As a photographer of course I would love everyone to get their professional photos printed by me too, but I realise the attraction and convenience of cheaper kiosk printing. The reason we love getting to print our work for you is that we know what our images are meant to look like and photo labs don't. We know how bright our brights should be, how dark the darks are and that skin tones are meant to look like...well skin - not oompa loompa orange or cold & grey! We want photo papers that will stand the test of time, we want quality inks that will stay true forever and obviously we want our work to be presented in the way we intended, looking it's very best. But I do understand that kiosk printing is generally cheaper, it's quick and convenient, so instead of harping on about professional prints, I've written some simple tips on getting your photos printed.
TURN OFF AUTO-ENHANCERS - If you only remember one tip, remember this! Auto-enhance, or auto-correct features on kiosk printers should never be used on professional images because they have already been enhanced and edited by your photographer. A really quick explanation of the auto-enhance feature is that it quickly "photoshops" the image, which usually is fine with any photos straight from your cameras that haven't been worked in a professional editing software already, but with professional images from a photographer it usually results in over-contrasty images that look nothing like the true intended photo. Some labs will automatically run "auto-enhance" on all prints without asking you, so if I ever get prints in a photo lab I ask them to switch off auto-enhance when I take my order to the counter.
SIZING & CROP RATIOS - What size to print your photos can be a great area of confusion. Where will you display the photo? What size print or canvas does your wall space call for? And then there's cropping ratios to consider. Bear with me and I'll try to explain cropping ratios as simply as I can...Not all print sizes have the same 2:3 ratio that photos from a camera do (and some consumer cameras are actually 3:4 to make it even more confusing!). For example if you have a photo frame that requires an 8x10 inch print, this ratio does not fit into 2:3, so you will be cropping off some of the ends of the image. Here's a quick visual summary of common print sizes and their ratios:
And if you are still unsure of sizes, check out the comparison chart below which gives you an idea of how the size of photo may look on your wall. One thing to keep in mind is this comparison chart works ideally if you're visualising canvases. If you are getting a framed print, it will actually display bigger because the frame and matting will be at least a few inches bigger than the size of the print. Therefore an 11x14 inch framed print may look just as big as a 16x24 inch canvas on the wall!
As your photographer I am more than happy to help you work out what size photo will suit best and give you ideas for how to display your images! It's all part of my service :)
The most important thing as that you get your photos printed, so they can be enjoyed and treasured for years to come! Printing is the best form of back up and you didn't spend good money for professional portraits, not to enjoy them in print ;)
If you have any questions at all about printing your photos, always get in touch with me! I'd love to help.x