Professional Print Houses vs. Pharmacy Prints | Raleigh Wedding Photographer


As a Raleigh wedding photographer, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching, a lot of thinking and lots of research. I’m a photographer, but before I became a professional photographer, I was a lover of images. I used to stay armed with a disposable camera, capturing the most random moments between friends, family members and even myself. Before the selfie became the selfie, there was me trying to get shots of myself with a box camera. The results were less than desirable, with endless shots of the cavernous space that are my nostrils. Haha! Anyway, I’m a lover of the finished product. The print.

As a client of a photographer, you will invest time emailing and speaking with your photographer, choosing your wardrobe, getting hair and makeup done, getting haircuts and gathering your family together to drive to the location. You may deal with a fussy child, or even a fussy husband. (The latter may only apply to me) Not to mention the financial investment that you will make. After all of this, you’ll want something tangible to show for all of the efforts that you’ve made; and that will be in the form of your final prints. I’ve had conversations regarding the quality of that of a pharmacy print versus that of a professional print. The main question is typically regarding cost. “Well it’s cheaper for me to just print at the pharmacy. Why should I spend the extra money to have my images professionally printed?” Here’s why.

Professional Print House = Left Image | Pharmacy Print = Right Image

In the below set, the image from the professional print house shows creamy skin tones, nice catch lights in the eyes and a clean look. The image from the pharmacy has a orange tint to it, the catch lights in the eyes are not as vibrant and the image is darker. It’s not as crisp as the print from the professional print house.

Chronicles Photography | Professional Prints Raleigh Wedding Photographer

In this set the pharmacy print has the same orange tinge, which has discolored the brides skin and her dress.

Chronicles Photography | Professional Prints Raleigh Wedding Photographer

This image was shot to be light and airy, with minimal saturation. The professional print house captures my edit perfectly. The pharmacy print is much more saturated, the bride’s skin has an orange tint and the dress has a bluish/green tint.

Chronicles Photography | Professional Prints Raleigh Wedding Photographer

In this set, the pharmacy print is dark and murky. Some of the detail is lost in the brides face.

Chronicles Photography | Professional Prints Raleigh Wedding Photographer

The orange tint is pretty much a constant on all of the pharmacy prints.

Chronicles Photography | Professional Prints Raleigh Wedding Photographer

There is a huge difference between the pharmacy prints and those from the print house. A pharmacy printer is fine for your everyday needs. But when you’ve invested in the services of a professional photographer you should expect more, a full service. You’ve invested your time, your money. Your final product should be a reflection of that. I hope that I was able to give you some insight into the pitfalls of using a pharmacy printer to have your professional images processed. If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them for you. I can be reached here. Till next time!




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