Where to get Wedding Photos Printed
Where to get your Wedding Photos Printed in the UK
Today’s post is just a short one with a few recommendations on where to get your wedding photos printed in the UK. There are so many options, from printing them at home on your own printer or photo printer, to going to the high street and using one of the print machines in Boots or Jessops (these services are also offered online e.g. Snappy Snaps), or sending your wedding photos away to be printed by a professional lab. Each has its own merits, but I would strongly encourage you to opt for professional printing at a specialist lab. Read on to find out why.
DIY Home Printing
I have tried all three options for printing photographs, so I speak from experience. When I first got into photography I had a mini home photo printer that took cartridges that contained both paper and ink. The promise was that it was cheap, fast and easy to make prints. Whilst this was true, it was a frustrating experience as the colours coming out of the little printer were never true to the originals. The contrast was too high, and the colour hue was off. My photos never looked as good in print as they did on my computer screen, so I sold the little printer and started experimenting with high street prints instead. Home printers can be excellent for casual snaps of your everyday life, especially if you’re not a professional photographer. However, your professionally captured wedding photographs deserve better!
High Street Photo Printing
There are quite a few options for taking your photos to be printed on the high street, and you can get some good results. That said, a word of caution. The software used by the self-service machines at the likes of Boots and Jessops (and online at Snappy Snaps or similar) is designed for use with amateur photography. As such, it will default to ‘colour correction’ mode, adding contrast, sharpness and saturation to your images. The software may also crop your images slightly on the edges, making the assumption that you weren’t very specific with your composition to begin with and that the subject of your photo is centred. If you use high street printing services with professional wedding photography images, make sure that you opt out of any colour or density corrections. Your wedding photographer will already have done this for you, and making these adjustments again may compromise image quality in your final printed wedding photos.
Professional Lab Photo Printing
For the best quality prints, I highly recommend going to a professional lab. For all of my personal and professional film development and printing needs, I use either AG Photographic in Birmingham, or Digitalab in Newcastle*.
At a professional lab your digital files are checked by a specialist, in person, and either colour/density corrected individually, or left unchanged if requested. If your wedding photographer provides you with high resolution images for you to print yourselves, double check with them to see if they have a lab that they regularly use. They will know how their work looks best.
For all of my couples, no additional colour correction is required by your printing lab as I will have already taken the time to make these changes to the files before delivering your wedding photography collection to you.
*I am not affiliated with either of these companies. I receive no compensation from them, I speak from experience as a regular customer.
Matte vs Gloss Prints for Wedding Photography
The final decision to make before sending your wedding photos away to be printed is whether you would like gloss prints or matte prints, so I thought I would share a word of advice.
Glossy prints are beautiful. They’re punchy, high contrast, and look spectacular. That said, they’re not as good in frames as the glossy surface of each individual print can cause glare when placed behind a frame. Glossy prints are also prone to picking up finger prints if handled extensively. For this reason, I usually recommend and opt for matte in any of my own personal or professional print jobs.
There’s no right or wrong answer though, glossy vs matte is as much personal preference as any other aspect of photography. At a professional lab it is often possible to order a free sample of the different print finishes on offer. If you are ordering a large and important batch of photos, it is often worth the wait to receive the physical samples before placing your final order to ensure that you will be happy with the finished wedding prints. If you just want a print or two, or to pop a few prints in the post to family or friends, you might like to go glossy for ‘wow’ factor. For longevity and display purposes though, I recommend matte.
I hope this blog post has helped you make a decision about where to go to get your wedding photos printed in the UK. Whatever you do, don’t let that USB stick filled with happy memories languish in a drawer. Even if you only print one or two photos to put up around your home and keep the rest in the cloud or on your phone, having visible physical prints to hand to remind you of happy days can bring a lot of joy to your everyday life.