?Labs for senior portraits?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by scott_gardner|1, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Hi all;

    I'm new to this forum, because, well, I didn't know it was here until
    recently. Long time photonetter, though. When I search "senior
    portraits" this forum dominates the results.

    I got drafted to make senior portraits for the daughter of a friend.
    Choices are already made and I need to find a lab that will put her
    name and "06" (in gold of course) in the bottom corner.

    Small volume here -- only 25 each of three different pix. Small

    What U.S. based lab(s) have you used that can do this well?

    Any other suggestions to illuminate my ignorance of the process
    gratefully received! I'm sure I've missed a lot!

    TIA!/Scott Gardner
  2. Scott - As a believer in using local labs.. It would be really helpful to know where you are.

    If you scroll down the Wedding Forum threads.. You will see a thread where you can add your city/state. I will then add your city/state to your name. It is for Wedding Forum contributors - something the other forums don't and won't do.. (Great deal of work involved.) but it is something I feel is crucial to the many wedding photographers here on this forum. More info in the thread below.
  3. A friend of mine uses www.mpix.com. This site can be used by both pros and consumers - so you can order as few photos as needed without having to go through the work to become a member/account holder at a lab.
    But if you're looking for a full time pro lab I use these three (all located in Midwest.)
    Hope this helps.
    Samantha Bender
  4. try Austin Photo http://www.greatlab.com. Call me and I will be able to work out details. I just set up the website, but have not yet included package printing, which is what I specialize in.
  5. Mary, I too prefer to support local business whenever I can. Still buy my proof albums from a small place that's a local call away.

    Unfortunately, labs are dropping like flies in this area. A lot of the film based shops didn't make the digital transition quickly enough and, like the dinosaurs of old, are now extinct.

    That said, I'm in SE Michigan. Which would lead most people to recommend North American Photo. To which I reply "NOT!" Snooty and overpriced, in my direct experience.

    Certainly open to other suggestions. :D

  6. Scott, I can't stand NAP either. Been there, done that. Have you tried Michigan Photo in Saginaw? I think they're pretty pricey, but I know they emboss. Kalamazoo Color Lab I have also used many times and been very happy, and their prices are reasonable as well. ALso, I've been nothing but impressed with MPIX. You can get name and year put on yourself in PS and then send them the file. Hope this helps!
  7. Scott, It's really easy to add the name in with photoshop and have whatever lab you like do the prints.
  8. I agree with David and Jen that you CAN add the name in PS, but you better find out what the customer wants. Years ago when I got my senior pics taken, My photographer added my name like you can in photoshop. (Don't ask me how she did it pre digital???) Anyway, I was upset that mine were not like all my friends with the gold foil embossing! You better make sure that she likes the PS name vs the gold foil embossing before you do it. I use Allied Photo Lab in Michigan. www.alliedphoto.com
  9. Scott,

    For years I have been using American Color Imaging, their prices are excellent and they offer fantstic quality.

    They also help you with packages allowing you to use your creative side while they deal with ordering and organization.

    You can check their website http://www.acilab.com
    Greg Khitrov
  10. In Holland, MI, West Michigan Photo Works www.wmphotoworks.com does the foil embossing, has all the digital ordering interfaces (ROES) and doesn't treat anyone like an annoyance when they get called with questions (lots of questions sometimes). Pricing is comparable to most, less than the rest.
  11. First of all, thanks for all the very helpful suggestions!

    I clicked the button to be "notified of responses" and wasn't notified so I assumed there weren't any.

    This senior does indeed want gold embossing so the lab will have to be able to do that. I'll check into the ones listed above and sort out which makes the most sense for this little project.

    Thanks again!/ScottGee1
  12. OK. Here's a bit of follow-up on my experiences with the recommended labs:

    ACI: Don't want to do business with me unless I want to switch all my work over to them.

    West Michigan: Very nice, but as an afterthought I asked which colorspace they use. She said "RGB98". Yikes! First portrait lab I've encountered that uses anything but sRGB as a standard. She double checked and the boss informed her sRGB is used "only for the Web". Yeah, right. See: http://shootsmarter.com/infocenter/wc025.html
    for more info. If you're not a member, I'd suggest you join. LOTS of good info and it's free.

    Allied: Nice splash page. The links don't seem to work so I couldn't contact them.

    Kalamazoo Color: They may be the one I use if only by default. The offer the service and reasonable turnaround.

    H&H: Put me into an endless phone loop.

    White House Custom: Does not offer stamping service.

    MPIX/Miller's: MPIX doesn't stamp but Miller's does and like ACI do not want single orders.

    So, there that's where I am at this point. Thanks again for the info and suggestions!

  13. Update: Allied's page eventually came up. I'm working on a T2 line in my office so it sure wasn't a restriction on my side. ;o)

    Also, remembered doing business with JD Color Lab in Flint, MI back in the medium format days and contacted them. They can stamp and appear to have a simple Web interface and decent prices.


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