This week we wanted to focus on photo printing. We receive a lot of questions about printing during workshops, so we wanted to share our experiences with printing at home vs printing outside (photo labs, commercial photo services).
PRINT AT HOME I have a large format Epson printer. To print, I lay out 3×4 photos and print on an 11×17 piece of cardstock.
When I was in Manila during the holidays, I had photos printed at one of the shops at the UP Shopping Center. If you want to try it, ask for digital color printing. They have their own paper that’s usually 11 x 17 size. It’s slightly glossy, but has a nice finish to it. If you don’t mind trimming them all out one by one, I think it’s pretty cost-efficient!
*LDM TIP: You don’t need to make a special trip to UP if it’s far from where you live or work. Try looking for similar printing places and ask if they have digital color printing / digital laser printing. Check print shops near universities, or at shopping malls.
PRINT AT HOME I bought my Canon E510 printer at a computer shop in Gilmore, and use Kirkland glossy paper sized 4×6 that I bought from Amazon. The printer comes with a built-in tray for 4×6 paper, which is perfect. I can also use this printer for bigger-sized photos (6×6 or 6×8… up to 8.5 x 11) which can come in handy. The only hassle for me is that, due to space limitations in my tiny crafts room, I need to either bring my laptop to the printer or drag the table holding the printer over to where my laptop is.
CANON E510 printer
Yam and I bought Canon Selphy printers (CP900 model) last year during a Canon USA promo. The ability to print wirelessly has been VERY convenient! I use this when I’m too lazy to bring my printer over to the laptop, haha. The only downside to the Selphy is that the pictures don’t come out true 4×6 — when you tear off the perforations, what remains is slightly smaller than 4×6, so the picture slides around the pocket a bit. You can either stick the photo onto a 4×6 card, or manually trim outside the perforations to achieve a true 4×6. Not a very big deal, IMHO.
PHOTO LABS I used to have most of my photos printed at photo labs found at malls. My favorite is FujiFilm (YKL Color) because in my experience they do prints well, and they’re able to print sizes I use for my Project Life album. (Bonus: they have a membership card offering discounts on services, including photo printing.) Luckily, once I started getting photos printed at Fuji regularly, the staff there learned my printing preferences. Matte prints and print “as is,” do not resize or color-correct.
However, there were times when I wanted to print photos right away. Sometimes it can be tedious to have to transfer photos to a USB drive, and go to the mall just to have photos printed.
PRINTING AT HOME Last year, my Dad reminded me that we had a Canon Selphy. It was an older model, but it worked.
I was able to print photos, but even with a new pack of paper + ink cartridge, prints were a bit washed out so I looked into getting a newer model. With the CP900 I can print wirelessly from my phone!
so convenient! late last night, i wanted to print out a photo i grabbed online. i saved it to my phone, used the picframe app to plot two photos on a 4×6 canvas and sent wirelessly to the selphy.
I don’t mind that the paper (exclusively manufactured by Canon to use with the Selphy printers) is not a true 4×6 because it gets my documentation done. Years from now, I don’t think I will be bothered by the photo print size!
My other print at home option is my all-around HP Officejet 4500. I’ve had this for more than four years. My previous printer was a bigger HP model, with the same features (print, scan, fax). I didn’t really start using this to print at home until this year because I wasn’t sure if it buying ink + photo paper would come out cheaper than getting photos printed at a photo lab.
I’ve noticed that I’m changing ink cartridges more often when I started printing photos with this printer 🙁 The printer also seems to be showing signs of wear and tear (*sob*) so I hope it doesn’t completely stop working until I find a suitable replacement. I’ve been researching which printer to buy next and my choices are down to Canon and Epson.
To print at home, I checked the photo paper choices available at National BookStore. I bought a pack of 4×6 matte photo paper (Orange brand), but I stopped using it after it caused a paper jam on my printer twice. Yikes. I’m currently using up the other photo paper packs that I bought: Orions Premium Matte Photo Paper, and Orions Premium Satin Photo Paper. Recently, I found a pack of Photo Glossy Paper from Photo Plus at an unbelievable price of Php53.25 (for a pack with 10pcs of A4 size sheets) I haven’t tried it yet, so let’s see if it will produce quality prints.
*MORE LDM TIPS:
1. If you order your prints from a photo lab, the store staff can usually check and resize your photos to make sure they’re suitable for printing. If you’re wary about resizing photos at home, you can usually ask the staff to do it for you. Some of our workshop participants shared that the Kodak branch at Glorietta did photo resizing for them.
2. FujiFilm (YKL Color) shops are able to print the not so usual photo sizes such as 6×8 inches (perfect for the 6×8 plastic page protectors that come in our starter kits) and 8×12 inches. The latter is perfect if you want to have square photos (4x4in) printed! You can put up to 6 square photos (4×4 in)
3. If you edit photos on your own, then bring to a lab to print, you can ask them to print “as is,” so they won’t color correct your photos. This is helpful if you’re more familiar with photo editing via Photoshop, InDesign, or similar software.
Choosing photos and printing photos may be the most time consuming part of memory-keeping, so see what will work best for you. It’s possible that your first process may not work out—we also had to experiment which options worked, and which ones didn’t. The important thing is that you’re able to get photos off your phones and memory cards, and external hard drives.
We’d love to hear from you! If you have other tips to share, or more questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.