Photo labs

My how times have changed. I remember spending long nights in my darkroom processing black and white film and prints. I also remember making last minute runs to the color labs to drop off my E-6 and C-41, then patiently waiting to run back to pick-up my order, most times ripping open the boxes of slides or prints and looking through them right there as the cashier was running my credit card. Yeah – times have really changed. It’s amazing that not that long ago, we actually had patience. We had to wait to see our images; that’s outrageous, waiting to see photos? No LCD screen for a preview a fraction of a second after you press the shutter? We actually had to wait, sometimes as long as five days if it were Kodachrome. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty impressed with the level of patience I had back then, back when my ancestors and I used to shoot “film”. It’s amazing how much our level of patience has changed, now I get frustrated if I just fired off a burst and the camera is actually recording the image, how dare it deprive me of instant gratification! That’s the world we live in – instant gratification. I think it’s the instant gratification that led me to think about how print delivery has changed. There are many online photo labs out there in this virtual shopping center. The popular big names such as Kodak, Shutterfly and even retail giants such as Walgreens and CVS are all getting involved with ordering your photos online. For me, I don’t want to order my professional portrait photos from the same place where I buy my cough drops. I did some research and found and tested a few online labs. For me, I decided on, so far they have been a great resource when it comes to online ordering. Their gallery wrapped prints are beautiful as are their books. I’ve only had one hiccup, which happened to be with my own personal order. They forgot to ship envelopes with my Christmas Cards this past holiday season, but that was quickly remedied with an email to customer service. I had the envelopes two days later so there was no harm done. Their web interface tends to stall sometimes with my iMac but again it may just be my lack of patience. Overall I am very happy with them. Their quality control is outstanding as is their papers selection, color correction and communication. They recently added wall clings, similar to Fatheads, I haven’t tried them yet but plan to in the future. I’ve heard from other photographers about their labs but right now, I don’t feel a need to change.

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