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Photography Question 
Dana N. Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2008
 

Professional photo lab suggestions


I am an amature looking to beef up my portfolio and I am going to offer free - low cost sitting fees to get people coming, but I wanted to have proofs and an option for professional prints if they wanted to buy them. I live in the Chicago area and would like to be able to have a place to go to, but am not opposed to strictly online places either. Do you have any suggestions?


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3/28/2008 6:16:31 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  welcome dana,
boy dana your gallery is your portfolio?what are we to take from that?
we have no idea of your lighting,no idea that even though free,you can pull this off.
oh geez dana get to familarize yourself with a local camera shop,if you go online an get prints,at this point you won't be happy.
let's backup.pro prints.geeeez if I say nothing in your gallery supports that,where does that leave us?i have allready made a call.a post that may wreck your world.
even though my iq is,ok,my social skills are interpruted differently.
well,a basis,sam


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3/28/2008 11:33:02 PM

 
Jerry Frazier   Shooting for free or super cheap is a way to get practice. If you are going to provide a CD with the images, forget about printing yourself, you wont need to. If you are not going to provide the CD (which I recommend), then MPIX provides fantastic quality. I don't know if a lot of people know this, but MPIX is the same company as a pro lab that many professionals use. It's an off-shoot of Millers. And, many pros use MPIX. I don't, but I have and the quality is really good. They are running your stuff on the same machines and equipment as they are the pros in the industry.

However, I did want to highlight that typically a pro lab will will reuire minimum orders to do business with them. This is usually due to keeping an account open for you, and the care and attention that goes into a pro lab. It is different from a consumer lab.

For online ordering, there are just tons and tons of places. I don't want to recommend any because everyone has different experiences with them. But, a pro service will charge you to host. They may or may not have a lab behind them that takes care of everything, if you want that option. There are many others that do not charge a monthly fee or anything, they only charge if there is an order. They will usually take a percentage of your order, like maybe 7% of the total order or something. And, then on top of that, you will have to order the prints, re-package them and ship them to your client, or have them come pick them up. If you decide to drop ship from a lab, make sure they use generic packaging. I would suggest that any lab you decide to use, you should send a few files in and see how they turn out. Most labs will offer this for free, if they are worth anything. The only lab I can say to stay away from is Shutterfly. Their prints are absolutely crap. I've seen enough from them to make me want to barf. I am dazzled and fascinated by their success though. I am always fascinated when a company produces crap quality of anything, but is successful in what they do.

Anway, remember, this is free advice, and you get for what you pay for.

Cheers.


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3/29/2008 7:25:12 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Gamma Photo on Erie near Clark, downtown Chicago or their drop places around the burbs. Probably one of the best labs for over 45 years. Http://www.gammaphoto.com
M


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3/29/2008 9:00:41 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  No minimum order there, btw. Just excellent work either online or drop off and pros behind the counters to help you solve any problems you run into.
M


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3/29/2008 9:02:30 AM

 
Dana N. Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2008
  Thanks Mark & Jerry, I appreciate your advice. Samuel- not only was your response unintelligable, It didn't even pertain to my question, it was just a negative comment. You don't have to like anything on my gallery (which isnt my portfolio), but you don't have to discourage someone who openly admits to being a novice and is doing free shoots for practice.


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3/29/2008 7:42:24 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  even if I stand on one leg I will not change my post.
professional prints?already your skin is so thin a sneeze would ruin you.
the cost of free knowledge?
I consider this site a classroom,where new members may learn.
if you want to thank someone for truly helping with a pro lab,please show us some pro work.
I discouraged you in no way and and I did not say I didn't like anything in your gallery.prove me wrong dana.
you have taken a post meant to be intelligible and inserted emotions to be a factor.that's not fair dana.
so I am to assume your free shoots are pro shoots without an example?i have no clue miss dana.you by your post said I made a jodgement call.guilty.please post and let me see the light.
sam


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3/30/2008 12:11:00 AM

 
Dana N. Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2008
  I asked for photo lab suggestions, not for a critique on my self-proclamed amature work. Since when does someone have to have perfect photographs to want to know where to get a picture professionally printed in the future? Im sorry, I didn't know that a picture has to pass your subjective standards in order for them to be printed on anything better than an inkjet. Maybe you should stick to the "constructive critiques" forum, which was not where my request for photo lab suggestions was posted.


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3/30/2008 12:34:56 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  from your bio it says any advice from fellow photographers.
so I thought you were putting the cart in front of the horse.
even though you do this service for free you are still accountable for any liability,still need releases to show them in your portfolio and my intentions were sincere.
you seem to a very easily offended member.then again you posted I gave a critique of your self proclaimed amateur gallery.i did not.
I took the time to check your gallery and bio to give my conclusive answer.
well,since you know of cc,why did you bypass the search section?
omg,it just occured to me you have a computer.geez it's possible you have a phone/phone book.holy cow,another realization is that the chicago area has a camera club,maybe one?
oh well,vent as you may but you took it the wrong way,sam


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3/30/2008 10:13:38 PM

 
Dana N. Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2008
  Wow, there is no use in trying to rationalize with an unrational person so I think I'm done. Thankfully I got a few responses on here and via email that were actually helpful. Is there any way to delete this thread so Im not bombarded by emails just because sam is rambling?


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3/30/2008 11:57:12 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  contact bp,they're pretty rational and might delete this just for you.
me being unruthless and so condescending.sorry i'm not your neighbor you can just shoot and walk away from.
I hope you deal with your customers a lot better than you did with my little prick of your skin even though unintended.
just a humorist shot here dana,but I think tommorrow you should actually leave your house and interact with others.
hopefully my last statement will qualify your opinion as a basis for deletion.
sam


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3/31/2008 9:20:05 PM

 
Dana N. Scott
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2008
  Haha ha ha


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4/1/2008 9:18:22 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i started my post with welcome.a new member.that you were offended bothered me.i do make posts and boy my clarity?sarcastic and stupid.
well at any point i'm glad you took the time to check me out.
I don't want the last laugh.i just got it wrong and had no clue as to your disposition,my bad,sam


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4/1/2008 10:07:26 PM

 
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