I recently asked a few friends where they print their photos.  The first response was, “I don’t really print photos anymore.”  (I get it.  True confession:  My brother gave me a few picture frames for Christmas two years ago, and I only printed photos for them this month.)  The two companies that were then mentioned the most were Snapfish and Walgreens/Duane Reade photo kiosks.

I use the company PASS to share my image galleries with clients.  I love using PASS because you can order photos directly from the image gallery.  Curious on how the printing quality varied between PASS, Snapfish, and Walgreens I ordered a few sets of prints from each company and compared the results.

(All photos of the photos are straight from my camera, not edited at all.  Thank you 501 Union for letting me use your space to take the pics!)

How to print your photos

Left to Right: PASS, Snapfish (Matte Finish-I also ordered Glossy, and hated it too much to photograph), Walgreens

How to print your photos

A Closer Look: (L) Pass (R) Walgreens

Closer Look: (L) PASS (R) Snapfish

Top to Bottom: PASS, Walgreens, Snapfish

How to print your photos

Closer Look: (L) PASS (R) Walgreens

Closer Look: (L) PASS (R) Snapfish

Clockwise starting with top Left: PASS, Snapfish, Walgreens

How to print your photos

Conclusion:

  1. Print your photos.  Studies have shown that surrounding your room/apt/house with images of happy memories keeps you in a better mood.  Print your pics, and stop looking at your computer and phone.
  2. Where you print your photos matters…a lot.  In the Walgreens prints a lot of the details in the highlights and darks of the image are completely missing, giving the photo an over exposed and super contrasting look.  It also looks like they sharpened the photo (the first slider you see on instagram when you post a pic) creating more of a hyper digital/contrasty and fake look to them.  Snapfish is better than the print kiosk, but not as accurate as the PASS print.  The skin tone’s are more orange, details in the highlights and darks are also missing, and the saturation of the blues and greens are off too.

The Cost Difference:

PASS: 4X6  $1

Snapfish: 4X6 $.09

Walgreens: 4X6  $.29

PASS is more expensive than these other two options, but it’s only $1!  If you want the photos to look like the image on your computer screen, invest in the proper printing.  For the 3-5 photos you will actually frame and keep in your house I think the extra money is worth it.

What companies do you use for prints?   I’d be happy to continue researching this topic because I believe printing quality photographs is very important!!