Today I want to talk about the options of printing photos for Project Life. When you commit to doing this you really need to figure out what works best for you, because you are going to be printing a lot of photos and if you figure out how to stay on top of it you’ll be well on your way to keeping up. In my opinion it’s OVER half the battle. I’ve tried a bunch of different routes and they all have benefits and drawbacks, so let’s discuss.
One option is to use an online service to have your photos shipped to you. Many companies offer this; I have done it before using Snapfish and I’ve heard that the quality of Persnickety Prints is awesome. I’ve also used the PostalPix app on my phone for Instagram prints and that was fun, too.
Benefits: higher quality (usually), cheaper per print
Drawbacks: wait time, paying for shipping (but you may be able to find a deal)
This is a good option if you are going to do a bunch of spreads in bulk, that way you make the shipping cost worth it. If you are trying to keep up with weekly or bi-weekly spreads it might be harder since you’ll need your photos quickly.
This is kind of like the old one-hour photo. You still use an online service to place your order, but you choose to pick them up in-store instead of having them shipped. This is the option I use most frequently, and I’ve had good success with Snapfish. You can also do this directly through the photo lab that you choose, like Walgreen’s or Costco.
Benefits: get your photos quickly (usually within an hour), still affordable
Drawbacks: quality is very dependent on the photo lab you choose and might never be quite as high, the price per print is higher, limited sizing of prints
I like this option because it enables me to complete my spreads in a timely manner but it’s still fairly affordable as far as prints are concerned. If you are going to choose this route I recommend trying a few different photo labs to test the difference in quality. I’ve found that my local Walgreen’s does a decent job and it’s super close, so I use them. I tried using Wal-Mart once and there was a whole fiasco so I stay away from them!
Printing at home
This might be an option to consider if you are someone who needs a lot of flexibility in your creative process, or if you aren’t going to be printing a whole lot of photos (because it can be pricey).
Benefits: flexible, get your photos at any time almost instantly, quality can be very high depending on your printer, easy to print different sizes
Drawbacks: the combination of initial investment in a printer, paper, and ink can get expensive
Personally, this option is too expensive for me to rely on for all of my photos, but I do like having it available to me. I have a Canon Selphy which prints a max size of 4×6. I love it. The printer itself wasn’t too expensive, it was incredibly easy to set up, it’s quick and easy to use (I do all of my printing wirelessly from the app on my iPhone), and I love being able to use it when I just need one or two photos here and there.
These are the main ways I know of to print photos, and I use a combination of all three depending on the situation, but same-day pickup is what I use most often! Did I miss anything? What’s your preference? Have I convinced anyone new to try Project Life yet? ;)
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