Help with Printing and Enlargements


MPIX  |  Shutterfly  |  ePingo  |  ViVYX


To make it simple and cost-effective for you, I only charge for your session and leave the printing to you. For convenience, you can order prints directly from your gallery, but you don't have to. Instead, you can download the originals from your gallery and have prints, photobooks, and other products made at the lab of your choice.


Note though that  the photos I've processed and placed in your gallery are print-ready: all of your photo images are color and brightness calibrated. So there are a few steps you'll want to take to ensure this same quality is applied. Many labs will have a default to apply auto-correct features, which could alter the processing I've applied to your images, so I have some recommendations and instructions here to help you out.


I have two labs that I recommend for printing: MPIX (for prints and framing) and Shutterfly (for photobooks). Both however have settings that need to be changed to ensure accurate print and color quality. Also, if you want to print enlargements bigger than 11x14, I recommend two labs: ePingo and ViVYX. I discuss all of these below.


And remember, if you want to have prints or enlargements made, always download the "Original", as this is the large, high-resolution file that is prepared for creating prints (smaller sizes are for emailing, Facebook sharing, etc., as those are low-res copies).





MPIX is by far my top pick for printing photos. They are cost-effective up to 11x14 prints (for larger, see ePingo and ViVYX below). For MPIX, like most online labs that specialize in creating prints, they will set, by default, a color correction option, as shown below:

MPIX does not do an automatic color correction, and if this is left unchecked, the results will still be fairly good. However, since I've color calibrated all of your photos, I suggest checking the "Do not color correct" option, which is available during checkout (after you have selected all of your prints, cropping, etc.).


MPIX is also a bit pricey for photobooks, so I suggest using them for prints only. For photobooks, I suggest Shutterfly (see below).


MPIX though does a great job at framing and mounting, which I've used with great success. Yes, it will be costly, but you get what you pay for. They will professionally mount your photos, and you have a good choice of glass (I always prefer the non-glare glass). Remember though, if you want an enlargement bigger than 11x14, I suggest ePingo or ViVYX (which I discuss below).




Shutterfly is a great lab for photobooks, but their print quality is just so-so. I don't use Shutterfly for prints, enlargements, framing, or mounting. Just photobooks. In fact, I use Shutterfly for most all of my photobooks (for print portfolios, and special client albums), but Shutterfly has a highly annoying color-correction default called Vividpics. This option must be turned off on each photo you upload to a Shutterfly album, no matter what product will be printed (photobooks included). To shut off Vividpics, there is a two step process shown below:


1. After uploading, select Edit -> Apply Effect (see image below):


2. Check  the box that says "Don't apply automatic corrections to pictures". Also, you can apply this to all your photos if you first selected all of them in your Shutterfly album and then click the "Apply this effect to selected pictures" on this screen (see both of these in the red circle below).


Once again, I only use Shutterfly for photobooks. They always have a sale, it's just a kitschy way to pull you in. No matter what the sale, the end price is almost always the same (they either discount shipping, or your product, but rarely both).Using Shutterfly is like shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond: you always shop with a coupon, and there are always coupons. It's another reason I don't care for Shutterfly for anything but their photobooks: they come off as cheap. Photobook quality though is good, and they have an unconditional quality guarantee.





I use ePingo for large, custom sized prints (click here for their large print page). There are no special, auto color correct settings to worry about when making large prints, and they also have a nice instant quote form on the right hand side. I've printed panoramas for my office that are 4' wide, a size that other labs usually don't do. Here's one of them:

Fall HorizonFall HorizonShot at Wildwood Park from the Stagecoach Bluff Trail looking south onto the border of Thousand Oaks (left) and Newbury Park (right).

ePingo just rocks. They are a small outfit with personal attention to detail. Enlargements come in a crate kind of box, so shipping can easily cost $30 or more, but it is well worth it if you want to get some big prints made. For this pano, it cost about $90 with shipping, printed on metalic paper, mounted on "ultra board" (a very thick mounting foam that makes it standout from the wall, and prevents warping...a great alternative to canvas wraps).





ViVYX is another of my favorites for printing enlargements. Their only drawback is that they can't do all the custom mounting sizes that ePingo can. Other than that, their quality is high, and the price just can't be beat. In fact, from their recent price list, a 3'x2' print would run about $25. That's unmounted of course, but it is a great example of how inexpensive using a lab like ViVYX can be. For instance, I printed this mermaid at ViVYX:

It cost me about $25 on premium paper. I gave it to my client who then had it mounted and framed. The quality was stunning, turnaround was quick, and customer service fantastic.



Printing, framing, mounting, and ordering enlargements can be a daunting task, which is why I offer it in all my client's galleries (you just select the "Buy" link above each photo). Ordering from your gallery can be convenient, but is more costly than using an outside lab. I have to charge an overhead, but I also have settings already in place for ordering product. Ordering from your gallery (with my markup) isn't always the best alternative if you're on a budget, so feel free to use any of the recommended sites I've mentioned here; I know you'll get a great result, and it can save you some cash as well. As always, don't hesitate to contact me if you need any help or have any questions.