I’ve had clients ask me this before and I’m always repeating to them that our prints are higher quality then your local printers. Why? Well lots of convenience store uses
Inkjet printers much like what your home printers use for documents. They are printed on cheap photographic paper using cheap ink so they can mass-produce fast and inexpensive prints.
My professional labs actually develop with chemicals onto high quality archival paper using pigment dyes. These papers and dyes will not fade over time so your image will remain intact for years to come. I also have my professional labs put a UV laminate onto all my images. These laminates are not your hard plastic laminates that you remember from school. They prevent the sunlight from breaking down your image. You would have to really struggle to even notice that it’s even on your photo. It’s just an extra step I take to insure the best quality print you can get. For my large wall portrait anything 11×14 and bigger I also have my lab add stability board. This stability board will insure no bends in your large print when they are being handled. If you have ever tried to handle a print that is 20×30 without bending it then you know it’s impossible. This stability board should not be hung on the walls, they are meant to be mounted into a frame for the security of your image.
Let’s talk about color profiles without trying to get too technical. When I’m processing your images I embed them with my color profiles this tells the picture how it’s suppose to look. When I send it to my lab it is read the profile and my picture is processed properly. How this works is my monitors are calibrated with hardware and software. I install my labs color profile onto my software so when I’m processing my images I know exactly how they will look when printed. I’m never surprised by my prints they always look perfect every time. So when you come to view these images at my studio on my calibrated monitors and print with me you know you are getting the best possible prints ever. If you were to purchase a Digital Image and take it to your local drug store for processing and wonder why it does not look as good as the one I sold you on my monitors now you know why. They do not have the quality products and all labs have their own color profiles to say how that image should look. They do not use my color profile. This is why if you purchase a digital image I do not guarantee printing anywhere else but with me.
So in a nutshell I’ve considered all the options for the best prints possible. I know it’s not important to some people that they have the best prints possible and cheap prints are the way to go but why pay someone for their artistic talent to just put it onto substandard product. Also when the image is on your wall as a large blow up, I want accurate representation of my image. I want my image to look how it’s suppose to. I spent time on this image and you loved it enough to purchase it. Would you not what it to look as accurate as possible? Think of this way. Why pay Picasso for a beautiful painting if he was just going to paint it onto a lose leaf paper that is not going to last for years of enjoyment. Would you not want it on a quality canvas because this would show case the painting much better. Just some food for thought