Digital photo printing has become
quite important in our field since we began using digital
cameras. However, due to the nature of our business several factors
should be examined. Before we begin, there are different schools of
thought as to whether we should even be using digital photos. We offer this piece for those who are using it.
Digital Photo Printing - In-House or
Of course most agencies would prefer
to handle all of their digital photo printing in house, but this is
not always practical. Replacement ink cartridges can be very costly,
the printing process can be extremely time consuming with most
printers, and personnel can be utilized better than being assigned to
watch a printer that takes as long as several minutes for each
photo to print.
You might question the outsourcing of
something as important as digital photo printing, but most agencies
were doing this when we were still using conventional cameras. Today,
there are numerous companies which provide digital photo printing
services. Many allow you to simply email them the images, and they
will mail you the actual photos when they are ready.
The decision to keep digital photo
printing in-house or outsourcing it should be determined by the needs
of your department.
Choosing a Digital Photo Printing
If you opt to outsource your digital
photo printing, choosing the right service will be an important
The company you should check first
will be the one you were using for your film processing prior to
getting a digital camera. After all, you probably chose them before
because they were trustworthy.
If for some reason they cannot do it
or you decide against them, the search begins.
Your choice will be between a local
photography store and one of the online services.
Local Photography Stores for
Digital Photo Printing
The benefits to choosing a local
shop will include personalized, professional service, priority
processing, and more control. Just make sure that they are doing it
in-house and not farming it out. The main benefit should be the
fact that only specific, previously approved personnel will have
access to the photos. This is a very important feature for digital
photo printing of graphic scenes and high profile incidents. We'll
talk more about this later.
When dealing with a local shop, it
is a good idea to create a contract with the company. The contract
can stipulate many things including which employees will have access
to the digital photos, privacy conditions to ensure that no extra
copies of the photos are made or distributed, and your photos to be
the priority job when requested.
Online Digital Photo Services
These services have come a long
way. They are fast, convenient, reliable and affordable. The
downside is that you have no idea who is seeing the actual photos.
These services should be avoided when the photos are of graphic
scenes or potentially high-profile incidents. They should be fine,
though, for other incidents.
The Cost of Digital Photo Printing
The good news is that prices for
outsourcing digital photo printing have gradually come down making it
even more tempting to outsource. In fact, pricing for digital
photo printing has come down to as little as just .10 per photo. (Dimeprints.com
7/2/05) Below are some others:
1 Hour Photo Service
from .19. Can be picked up from local store one hour after
From .29 per
Whatever you decide, just make sure
you do your homework. We are in a sensitive business, and photos
falling into the wrong hands just cannot happen.
Digital Photo Printing