Because the old adage of supply plus demand forecasts, a saturated marketplace will force lower prices. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the image industry. Advancements in photo technologies, the easy accessibility of digital media, and the slimming down of photo products prices are allowing today’s average consumers to take advantage of a saturated photo market and become independent “photographers. ”
Consumers have at their disposal inexpensive photo equipment, software and products that are comparable to what can be found within professional photo studios and labs. Or so they would seem. Certain internet sites geared toward consumers allow for easy posting, designing, editing, and printing associated with photo products such as memory books, calendars, greeting cards, and even digital images. Some companies have taken customized picture products to a new level by offering blankets, mugs, shirts, and more.
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But when taking cherished memories plus making them last, the quality and durability of a pro photo lab cannot be beat. And most pro labs even offer the same customized photo products that will consumers can access elsewhere. To check the market, I recently took my digital files to a local convenience shop and was far from impressed with the end product. Consumers need to be conscious of the dangers of using corner convenience stores or discount shopping centers for photo services, as images duplicated here may fade, appear fuzzy, or even rip due to low-quality photo paper. While the prices at pro labs may be slightly more expensive, the investment is definitely worth it for creating and sharing photos that will last, appear higher in quality and make excellent additions to albums or even empty walls. Here are just some of the advantages of using a pro photo lab:
The particular photo papers used at expert photo labs are durable plus make better impressions. Papers such as Kodak’s Professional ENDURA Metallic Paper build an unique effect by combining film laminate layers to create a three-dimensional image on an ultra-bright background. Lustre e-surface and glossy f-surface papers are other popular choices among professional labs for their accurate, vivid color duplication.
Photo labs use expensive equipment that only pro professional photographers would trust their images to. In order for discount and convenience stores to offer digital prints at like low prices, they have to rely on cheaper, low-grade equipment.
Pro labs also offer scanning service, so old negatives and film can be turned into digital files regarding greater flexibility. Turning an appreciated image into a digital file leads to a flood of options for picture enhancement. Once a negative is turned into a digital image, pro labs can improve the quality of the photo with basic and extensive facial retouching, removal of facial shine or glare from eyeglasses, eye enhancement, spot coloration, background substitution and expansion, addition or removal of a person, and much more.
Labs exist for one purpose: to create the best images on the market. Other competition such as drugstores simply offer image services as an one-stop convenience for their customers. Pro labs provide personalized customer service and pay attention to even the smallest detail so customers go away happy. If pro lab customers need assistance with color correction, trained associates are available to handle such requests.
Most labs stand by their products, so satisfaction is guaranteed. Don’t be surprised should you be asked to look over your print out or product before leaving the lab.
Some labs even offer marketing products and services, such as business credit cards, fliers, catalogs, brochures, and other press-printed products. This makes it easy for expert photographers to find all their needs, through photo to marketing, at a single location. Many labs have squeezes that handle their products printed upon non-photographic paper (called press-printed products); the press-print capabilities mean many other materials such as letterhead can also be serviced from labs.
Speaking of press-printed materials, professional labs will likely have capabilities to print customized, press-printed photo products such as memory books, playing cards, day planners, journals, or greeting cards. Once again, more paper, color, size, and finishing options are available at labs, plus customers can choose to work with lab authorities to create a truly unique and remarkable piece.
Custom mounting and special effects are other areas of specialty at pro photo labs. Ask about lamination, container mounting, brush-texture and water-based covering, or embossed textures.
Labs are able to take ordinary photos and create specialty photo items such as dry-erase planks, wall posters, magnets, bookmarks, notebooks, or canvas wraps, all published on photographic paper.
Be sure to rely on your photos to a professional. Execute a search for local photo labs. If you cannot locate one, ask your closest lab if they offer online posting and editing software or free shipping. Again, you will be happy you made the extra investment. And if occur to be just starting as a professional photographer, don’t forget to market these add-on services and products to your clients. Then, work to build up a partnership with a preferred photograph lab, as most labs offer benefits for the money you spend and the other customers you refer.