In the 21st century professional photo lab, people can access a huge variety of services and products. Best of all, these labs are now available online, which means you can access them, their services, and their products without ever having to leave the house. Whether you’re after customized merchandise, digital photo prints, photobooks, or a variety of gifts with your images on, you can access them all through these services. And because these labs are now all available online, you also have the opportunity to compare prices and quality before eventually deciding on which one to go for.
Five Things to Look for in a Professional Photo Lab
A good photo lab will offer the following five things as a minimum:
- Digital photo printing. This is likely to be the bread and butter of the photo lab, in fact. They should be able to create prints on a wide range of materials, using digital images, but also old photographs, slides, or negatives. Sometimes, silver halide photographic paper is used, whereas others make digital prints and other still focus on pigment inkjet. Because of the advanced technology that is available today, all of these options will offer fantastic, long-lasting, high quality results.
- Framing and mounting prints. Generally, good photo labs also offer a service in which they mount and frame photographs in various styles. For instance, you could choose a beautiful gallery wrap, in which your image is printed on actual canvas and framed professionally.
- Other types of displays. You should expect a good, modern photo lab to be able to offer a wealth of different media on which your photograph can be printed. Common options include clocks, t-shirts, notebooks, calendars, business cards, playing cards, postcards, greeting cards, holiday cards, magazine covers, buttons, trading cards, statuettes, mouse pads, mugs, keychains, and more. Some will also be able to print an image on edible paper, which can then be placed on a cake, for instance.
- Photo album and photobooks have always been popular. In the past, when we still had negatives, we would print the most popular ones and stick them in albums. Now that we don’t use negatives anymore, we often forget to make books as well. Good photo labs, however, offer you the opportunity to create stunning photobooks. You can fully customize these, adding as many pictures as you want to each page, changing borders and shadows on the images, manipulating the background, and more. Of course, if you don’t feel like you’re artistic enough to create something like that, good services also have an autofill option, which means you tell them which pictures you like, and they will be placed there for you.
- Additional services. Many photo labs also offer various other services. For instance, turning slides and negatives into digital images, restoring vintage photographs, creating online albums and galleries, and storing images on the cloud are just some of the services you are likely to come across.