Digital Processing and Creativity
Digital Photography has introduced new creative opportunities for photographers and for consumers. Brides have more choices and options than ever before. Between online services and cameras on every cell phone most people rarely produce prints anymore. Weddings, however, continue to be a time when people produce prints. The images that I provide are of sufficient quality to produce large 20 X 30 artisan size prints.
I believe that my customers should own/control their images, so every package includes high quality digital images and full reproduction rights. I do provide online galleries for the convenience of my clients. However, there are great consumer services that are free that you can use to order prints and share images with friends and family. I am happy to recommend software and services in the following sections that I have tried and I like.
Given that some people still like to have a physical album with prints, I decided that I would quickly design and assemble an album for each customer rather than going through the longer laborious process of collaborative album design. This allows me to deliver the images and albums to my customers faster, so they can start their own creative journey. I don’t hold my customers images hostage, or charge them a huge markup on prints. My customers are free to use their images in their own creative ways.
In my studio office, I use Adobe Lightroom – which is amazing for organizing images and for developing digital negatives, and Adobe Photoshop for any high quality retouching. However there are many other less expensive tools available to the consumer:
Pixlr – This tool is from Autodesk, and is available as an app for your Android or iPhone.
Picasa – This free tool from Google was my favorite, but is being shut down.
Printing and Creative
I have tried a bunch of “consumer” digital printing services and here are those that I recommend:
AdoramaPix.com – Adorama is a New York company with a long reputation of servicing the photography business, that also has a digital creativity service including paper prints to all kinds of art prints, posters, books, albums. They have a high level of service and a easy-to-use website. The sister company Adorama Camera has been around as a professional and hobbyist camera store since 1976.
Snapfish.com– Launched in 1999, Snapfish is one of the oldest and most feature rich online digital print processing and creative service providers. It is now owned by HP and is better than ever. Snapfish also has local pickup through Wal-mart, Walgreens, and CVS stores.
Shutterfly.com – Also launched in 1999, Shutterfly is huge for creating photobooks. They have been growing by acquiring other smaller sites and partnering with other creative brands. You will be amazed at the kind of things you can do through Shutterfly.
Walgreens.com or Wal-mart.com – I have tried a bunch of pure consumer online services and Walgreens & Wal-mart actually deliver consistently high quality prints. They also have the one day service if you want to pick up in your local store.
500px.com – This is more of a photographer’s hobby or professional site, and is not free, it provides a huge amount of storage online for very little money.
Smugmug – This is really a professional photographer’s site, and provides options to sell prints on-line but you can also use this to set up galleries that you can share with friends.
Flickr – This is a free service now owned by Yahoo, and provide a huge, HUGE amount of storage for photos. It is great for sharing and has apps for iPhone and Android.