by Tom Lee Published 01/04/2014
Professional laboratories are the photographer's friend. I think we all appreciate that sending images to a 'quickfixinstantphotolab.com' online printer will not get the job done, so engage with your pro lab and strike up a relationship with them. They usually like to speak personally with their clients and are very willing to show them their facilities, explain their products and services and, above all can put a face to their client. It's a fact that they sometimes get it wrong, but a quick phone call to the lab and it's usually sorted pronto! They know they're not dealing with an idiot because they've met you and they want to keep your custom - but you will pay a premium for it. After all you want your clients to pay a premium for your work, don't you?
If I send anything out to a lab for processing, it goes to Loxley Colour in Scotland, a cool 243 miles and just 4 hours from home base...
not what you call local! I do not advocate that everyone should use Loxley (we all have our favourites), but I have been dealing with them for almost 20 years, visited their current and previous premises, know many of the staff involved in their work and they know me. Take time to reacquaint yourself with them at every opportunity, (Societies' roadshows and Convention), I don't make the trip to Glasgow every week!
Being a 'professional' requires an investment on your part, either in time, money and, most of the time, both, so you owe it to yourself to take time (don't rush or leave everything to the last minute); spend your money to get the results you demand from your lab. There is a reason professional prints cost more; don't take the 'offer' option.
We all work to a budget, and sometimes things do get tight. When this happens it may be better to skip the process of qualification or competition for six months, until you can deliver a body of work you can be truly proud of. This will ensure you give your prints the very best chance of success.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
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