Recommendations for printing a lot of digital photos?
February 25, 2015 11:53 AM   Subscribe

I have an increasingly huge collection of digital family photos that I need to make hard copy backups of, and I'm looking for recommendations for a service to use.

My concerns are (in order):

1. Quality (both image and materials) of the reproductions.
2. Price relative to quality.
3. Security / privacy, if the files need to be delivered online.

All of the files have descriptive titles, so bonus points for vendors than can allow the file name to be printed somewhere on the physical photo.

I'm only looking for suggestions from people that have personal - and preferably repeat - experience with a vendor. Thanks in advance, hivemind!
posted by ryanshepard to Shopping (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Costco. They have ICC profiles. They can print file name on back.
posted by Sophont at 12:15 PM on February 25, 2015

Previously; it didn't get that many responses, but you could follow up with dmd, who asked the question.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:28 PM on February 25, 2015

I agree Costco usually does a good job and will redo it if there's a problem. I've printed thousands of photos there over the years. WHCC has also done excellent work for me albeit it a higher price point.

However, I would argue that printing is not a very good way to back up photos. It's extremely lossy. If you just happen to want prints, great, but if your goal is preservation of digital photos, I'd suggest doing proper data backups instead.....
posted by primethyme at 1:30 PM on February 25, 2015

If you just happen to want prints, great, but if your goal is preservation of digital photos, I'd suggest doing proper data backups instead.

I am - the hard copies are a failsafe, and a hedge against bitrot.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:34 PM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

My solution to this issue has been to make photo books with Shutterfly. I find the quality is very good, and they have frequent sales and/or Groupon which makes the cost reasonable. I also like it because it gives me an excuse to look back through my old photos in putting together the books. This won't be a good solution if you want to back up every single photo, or if you want the quickest option, but I like this approach becaues I actually do LOOK at the printed photos when they're in book form, which I hardly ever do with digital files (and likely wouldn't do with a big box of prints). YMMV, of course, but I've liked this approach.
posted by rainbowbrite at 2:07 PM on February 25, 2015

I don't think they offer the option to print file names, and it's been many years since I've used them, but FWIW I had a very positive experience with Snapfish photo printing. Looks like they're now nine cents per print. I had so many to print they advised me to send them on a disc, which I did. The quality was very good and I was pleased. I used them many times and the quality was consistent.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 2:13 PM on February 25, 2015

It's purely coincidental that this happened today, but I just received an order from WHCC, which included some photos I'd also had printed at Costco a couple of weeks ago. I've been using both Costco and WHCC for years, and have been happy with both. But looking at them side by side, it's actually stunning how much more accurate the colors from WHCC are. When I got the prints from Costco, they looked fine, but now that I can compare them directly, I see that they're pretty far off. Not sure if it's just a fluke, because I've had great results from Costco before, but something to be aware of...
posted by primethyme at 7:06 PM on February 25, 2015

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