Printing Your Own Photos VS Using A Printing Service

The digital age has made it easier to capture special moments on camera, and that means you’ll have large quantities of photos you may wish to print. There are plenty of options out there for getting a print of your own photos, but not all of them may prove economical enough for your needs. Which option is better: printing yourself or using a professional print service?

Why Print At Home

Printing your photos out at home offers numerous advantages, but namely instant gratification and simple convenience. Depending on the type of printer you have, you may have the option of printing straight from your camera or even memory card.

However, you also have the opportunity to make your photos a little better before printing by using a solid photo editing software such as Photoshop Elements. You can use this opportunity to play around with your photo with contrast, blurring or sharpening your features.

There’s also a great deal of convenience that you don’t have to either order prints online and wait for them or head to the print shop to get your photos printed. Plus, you can pocket the shipping expenses as you’ve printed them yourself.

Just How Cost Effective Is Printing At Home?

When you remove the convenience and fun of printing your photos at home, you may be left with some jarring statistics. When you factor in the costs of purchasing ink cartridges, specialty inkjet printer paper, and a reliable high quality colored printer, your upfront costs for printing a basic photo may cost upwards of a dollar apiece. Mistakes are often costly, and with high definition photos or simply a large number of them, you’ll go through your ink cartridges faster than you would think!

It is always recommended by experts that you use quality toner cartridges from the same brand as the manufacturer of your printer. Using off brand ink means your photos may fade or discolor in a matter of months, which becomes a costly mistake. The same goes for paper. Using a quality matching brand to your printer ensures long-lasting quality.

Should I Choose An Online Printing Option?

Ofoto and PhotoWorks are two popular online digital photo finishers that make it simple and straightforward to edit your photos online and order prints. The printing service often provides basic editing tools to help you create a better image, but you can also choose to upload the photos you edited yourself.

Once you have the images you want printed, you can order prints online by simply uploading the finished products. In most cases, you can get your quality high definition printed photos delivered in less than a week. Plus, websites such as Shutterfly allow you to expand your horizons and order customized photo products. These can include T-shirts, mugs, calendars or virtually anything else you can think of.

The downside to this method of obtaining photos are the shipping costs. Since they can add up, it’s advisable to wait until you have several photographs you want printed. A basic photo can cost up to 29 cents per print on a 4×6 paper.

Are there even cheaper options? If you already shop at Wal-Mart, you can also order basic no frills photo prints. They are economical and you can place your order online and pick them up at the store later. This eliminates the need to pay shipping charges on top of printing costs. You can also head over to your local Wal-Mart with your memory card and manually get the photos printed in person. This eliminates even more wait time and saves you money.

Drugstore Photo Printing Saves Money

You don’t need to break the bank to get photos printed right away. Local drugstores such as Longs Drugs and Walgreens offer photo printing kiosks. These kiosks are equipped with everything you need to basically edit your photos and print them on the spot.

This option requires a bit more patience if you have others in line ahead of you. The costs line up with what you would pay online to a photo finishing company. However, there’s also the possibility to order online and pick up the next day in the store.

If you’re fairly confident in your photos and you don’t believe they need touching up, you can leave them burned on a CD or a memory card and leave them at the drugstore for printing. This is basically what we did in the old days when we dropped off camera film. Fortunately, constant sales and coupons can make this option incredibly affordable.

Sharing your photos online with friends and family has become commonplace, but we still yearn to frame and display photos that are meaningful to us. Digital photos can easily clutter your phone or laptop hard drive, but why not do something more with them?

Photo printing services are affordable and they allow you to physically see your memories every day. Plus, there are so many great crafts you can do to incorporate your printed photographs in order to show them off in a nonconventional way!