Printing your photographs

Kittens, do any of you get pictures printed to use for decorating? I've taken lots of pics and want to get some printed about 16x20 and I'm looking for recommendations for an online photo-printing business. (These are iphone pics, not fancy camera pics, so I realize there may be some limitations to how big they can go.)

I tried searching threads and didn't find anything, but please point me if I missed something. 


  • I was researching this not long ago to print out photos from the family reunion.  All the services have pros and cons.  Some are great for cheap prices; some are better for quality.

    Mpix came up often as having high quality prints. I think Shutterfly is cheaper but the quality isn't as good.   Once you give any of these outfits your email, you are going to get besieged with offers.  They are really in the business of getting you to turn your photos into self-published books, calendars, etc. 

    Consider costco or a local printing company, too.  One local printer did a really nice job printing a large photo that I needed for my work, and the cost was reasonable.  Look for someone who does blueprints for local businesses. 
  • I use photobox - I don't know if they are international! I've had a couple of big matte prints done as gifts, and also printing onto canvas. With photobox, when you put together an order it'll warn you if the pictures aren't high enough resolution to print the size you want to.
  • edited August 2015
    Thanks for the suggestions @foodycatAlicia and GinnyThePainter! photobox and mpix are new to me - I've used shutterfly for a calendar and haven't been super impressed, but for an inexpensive project they work pretty well. 

    Turns out photobox is an option for Canada but not for the US. booooo. 
  • edited August 2015
    @heybethpdx  I’ve wondered about this too!  Please let us know how it turns out for you.

    Forgive me if any of the following is too obvious to be stated:

    I especially like large-scale photo prints, but my photos aren't high-res.  So I’ll be having 3 related photos printed as large as possible, then matted/framed as a triptych.  Or, less expensive, I might just buy 3 identical, plain frames and hang them together as either a horizontal or vertical triptych.

    (If you love the images but the colors are too clash-y:  black and white prints are high-impact, and make really nice triptychs.)
  • @WinterWhite, I like your ideas! I am going to see HOW big I can go with my photos, but if it's not big enough I'll use a mat to add some volume, I think. I don't think I want to be locked into a triptych - that's a major commitment! :)
  • @WinterWhite, I like your ideas! I am going to see HOW big I can go with my photos, but if it's not big enough I'll use a mat to add some volume, I think. I don't think I want to be locked into a triptych - that's a major commitment! :)

    "Locked into a triptych":  omg that does sound scary. :D   But I'm not as young as I used to be – and I've already had a LOT of single photos...truth be told, even a diptych!  (Only once, though, I swear!)  So I'm ready, I'm going for that big commitment. :)

  • Thanks for starting this thread heybethpdx. This is something I've wanted to do for a while but have been too lazy to do any research on...why didn't I think of asking the BKs? We have a lot of blank walls...I'm going to have to consider a quadtych.
  • edited August 2015
    Zoeg said:
    We have a lot of blank walls...I'm going to have to consider a quadtych.
    @Zoeg ; :)   Ya supa freak-ay, yow!

    The calendars and postcards and other things I've seen from online printing services have all been disappointing, just as heybethpdx said.  But the photos I'd like to have printed are a little dreamy-abstract to begin with, so I wouldn't require perfection.

    BTW:  A pen pal told me she ordered a Mosaic book for each of the friends who'd gone on a girls-getaway with her, using photos she took of them all on the trip.  The books are $20 each, and really cute...and she said her photos looked very pretty  on the black pages she chose.  She was just really pleased with them; even the packaging looks nice.  Sounded like such a nice keepsake.
  • I just used Snapfish for my family photos.  The largest I printed was a 20X30 and four 11X14.  I was so happy with how they turned out.  

