Where and how to print your photos?

Want to immortalise the holiday photos you took with your smartphone or digital camera on paper? This guide will help you find the best option, depending on your expectations and budget.

Using an online photo service

You surf to the website of a photo service or retail chain that offers this service. Sometimes you have to download a program to upload your photos, but increasingly you can upload them directly on the website.

Make sure you find the necessary information: costs, print formats, accepted file formats, general terms and conditions, delivery time, etc. Also check how easy it is to place an order.

Photo editing options vary: from just re-framing (“cropping”) to changing the brightness and contrast and eliminating red eyes. Some photo services “overcorrect” your photos, making the result no longer look natural (e.g. too red, too yellow). This is why we think you and not the lab should have the choice and control.

Some websites also offer the possibility to create a virtual album, which can be accessed via a password. This is useful if you or your friends want to order doubles. Often, you can also have the photos delivered in a real album. The delivery time usually varies between 2 and 7 days. Either you get your order sent by post, or you go and pick them up at a shop you have chosen from a list.

Finally, many websites also allow you to order personalised calendars, cards (postcards or greeting cards) or other special products.

If you are looking for the best photo quality, without considering other criteria, you should be at Cewe, Kruidvat and Pixum, according to our latest test of photo albums. See all the results of our test of photo albums, in “landscape” A4 format and with hardcover, on our buying guide of online photo services.

Compare online photo services

Through a photo shop
You go to a photo shop with your camera, the memory card or a CD containing the photos. This solution is ideal if you have no internet connection or computer, or if using an online photo service puts you off. If necessary, a seller can help you load the files onto the computer. Sometimes, by the way, he will do it himself.

Since their size is 10×13 cm, while classic photos measure 10×15 cm, digital photos are often reframed (“cropped”) or have white borders added to them. This editing is possible in almost all shops. Sometimes the seller will do them for you. You can also ask to enhance your photos by adjusting the brightness and getting rid of contrast or red eyes.

Finally, your photos will either be printed directly in the shop (but then the photo quality will not be optimal), or sent to an external photo lab. In the latter case, you have to count on a waiting time of 2 to 7 days. Moreover, this usually costs more than an online photo service.

Via a photo kiosk
You can find photo kiosks in shopping centres or railway stations. Some shops also provide a self-service machine, i.e. without the help of a salesperson. You have to insert your memory card into the machine yourself. As editing, you can only reframe. And as a format, only 10×15 cm is available.

The advantage is that, just like in shops, you don’t need a computer or internet connection. Within minutes you get your photos in your hands. Often, however, the cost is higher and the result not as good quality.

With a photo printer

Some choose to print photos at home, even though it is quite expensive. This usually involves just a few photos they need right away or because they like the charm of photos made by mini photo printers (smaller size, self-adhesive …). If you want to know more about them, take a look at our buying guide printers. A4 printing

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