I get asked often where clients should print their photos. It actually scares me when I don't have clients ask this question. Printing is more important than most people realize. So, I'd like to take a minute to explain why it's so important for us (photographers) where our clients get their pictures printed.
I started noticing over the last several months, many local photographers are no longer offering cds as part of their session packages. At first, I didn't agree with it. I think it's part of the benefit to a client, offering their pictures on a cd so they can print however many prints they want, where they want. But there lies the problem. It's where clients decide to do their prints.
It's mostly a convenience thing, I'll admit, I'm guilty of it too. You need prints to hand out to family members or you just want to get some up on the wall before your friends come over for dinner. So you go to your local Walgreens and get them printed. But when you get them back, you realize they don't look as good as the ones you saw the photographer post as a sneak peek or the ones you previewed on your cd before taking them in?!
This is what gets me about this scenario. Why would you spend hundreds of dollars on a session, to then turn around and spend pennies on your prints? Now, if and when photographers give you a cd with your session, it is your decision to print the photos wherever you'd like. That's really the benefit of getting a cd. But, I still ask, why spend so much money on getting the pictures done if you don't want to at least get them printed at a quality printing company as well?!
This is exactly why so many photographers are not offering cds anymore or why you have to print directly through the photographer. There's nothing more frustrating as a photographer, to spend so much time and effort into a session for a client, to then hear or see they printed at some local store. Pro print labs color match and check for the quality of the print, that's their job. Local stores, your neighborhood Walgreens, they don't do that.
I haven't completely jumped on the bandwagon yet, and decided to get rid of cds, but I can definitely understood others reasoning for doing so. Do yourself, and your photographer a favor. Ask them where they'd recommend printing or do some research on your own. There's tons of labs out there that do a great job printing and you'll get back the beautiful photos you spend good money on.