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Underatreehouse 

wedding + elopement photographY
CENTRAL COAST NSW & BEYOND

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chasing the light, the fun & the feels wherever your love takes us I Central coast, Hunter Valley & beyond

Underatreehouse  I

wedding + elopement photographY

Where to Print Your Wedding Photos

It should be no surprise that I wholeheartedly believe that you should be printing your wedding photos, in fact, any photos that are important to you for that matter!

There is something very special about seeing one perfect moment proudly taking its place on your wall or being able to hold a set of prints in your hands and pass them amongst your loved ones.

A beautiful wooden framed print from Atkins by Underatreehouse

Are All Print Labs the same?

The short answer is No. In the same way that if we are buying a car, we would not expect a Porsche to feel the same as a Hyundai, nor would we expect to pay the same for it. The lab that you get your photos printed at can and will deliver a very different product.

A couple of years ago, I decided to do my own research and find out just how much of a difference there was between these print labs and the results blew me away!

I was contacted by a client who had some prints made from her wedding and was disappointed that they didn’t look like the images on her computer. This can happen because Monitors and Printers do need to be calibrated to view a similar result but I wanted to check if there was an issue with the images I was delivering or if they would print well with a more high-end lab.

High Street Print Lab vs Professional Print Lab
The print my client had made at Big W vs the print I ordered through Queensberry

I predominantly use two professional photo labs for all of my albums and print work. These are Atkins, who are based in South Australia, and Queensberry in New Zealand. I decided to pit them against another pro lab, HC Pro, as well as multiple online print shops, such as Snapfish, Big W, Officeworks and Photobox, i.e. the ones you are most likely to come across when doing a quick google search.

Here are the results…

I sent the exact same files to all the labs. All were sent via their online ordering software, so no conversations were had with any technician.

Let’s start with the comparison below, which shows an image printed through Snapfish vs one printed by Queensberry. This is the reason one of my clients contacted me and what initiated this comparison exercise. They couldn’t understand why the prints they had ordered online arrived looking like this and to be honest the print they showed me even took me by surprise!

High Street Print Lab vs Professional Print Lab

I probably don’t need to point out the difference between these prints as I think it is very stark in contrast, but very quickly, you should note the vastly increased granulation showing in the Snapfish and dull unrealistic colours when compared to the much more natural-looking print delivered by Queensberry.

Below is a slideshow of images that shows the prints I received from the Pro Labs and the Online Budget Labs side by side…

  • High Street Print Lab vs Professional Print Lab
  • High Street Print Lab vs Professional Print Lab
  • High Street Print Lab vs Professional Print Lab
  • High Street Print Lab vs Professional Print Lab
  • High Street Print Lab vs Professional Print Lab
  • High Street Print Lab vs Professional Print Lab

What are the differences?

When you look through the images, some labs show a large amount of variation from the others and some do not. You can see increased granulation in some. Some show a lack of contrast and vibrance. Some appear too dark and some too light. Some take on completely different tones from the others. Some look flat whereas others look punchy.

I do not wish to go into an in-depth comparison of each individual lab as it will take too long and there are other places you can get that detailed information if you want it.

My focus with this post is purely to provide some helpful insight that there ARE differences between labs and when you choose to make prints from your wedding photos it is worth considering. I recommend spending the extra money on a product you can put trust in.

Black and White Atkins Framed Wedding Print by Underatreehouse
You can order stunning framed prints from me with will be printed by the best labs in the country.

Conclusion

I put faith in the two labs that I use because I can see the difference in what they deliver in the images above and in the print products I receive all the time. The photographs are bolder, cleaner, and most consistent in terms of colour and tone.

Along with Atkins and Queensberry, I have had fantastic prints made at a number of other Australian labs and would also highly recommend Gusha for Acrylics and Deluxe Art for a local printer and framer on the Central Coast, or, if you just want to walk in and speak to someone.

In my honest opinion, if you want to get your Wedding Photos printed then speak to your photographer first. There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. Firstly, as a photographer, I have already done the leg work for you and tried out many different labs in my search for the best place to print my own work. 
  2. Secondly, if the lab wants some adjustments made or the file supplied in a specific way, it is much easier and more effective for them to be communicating directly with the image-maker who has the raw files if they become necessary.
  3. And lastly, we are small business owners who rely on these sorts of sales to help support our families and stay in business. It is in our interest to make sure you get the best quality service and product possible 🙂

You can rest assured that if you decide to order prints through your online store, you will be receiving them directly from one of my favoured professional labs and I stand very confident in the results you will receive!

Disclaimer: I would like to note that these labs are far from the only ones out there and nor are they definitive results. Technologies change all the time and this article is simply about the results I found during my test and my attempt to best educate and serve my own clients to achieve results they will be proud of.

March 4, 2022

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