Back in the days when 35mm film was the photo medium of choice, you had one and only one option for getting those birthday party pics into your hands: The local photo counter. But now that you're shooting digital photos, you have options. Do you print photos at home? At a store kiosk? Through an online photo print service? Here's our medium of choice, and how we came to the decision.
Despite taking literally thousands of photos each month, I rarely need to print them out. But recently, when going through some group shots from a college friend's wedding, I found myself wanting to get some images off my hard drive and into some frames.
There are several options for someone wanting to print a small stack of photos to line the frames of a gallery hallway. Each one has it's pros and cons:
Printing Photos at Home
+ Instant gratification.
- Sometimes poor photo quality.
- Need extra software to edit photos.
- Most expensive, thanks to ink and paper costs.
Printing Photos at a Store Kiosk or Counter
+ Same-day photos.
+ Lowest cost, overall.
+ Good photo quality.
+ Editing photos is made easy.
- Can't be done from home.
Printing Photos from an Online Service
+ Can be done completely from home.
+ Superior photo quality.
+ Make photo edits easily.
- ...but you pay for shipping.
+ ...but you can easily find coupon codes for most sites.
In the end, I decided to go with the online service.
It surprised me to discover that printing photos at home wasn't the most cost-effective method. And while online printing came out to be a bit more per photo than heading to my local Target's photo kiosk, I appreciated the fact that I didn't have to add a trip to the store to my "to-do" list.
What about you? How do you print personal photos? Why? Tell us in the comments!