I frequently get asked “Do you do your photo printing at home or online?” When I first crossed into the digital age of photography and photo printing I purchased my own photo printer. I believe it was the Canon S9000 photo printer. At that time, in 2003 it was probably considered a middle of the line photo printer. I had high hopes that I could produce high quality and long lasting archival prints from this photo printer.
My years of experience with photo printing
My experience with photo printing started in a black and white darkroom while attending Harris County Junior College in Houston Texas in 1982. Then, for over 15 years while living in San Diego, California I managed a variety of retail chain stores for one hour photo printing. I started with a local chain called Film Express a few locations around the city. After that, I transitioned to another local chain with multiple locations. We operated for several years and took over a few Fotomat locations (yes, even a few of the little yellow huts). Fotomat was an American retail chain of photo development drive-through kiosks located in shopping center parking lots. Fotomat Corporation was founded by Preston Fleet in San Diego, California, in the 1960s, with the first kiosk opening in Point Loma, California, in 1965. The hardest part about the drive through kiosks was finding reliable people to sit in them all day. I recall having to cover occasionally for these employees- it was not very fun sitting in a box in a parking lot all day.
However, it was a fun time processing film and printing other peoples photos. We had a high volume photo printing shop on Coronado Island in San Diego. It is a large tourist destination and we would process hundreds and hundreds of rolls of film every day. At times, it got very stressful. I must admit, being so close to a military base, we certainly got to see some interesting and sometimes troublesome photos from local Marines and Navy personnel. I also recall one time working at the shop in the Hillcrest area where we had to stall the client picking up his one hour photos because they contained photos of minors in a compromising position. We called the police and he was detained and the photos were confiscated. I have some crazy stories and saw some magnificent photos from people who traveled all over the world.
During that time, I was not photographing too many horses- just scenery and nature. I did enjoy being able to do my own photo printing. After years of retail, I transitioned into a service tech position with Konica Corporation. I traveled up and down the west coast and serviced the one hour photo printing machines for Konica. It was a pretty lonely job, being on the road all the time. In 1997 I was forced to leave the tech job because of medical complications being exposed to the photo printing chemicals everyday.
Photo printing with my Horse photos
As the ebb and flow with horse photography swung again, I started shooting and printing again in the early 2000’s. Once I purchased my Nikon digital camera and Canon printer I was off doing photo printing again. My initial introduction with the Canon S9000 was not very good and never got better. With premium Canon photo printing paper and premium Canon inks – I still could not get the color correction right. I was wasting ink and paper in huge amounts. After some web searches and trials, I settled on Mpix Pro and Millers Lab for all my printing needs. No, there is no relation to Millers Lab. Miller’s Professional Imaging is the largest professional lab organization in the United States. ” In 1939, Bill Miller opened up a small photography studio in downtown Pittsburg, Kansas. In 2003, Miller’s launched Mpix, a fully web-based digital imaging lab to service both emerging professionals and photo enthusiasts. In 2009, MpixPro was launched, catering to single-studio photographers looking for price savings and simplicity. Miller’s Professional Imaging continues to support established photographers with a full service one-stop business model.”
I love their service and all their offerings. I have never had an issue with color or density! They provide extremely fast service and are very reliable. I love them both!!
Canvas photo printing
After participating in The Phippen Museum Art show , “Photographic talents of the West” and then winning the Phippen Award, I became interested in gallery wrapped canvas. Often called a
giclee or gallery wrap or canvas- it is the process of printing a digital file on canvas material and then stretching it over stretcher bars and it looks more like a painting. There’s no matting and does not even have to be any framing. The gallery wrap canvas is printed and ready to go!
For canvas photo printing I choose between Circle Graphics Pro (CG Pro) and Canvas on Demand Pro. CG Pro gives you the option of using a high density wood fiber board material or traditional stretched canvas over wooden bars. Canvas on Demand now offers both, as well. I typically use CG Pro for the smaller sizes and Canvas on Demand Pro for the larger sizes. Again, both companies have been great with color matching and quality. They both have excellent customer service and I’d recommend both.
Jody Miller is a professional photographer specializing in Horse Photography, Equine Photography, and Equestrian photography. Her work can be viewed online here in her gallery section, and she is also featured at these Arizona Galleries: Arts Prescott Gallery CO-OWNER, Dragonfly Arts in Cottonwood and Coops Coffee House at Talking Rock Ranch, Prescott Family Diner.