Where should I get prints made?
I get this question a lot. Once a week at least.
The honest-to-goodness answer is from me! I have picked my favorite prints from my favorite labs to sell to my clients. The quality is unbeatable. These are thick prints that feel really good in your hands. The color is great. The sharpness is fantastic.
Here you can see the difference in thickness of regular prints compared to the fine art prints I like most.
Can you see the difference between the standard big-box-store printer and the professional one? The detail in the people really stands out.
This shot is really telling. I was blown away at how crisp the lines of the building are on the right side print. The left side looks so much blurrier in comparison! Amazing!
Black and white pictures are just as telling. You can see three examples here of the same image. The only difference is the printer. You're spending way too much money on quality photography to be handed back a stack of pictures as muddy as that top image.
Below are some more side by side examples of consumer-grade prints and professional lab prints. I think the top image is so much better, it blows my mind a little!
In all honesty, when I am printing a huge amount of every-day pictures, I print at Mpix.com and I recommend you do the same. They are a much better quality that Walgreens, Walmart, Target, etc. and they are still affordable. (Beware, though.. some of the above "bad" shots are from there!)
However, when you have special images you want displayed, do yourself a favor and get the highest quality you can afford. Something you can pass down one day.