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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Printing inhouse or outsourcing????...Hi I am in the process of getting a portrait photography business off the ground (predominantly in the field of ...
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Old 08-07-2008, 14:18   #1 (permalink)
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Hi

I am in the process of getting a portrait photography business off the ground (predominantly in the field of children and families) and would like some advice about managing the final output.

Do I purchase an expensive professional printer with expensive running costs OR do I go with outsourcing my printing to a lab? Both have issues around colour calibration and both options have their pros and cons. I would love to hear from anyone with some ideas about good professional printers and also recomendations for labs that you have found good in terms of results and easy to deal with.

Many thanks

Yvonne Keen
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Old 08-07-2008, 15:07   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Printing inhouse or outsourcing????

Why not use a company such as:

ProAm Imaging professional photography prints
or
Keynsham Photographics Digital and Film Processing Lab

I am sure this will be a lot cheaper until you could invest in your own printer but I suspect you would be better to continue with this type of professional service. Both of these printing services give you their printer profiles so, if you calibrate your monitor, you should be able to obtain consitent results.
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Old 08-07-2008, 16:28   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Printing inhouse or outsourcing????

Welcome to Pixalo Yvonne

We also have the Pixalo Print service.......
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Old 08-07-2008, 20:03   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Printing inhouse or outsourcing????

Welcome


and also in what country are you located.
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Old 08-07-2008, 22:09   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Printing inhouse or outsourcing????

Firstly you are starting a professional service so you need a professional printing service. Canon Dave has shown you the best two on the market at the moment with ProAm just taking it owing to the prices being so much cheaper. I am afraid that Pixalo printing is not of the standard for your requirements.

I move to ProAm about 18 months ago and have not been let down once, most of my orders average 60 and they are returned in 3 to 4 working days.
Why use people like this. Simple, I printed everything on a high end Epsom printer and one day priced an A3 print up, On the Epsom with Epsom inks it was costing 1.31. ProAm at the time was costing 75p. As I was printing 20 to 30 per order it really was a no brainer.

The one thing against the two surgested is that you have to size and profile before sending, this can take some effort if you are processing a wedding.

Here is another option that I have started to use for the larger shoots such as weddings and large social events.

Colorworld Imaging

For someone just starting up and have limited resources they offer the best service. They offer unlimited web sites for you to load your images and code protect for your customer, there is no charge for this. They will manage all the orders and you can set e-commerce site for your client to place orders direct, they will do all the profiling of the images and manage posting. All posting is at a very low price. There is no hidden charge and the team up there are quite outstanding and helpful. I would recomend to all.

When you get to a level that you can afford the time and space to do your own, then think about investing the cost. Hope this makes sence.

Good luck.
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Old 08-07-2008, 22:24   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Printing inhouse or outsourcing????

To Be Honest, Unless You Are A Event Photographer And Printing On The Spot, Or Need A Very Quick Turnaround, Sending Out Is Best, There Are Some Good Print Companies Out There, Make Sure You Work With Someone Who Will Supply Monitor Calabiration
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:04   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Printing inhouse or outsourcing????

I use a Canon Pixma printer for proofing and one-off prints. For larger proofing runs (6x4 prints of a full shoot for example) I use Photobox.

The Pixma isn't cheap when you look at paper and ink costs. However, the main problem I have with labs is that often I am getting orders for small numbers of prints, which means that the postage becomes the largest portion of the cost.

So far everyone who has received a print done from the Canon printer has been very happy with it.
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Old 09-07-2008, 18:55   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Printing inhouse or outsourcing????

Just to throw a spanner in - the labs mentioned are good but not necessarily the best or most cost effective.

I used Pro Am for years and it doesn't come up to the standard of DSCL it terms of speed or cost or quality.

Also sending out isn't for everyone - I print everything larger than A4 on an Epson 4880 and the costs when buying wisely using genuine ink run me at 1.50 for a 16x12 (size of my album layouts).

So there is no one right answer
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Old 09-07-2008, 22:17   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Printing inhouse or outsourcing????

Wow, thanks everyone for all your advice. I will read through each and everyone carefully and consider all the options. I am so grateful for all your advice - you have certainly given me some great pointers. As you can imagine I have an awful lot to think about and get sorted in my head.

Many thanks again.
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