skin, remove wrinkles and bags, fix hair, remove un-wanted objects and people from the background, make eyes “pop” and sometimes even make people a little thinner (especially if it’s a picture of me.). The amount of hand-retouching varies from image to image based on what’s needed and the size of the print. Typically, the large prints get more than small prints (because it’s more noticeable) and close-ups get more than full-length (because it’s more noticeable.)
Here are two examples of hand-retouched images: (click to enlarge)
The bottom line is this: Is it worth a couple of bucks more to have a print that will last longer and look better? I think it is and I hope you do too.