Photographs deserve to be enjoyed in a physical form, not just in digital pixels. Sometimes, though, the details and magic of the photos that you view on, let’s say, your iPhone with an HD retina display gets lost when they are printed.
Although seasoned photographers often use a high end inkjet photo printer, which produce noticeably sharper images than the high-volume chemical process that online photo labs use, they start at around $800 and take up a lot of desk space. For those of you who need prints only occasionally, a professional online photo service save you a lot of money and the hassle of ink and paper replacement.
To be honest, I’m rarely happy with most prints that I see. I’m really quite picky. So, that’s why I’ve rounded up the best options from personal experience to put together my five favourite photo printers, from online to in-person. The printing solutions are not your everyday printing services. They are a step above the competition and produce tangible products that are worthy of giving to your clients, displaying in galleries, or even just hanging on your walls.
#1 – Nations Photo Lab
Nations Photo Lab provides offers pro-level quality and has an excellent service team. They delivered exception test prints of any service I tested, with more accurate colours and finer detail at any size.
They offer canvas wraps, metal prints, photo books, themed albums, wall décor, gallery blocks and photo gifts – this site has it all. Prices here are very reasonable, and the site frequently offers discounts on particular products.
I would recommend Nations Photo Lab for photographers who are searching for excellent quality prints at a decent price. Their reputation for true-to-image colour rendering is fantastic, their site’s navigation is intuitive, and placing orders is easy.
#2 – WhiteWall
Germany’s WhiteWall pushes further than what most professional photographers expect in exceptional quality. Not only do they produce gallery-quality products, they now have a New York City based location for even more efficient service.
While it is more expensive than other options, WhiteWall offers a higher level of quality. They use a range of professional canvas and inks, including Fuji papers, WhiteWall offers more than basic prints, but prints with acrylic, metallic prints, frames, and photo books. WhiteWall is serious about quality (read here) and has the awards to prove it.
Before your work leaves their lab it will first be covered in a protective wrap and then placed in art-secure packaging. For large formats and panoramas we will even produce a specially-designed wooden crate – by hand. A courier will transport your work from the lab directly to you at home. No middlemen. That ensures affordable prices and quick delivery times.
#3 – Pro DPI
Pro DPI has a reputation for image sharpness and colour accuracy. Pro DPI can be best described as offering pro-level and fine art options but with a consumer-oriented approach that is convenient and affordable.
Please note, ProDPI only services professional photographic businesses and studios. If you are an end-user, please contact your photographer and order prints and services through them
Image quality is high and you can feel confident ordering from ProDPI for clients. Rates for printing and shipping are also quite reasonable.
The only real drawback to ProDPI is the awkward interface of their website. It is not intuitive to navigate and has a limited support section. However, if you’re willing to overlook these drawbacks, you might still find it worth the effort because of their beautiful prints and lower rates.
#4 – Bay Photo
If you don’t need a high-end solution like what WhiteWall offer, and you just want a great balance between price and quality, you might want to consider Bay Photo as a reliable option for professional photo printing.
When I last checked, new customers receive 25 percent off their first order and they have frequent sales and promotions. They provide efficient shipping, amazing customer support. The personalized service makes it worth the slightly higher rates you’ll pay for your prints.
Want to impress your clients? Although I would rate Miller’s Professional Imaging as a step above Mpix (I didn’t include the review for Mpix in this post as I consider them to be focussed more on the consumer market), they do have a nice variety of products. The site charges a bit more than some other print services but offer professional options.
Unlike the other services that I’ve reviewed, Miller’s Professional Imaging requires you to apply for an account before you can place your first order. Their site has a “toolkit,” which provides additional resources for photographers looking to expand their product offerings.
Did we miss out on any great Online Photo Printing Service?
Which is your favorite website? Please leave a comment below or contact us here.