I don't want my mother to see these photos, and I don't want strangers seeing them, either.
August 20, 2008 7:03 AM   Subscribe

As a gift for my husband, I took some saucy pictures. The pictures are nothing by the standards of the internet, but not the type of thing I'd be comfortable sending to Target or Wal-Mart to print out. Are there any discrete online digital photo printing services you'd recommend? Or should I just buy a photo printer? Which one?

I have nightmares about people saving copies for themselves or, worse yet, posting them in the internet. Seriously, I needed a few drinks to do this in the first place, so I don't want anyone looking at me unless it's my husband. I've found a few online services that claim to be confidential, but I'm not 100% convinced. I would like to hear from the AskMetafilter community before making up my mind.

And, while it's besides the point, yes, I trust my husband with these completely.

I'm in the United States and the pictures are a surprise.

What should I buy if I end up going the photo printer route? I'd prefer to spend under $130.
posted by anonymous to Technology (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Canon Pixma printers are pretty good. I've had a 510 for a year now and the prints are fantastic. Here's a link to the 520 on Amazon.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:14 AM on August 20, 2008

I'd get a printer, for sure.
posted by neblina_matinal at 7:18 AM on August 20, 2008

Photo printer. Absolutely no question. There is no other way that you can guarantee that the operator of the machine hasn't kept a couple for 'personal use'.
posted by Brockles at 7:22 AM on August 20, 2008

Buy. A. Printer. In any situation where you give access to these to anyone other than yourself and your husband, you are nearly guaranteed that someone will copy them. Why risk it?
posted by griffey at 7:26 AM on August 20, 2008

I think you should do this yourself, not at least for peace of mind.

Second the Canon Pixmas. I use mine (600-something) for band flyers, promo photos, promo kits, small editions of CDs, photos for friends and family.. everything looks and feels professional.

Paper is important. This is what makes anyone think it is professionaly done. Get some good paper (glossy photo paper, also available from Canon) and your're good to go. And you can try out a few prints see how they are.

And your husband will think happy thoughts about you every time he prints something on that printer...
posted by gmm at 7:26 AM on August 20, 2008

Thirding the Canon Pixmas. I hadn't used ink jets in a long long time - mainly because I was sick of the crap photo quality (streaks etc).

But I got a Pixma bundled with a new camera I bought and am now absolutely blown away by the photo quality. I think the technology has improved a lot since I last used an ink jet photo printer.

Get good quality paper too (I've been using "Kodak Premium Photo Paper", around $20 for 50 sheets of Letter Size), the right settings when printing and a good printer (I have a Pixma IP4500, looks like it is around $90 online). While you don't get much free ink with the printer, it should be more than enough to print off 20 photos.
posted by schwa at 7:34 AM on August 20, 2008

You might just want to keep them digital and hand him a flash drive or something. Perhaps not as romantic but I think thats how most dudes are used to their pictures of naked chicks.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 7:37 AM on August 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh - and if you want to go really cheap - but can face the potential embarrassment. You can go into any Wolf Camera/Ritz Camera store and print them yourself from a kiosk thingie. You might have to deal with people accidentally glimpsing what you're printing - but that's preferable than risking them appearing all over the internet.

Personally I'd go ink jet.
posted by schwa at 7:39 AM on August 20, 2008

You might just want to keep them digital and hand him a flash drive or something.

Encrypt it!
posted by poppo at 7:42 AM on August 20, 2008

For about the same price as a printer you could put them on a digital photo frame. He won't accidentally leave one out sometime, or lose them, and some frames have batteries so he could enjoy them anywhere he was comfortable. Digital copies are far easier to reproduce than paper ones, but if you trust him you trust him.
posted by Science! at 8:01 AM on August 20, 2008

Buy a photo printer, such as the cheapie Canon ones listed above. I get my photo paper at Costco, 150 sheets for $19.95.
posted by Lynsey at 10:25 AM on August 20, 2008

nthing the canon pixmas. be sure to get quality photo paper, otherwise the pictures will come out looking crappy.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:42 AM on August 20, 2008

Photo printer. Most photography sites generally suggest either Canon or Epson photo printers, with everything else as also-rans.
posted by rodgerd at 12:07 PM on August 20, 2008

Some of the higher-end printing services are likely to be trustworthy (they deal with this sort of thing all the time and have reputations to protect), but that's probably out of your price range. And unless you go to a local one, you also have the whole mail thing to worry about. Basically, you'd look for local printers that do most of their business with professional photographers - who worry at least as much about copyright violations and unauthorized copying as you are in this situation.

My wife does boudoir photography and she has her own HQ printer for this reason, most clients want to minimize the number of people who have access to the photos (standard procedure is she shoots, edits, customer reviews, prints, and then deletes - obviously they still have to trust her, but that's half the deal with that kind of photography).
posted by wildcrdj at 12:40 PM on August 20, 2008

As an aside, you are an awesome wife for doing this in the first place, especially given your stage fright. Well done!
posted by scrump at 3:53 PM on August 20, 2008

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