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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Need advice on a lab to use.
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02/03/2012 02:54:42 PM · #1
After a few years of trying some new business ventures. I decided to start shooting again. I have been in the business on and off for many years. And I am experienced and familiar with most aspects of it. However, with technology changing so quickly. I am looking for a lab that I can simply upload my photos to. They will host an online portfolio of proofs for my clients. And that my customers can simply order what they would like printed and pay for it. How does this all work? Do I then get credited a certain amount of sales? Do the labs charge for hosting the proofs? I had run a color lab for years before the digital takeover. And I am VERY concerned about the quality of my finished product. Especially since I will not have a final quality control inspection. The final product will reflect my work as much as it will the lab. If not more. Senior picture season is fast approaching. So I guess what I am getting at is.......where would you go? I would love some feedback and suggestions. Thank you all in advance! B
02/03/2012 03:15:07 PM · #2
I believe SmugMug or Zenfolio would do the trick.

I've gotten prints from SmugMug and they are very well done.
02/03/2012 03:19:01 PM · #3
Thanks spork. I will do some research!
02/03/2012 03:21:37 PM · #4
DPC Zenfolio User's Group
02/03/2012 03:53:12 PM · #5
appreciate that!
02/03/2012 04:25:35 PM · #6
Exposuremanager. if you need a discount code I can help you out with that.
02/03/2012 05:00:44 PM · #7
If you go with Smugmug, be sure to select Bay Photo (pro service) as the service to be be used for all your orders. The default goes through another more consumer oriented service and it might be okay, but Bay does a really good job and has more advanced options.
02/03/2012 05:05:12 PM · #8
I appreciate the advice. I had a friend that used smugmug and wasn't happy with the quality. But that could be because of the service she used?
02/03/2012 05:30:03 PM · #9
Originally posted by parrothead:

I appreciate the advice. I had a friend that used smugmug and wasn't happy with the quality. But that could be because of the service she used?

Possibly she didn't use Bay Photo. It may have changed, but you used to need to specifically select them as the printing service used. That said, it's probably hard to base a service on what one customer says- did they send them images processed on a calibrated system, etc. I've had a positive experience using Bay Photo so far, but my volume hasn't been that high...
02/04/2012 05:04:56 AM · #10
Originally posted by MattO:

Exposuremanager. if you need a discount code I can help you out with that.

ditto! they have their own lab and i've been happy with the quality of what they've produced for me.

from a business standpoint, they also allow me to self-fulfill, meaning that i get an email when i get an order for something i have to produce. then i use a local lab. this gives me the opportunity to do my own hands-on quality control, as well as pack the envelope/boxes with my marketing collateral.

i'm extremely fortunate that my local lab is also an award-winning national lab. you might want to check them out, as well. richmond camera. they offer two print services: direct and lab-adjusted. the prices for direct are substantially lower, but you take all the risk in doing the post-production, matching color profiles, etc. with the lab-adjusted services, you send them your files and they guarantee the results. i use both, depending on what i've shot, and have been happy with both.
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