    I had a coupon code as well and with shipping and tax the 5 prints were $28.  
  • Target actually does a reasonably decent job.  That's where I get most of mine done.
  • edited August 2015
    You all have some great ideas. We have actually printed a triptych for my husband's office, in three identical framed sizes. A grouping like that looks really handsome and makes a nice impact. The photos are 11x14, matted so the finished results are 18x24 framed. One is horizontal, placed in the center of the two vertical shots. They are shots of nature, taken by him, in color, but subdued tones, with a lot of shadowy tones in greys. For example, one vertical is bare spring tree trunks in fog, with yellow flowers blooming at the forefront, on the forest floor. We did go to a local fine photography shop, as these are old-school, from slides, not digital. 
  • @Qitkat ; That sounds really beautiful!  And thoughtfully-planned, which is the key to a triptych – gives both the eye and the mind something to engage with.

    @TravelingDesign ; Glad to hear such a positive review; Snapfish hadn't been on my radar.  And even if that was a really generous coupon, the price is much lower than I'd expected!
  • I'm so glad this thread is here! After our wedding I printed the professional's shots of our guests to include in their Thank You cards (How often does anyone really get their photo taken by a pro, I figured.) since we couldn't include EVERY photo of EVERY guest in the album.... I wish this thread was available then, though, because I bit my tongue and went to Wal-Mart despite hating everything the company stands for. It was cheap and fast. But I felt dirty. I printed some larger versions of my favorite shots at a locally owned store... it was just too expensive to do everything there.
  • @winterwhite  they had prints 60% off!  So, I was very pleased.  I always Google for coupon codes when I shop online if thesite isn't offering one.  They also have an option to pick up your prints in store.  I think it was Target, Walgreens or Wal-Mart.  But, that wasn't an option for the 20X30 and well, I enjoy things being delivered to my doorstep. =) 

    I'm still a bit old school about my photo albums.  I go buy an album from the store and print out the 4X6s on my home printer (it's a 8 year old Canon but it works really well). I just love the process.  
  • I've used Costco a bunch of times. Had them do a bunch of B&W photos (8x10) from color photos of hieroglyphics I took on a previous trip to Egypt. They turned out really cool. I've also done large poster size photos too.
  • Costco has a 16x20 prints for $5.99 right now.
  • My boyfriend just used Costco to print a large family photo as a gift for his mom's birthday and he was really pleased with their service.  Out of the places he looked in to (Target, Shutterfly, etc.) it was the cheapest and the fastest.  Of course you need the membership card to use it.  Though he borrowed his brother-in-law's to do it. 
  • I print out the best of my vacation prints and hang them on the wall of my bathroom.  

    They get rotated out after the next vacation.  I may keep one exceptional photo out for the long term

  • @hoopoe that's a great idea! 

    I make a photo calendar each year and give a copy to my immediate family and to my BFF who has asked to get a copy. I've tried to discontinue in the past but so far there is still a little demand. When I worked in a cube I kept the old calendars and hung up the pages and changed the display seasonally, but I don't bother now that I work from home. I'll consider getting a bulletin board and decorating someday! 
  • I'm a fan of multi-photo frames (the BBB by me ALWAYS has a 7-frame option for $10, $8 with their ubiquitous coupons) and then I use Target to print them.  In fact, having them delivered to me is CHEAPER than picking them up there.  

    Other than that I don't have much advise, dontgotostaples
  • I use Nations Photolab to print my images for sale.  I've found that their color quality is great.  They are having a sale right now on prints.  I'm a bit spoiled because they are 20 min from me and I can go and pick up my prints on the way to Wegmans :)

    Mpix is also great, but make sure you are ordering through their pro lab, not the standard lab.  I've had some poor quality prints through the regular lab.  

  • We used CVS to print photos from the wedding for Christmas. They came out good, but probably more money than I was interested in paying but we got our photos so close to the holiday we didn't have much of a chance to shop around.

    Now that we're settled in the house, we're probably going to print some photos from the wedding.  I want to order a big print and I'll probably use an online photo lab to do that but I think the photos that will be going in the smaller frames I can get away with using wal-mart or cvs again. Maybe snapfish. 

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