As a photographer, I often get asked where to get photos printed in Brantford. I would often suggest Fairview Photo Lab because my father (also a photographer) raved about their services, and quality. I decided to put this question to the test. I selected 2 photos to print at 4 different locations to make an informative comparison and decide once and for all the answer to this popular question.
The 2 photos I decided to print are a wide, and a close up shot of the flowers my boyfriend surprised me with. I'm hoping that seeing the pictures around the house will encourage him to buy me more flowers.
In the competition I included; Walmart, Fairview Photo Lab, Shoppers Drug Mart, and me Wonderful Ida.
So let's get started. The first thing I wanted to review was the ordering software, ease of use, and customer service.
Walmart was affordable at $0.43 for 2 4x6 prints. The system was easy to use, and the photos were ready for pick up within an hour.
Fairview Photo Lab's software was a little more difficult to operate. One of the two images wouldn't upload, and the system constantly gave me the same error message. The photo that I was able to upload was available the next day. When I went in to pick up the print, I informed them of the mistake, and they printed the other print for me free of charge. However that was not ready until the next day, so I had to make another visit to pick it up.
Shoppers Drug Mart's system was fairly easy to use, and the price was very reasonable. However the images took longer then a week to arrive. I went into the store to talk to the technician and she advised me that going into the store is the most efficient way to print images. If the images are ordered online they must go through they head office before being mailed out to the store. The printers used in their head office, and inside their photo labs are of the same quality. So I would strongly suggest going into the store, and printing your photos as you shop.
Wonderful Ida is my site; I just activated printing and was interested to see how it would compare to other printing companies in town. This service is available for all my photo shoot clients. Compared to the other companies it is more expensive, but the photos do get shipped directly to your home in about a week. Other photographers I know do offer this service through their websites, so I would talk to your photographer to find out if it is something that they do offer.
After receiving all the photos I placed them on my living room floor and photographed the photo next to my colour checker passport the guarantee the most accurate colour.
Let's have a closer look, and compare the prints to the digital files.
In the first photo the grey background looks purplish.
In the second photo the colours are most accurate, and the paper quality is best.
In the third photo the grey background has a very slight greenish tint, and the flowers have high contrast.
In the fourth photo the grey background appears slightly purple, and the flowers are blown out.
Overall the second photo was the best quality, and colour. The third photo was second best and the first and fourth photos were tied for third place. So which is which?
The most accurate print came off my website which was the most expensive option. Second best was Walmart which was the cheapest options. What I would suggest if you want quick prints, send them to Walmart. However if you would like something of quality that will last, go directly through your photographer.
Happy printing everyone!