Post Author: Eugene Nagawiecki

Reading time: 4 minutes

Why Choosing the Right Printing Lab is Essential for Success

Sometimes overlooked as a minor detail, having the right printing lab is vital for any professional photographer. This is why choosing the right printing lab is the difference between success and obscurity.

Over the past decade or so, it’s been impossible to escape the proliferation and utter invasion of “talent” shows – which all amount to another version of American Idol.

I don’t even own a TV (fact) and still see about five minutes' worth of such footage a week in passing, via the internet, or even sometimes on the news.

Say what you will, but our capitalist society all but confirms; we, the people, love it.

The kicker is; it all amounts to a group of talented people singing near-perfect vocal renditions of old greats or new-age hits. So what’s unique, what’s enticing about it?

It’s that perfect delivery.

I mean, who doesn’t love a round of karaoke with friends now and then? But, no offense, there’s a reason it’s not nationally televised and enjoyed by tens of millions.

Presentation is Priceless

Instead, we are captivated and in awe at a flawless singer indulging in an old classic despite the song being heard many times before and being a great song in and of itself. Why?

Because, again, we love to hear that perfect delivery. That excellent presentation, that next dimension, that the original artist – while significant in their own right – often lacked.

Why Choosing the Right Professional Printing Lab is Essential for Success 02

nPhoto's Dreambook collection gives life to perfection with images printed in 4K at up to 2400 DPI.

Take Adele, for example.

I’m a fan of hers, like millions of others worldwide, and I am for all the reasons you can think of, but what drew me to her at first was her incredible voice. It was all I heard, all I knew, but it had me wanting more.

From there, it was bit-by-bit that I began to discover and appreciate all the other respectable aspects of her and her work.

Fundamental Photography Truths

Now, we’re not singers but photographers; yet the principle applies all the same. The general message is that it’s all about the presentation; the masses appreciate and crave that flawlessness, unimpaired beauty, and perfect delivery.

As a photographer, your creative eye is equivalent to a musician's lyrics, while your camera and editing equipment are equivalent to a musician's audio equipment – microphone, recording software, etc. Still, your printing lab is like a singer's voice.

The printing lab is where the rubber meets the road; the image hits the page. It’s where your pictures come to life.

You could spend all that time finding the perfect angle, getting the ideal light, using your best glass and best body, and using all the tricks post-edit only to have a printing lab fall short in expressing your beauty.

Why Choosing the Right Professional Printing Lab is Essential for Success 01

A printing lab specializing in albums, nPhoto's unique quality printing leaves no stone under-turned to give flawless results.

A little fuzz, a tiny smudge, an ever-so-slight layering issue, a color that's just a bit off; these are all things that can dramatically take away from what otherwise may be a near-award-winning photo. Similarly to the way an amazing musical group today with moving, profound lyrics could be reserved to “alternative” - known only by major enthusiasts and aficionados because the voice is sometimes off-key and hoarse; compared to that angelic-sounding voice in a tired pop song, but that is unavoidable and endeared by the masses.

What Makes the Greats Great

These things also separate a printing lab from a great one.

Great printing labs will not even deliver products with these errors in the first place.

Great labs will not only know the field and be able to talk with you and inform and advise you but also know their machines and how to work them to YOUR desired benefit.

Great labs will have a constant, friendly, open, and honest dialogue with you every step of the way.

And, perhaps most importantly:

Great labs will admit to and take responsibility for their mistakes so you can always feel secure in their service.

Some might overlook the printing lab they use and think that, in the end, it’s just a tiny detail that doesn’t make that big of a difference in the end, but it does.

Moreover, attention to detail separates the 'goods' from the pros (read greats).

Essentially, it’s the difference between that borderline embarrassing night out with friends at a karaoke club; and an encore, flawless rendition of 'Hello' in front of millions at Madison Square Garden.

The Voice

For professional photographers, a printing lab is your voice, so be sure you choose it wisely.

It’s your voice, but not your lyrics – not the message or story you’re trying to convey that is, obviously, your captured image itself. But instead, your voice – the “sound” in which your story emits, how it’s heard and received. Don’t settle for scratchy, grainy, off-key.

After all, wouldn’t you prefer it to sound like Adele? I know tens of millions of people who would.

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