One of the things that photographers are guilty of and I am referring to both amateurs and enthusiasts is that they don’t print often. Back in the days of film, the only way photographers could ever see their work is if they carried the spools of film back to a film processing lab and had the film developed and printed. Then came digital and the old habit of shooting and making the distance to the development lab became no longer necessary. Images were only shot to be shared and promulgated over the internet or other electronic formats.
This over-indulgence on the internet and the urge to shoot and share in an instant made printing images redundant. Sharing was faster and more convenient the new way. But what about one’s personal collection? The old albums of yesteryears are testimony to the fact that printed images last a life time and beyond. Would you be able to tell the same about digital photos? How careful are you about your backup? Though this discussion is beyond the scope of this article the idea was to put a finger on a growing problem and that is unwillingness to print, which puts an entire generation of memories at risk of getting lost forever.
We are here to discuss not about the need to print but about the top five online sources which we feel are great in terms of the overall package that they provide. For this discussion we have only considered the popular 4 x 6” size so that the comparison has some form of uniformity. So, without further ado here are the top five (not in any order) –
Snapfish has remained arguably the best online source for printing your images. For as little as 9 cents. Additionally, Snapfish gives you 100 free prints the first time you register yourself as a customer. Snapfish allows you to share your album online with your friends. Your friends can directly order prints from there.
Shutterfly also enjoys a very healthy reputation among the online photo printing services in this comparison.Its performance is however less than that of Snapfish, in as much as pricing is concerned. However, the quality of an online photo printing service cannot be judged merely by its pricing.
Anyways coming back to Shutterfly, it costs a mere 0.15 cents in order to print a 4 x 6” image. Additionally, on orders of $49 and more they offer free shipping which is a bonus.
AdoramaPix is an online photo printing service that’s run for the convenience of photographers like yourself. They print exclusively on Kodak Endura paper, which comes in five different finishes. AdoramaPix is widely renowned for their printing quality as well as for their excellent after sales service. Pricing is very competitive too. They charge 0.24 cents each print for up to 100 prints.
Ritzpix from Ritz Camera is yet another option that warrants a mention. They offer a large number of print size options including a non-traditional 4 ½ x 6” print which is commensurate with the 4:3 image size ratio of digital cameras. A 4 x 6” print costs $0.27 when you pick up. For larger volumes extra discounts are applicable.
Pricing at Walgreens is comparative, which is $0.29 for any number of prints between 1-50, when you pick up from the store. Same day pickup is provided in certain locations for glossy paper type only. Delivery is done usually in about 3-5 days and costs $0.99 per print between 1-5 prints + shipping charges.