As the old adage of supply plus demand forecasts, a saturated market will force lower prices. No place is this more prevalent than in the photo industry. Advancements in photo technology, the easy accessibility of digital media, and the slimming down of photo tools prices are allowing today’s average consumers to take advantage of an unhealthy 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 websites geared toward consumers allow for easy posting, designing, editing, and printing of photo products such as memory books, calendars, greeting cards, and even digital designs. Some companies have taken customized photograph products to a new level simply by offering blankets, mugs, shirts, and more. But when taking cherished memories and making them last, the quality and durability of a pro photo lab cannot be beat. And most pro labs even provide the same customized photo products that consumers can access elsewhere. To try the market, I recently took my electronic files to a local convenience store and was far from impressed with all the end product. Consumers need to be conscious of the dangers of using corner convenience stores or discount shopping centers for his or her photo services, as images duplicated here may fade, appear fluffy, or even rip due to low-quality image 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 create excellent additions to albums or empty walls. Here are just some of the benefits of using a pro photo lab:
The particular photo papers used at professional photo labs are durable plus make better impressions. Papers such as Kodak’s Professional ENDURA Metallic Paper make 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 usually other popular choices among professional labs for their accurate, vivid colour duplication.
Photo labs use high end equipment that only pro professional photographers would trust their images in order to. In order for discount and convenience stores to offer digital prints at such low prices, they have to rely on cheaper, low-grade equipment.
Pro labs also offer scanning service, so old negatives and movie can be turned into digital files to get greater flexibility. Turning a valued image into a digital file brings a flood of options for picture enhancement. Once a negative is turned into a digital image, pro labs may improve the quality of the photo along with basic and extensive facial retouching, removal of facial shine or brilliance 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 produce the best images on the market. Other rivals such as drugstores simply offer photograph 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 delighted. If pro lab customers require 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 if you are asked to look over your print out or product before leaving the lab.
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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 one particular location. Many labs have squeezes that handle their products printed on non-photographic paper (called press-printed products); the press-print capabilities mean other materials such as letterhead can also be serviced in labs.
Speaking of press-printed materials, pro labs will likely have capabilities to print customized, press-printed photo items such as memory books, playing cards, day planners, journals, or greeting cards. Once again, more paper, color, size, plus finishing options are available at labs, and customers can choose to work with lab officials to create a truly unique and remarkable item.
Custom mounting and special effects are other areas of specialty at pro photo labs. Ask about lamination, container mounting, brush-texture and water-based finish, or embossed textures.
Labs can take ordinary photos and create specialized photo items such as dry-erase planks, wall posters, magnets, bookmarks, notebook computers, 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 fail to locate one, ask your closest lab if they offer online uploading and editing software or free shipping. Again, you will be happy a person made the extra investment. And if if you’re just starting as a professional professional photographer, don’t forget to market these add-on products and services to your clients. Then, work to develop a partnership with a preferred photograph lab, as most labs offer rewards for the money you spend and the other clients you refer.