In this age of smartphones and digital cameras, taking photos has never been easier! The days of 1-hour photo lab and little kiosks are over. Now, there is absolutely no film to develop. Anyone can take a photo and store it or upload it on the device – smartphone or computer.
Each year over 1 trillion pictures are taken and some of them are truly spectacular. However, many of these images are lost due to phone damages, loss of phones, or the image getting deleted or owners not uploading them to a PC.
And even though social media has changed the way we consume and share images with friends and family, make no mistake that physical photos are still popular. Print photos have come back into style in recent years, and so have printing services! The days of developing film may have been over, but the desire to have a photograph as an object has never faded. Now, in place of the 1-hour-photo booths, there are endless online printing services, most of which produce far better results than the kiosks ever did.
To preserve them forever, you are going to need a quality photo printing service and the good news is that there are a ton of options to choose from. As a result, you can find a high-quality printing service for a very affordable price online.
Needless to say, your photos deserve a better showcase than just a mobile screen. Goodsworth explores and rate the best online photo printing services to try out and fill you in on which offer the lowest prices, the best user experience, and the highest-quality prints.
Best for High Quality Prints and Professionals: Nations Photo Lab
Prints have bright, accurate colours and are sharp and detailed even at the larger sizes that many similar services struggle with.
Best for Photo Gifts: Shutterfly
You can have your images printed on everything from shower curtains to pet bowls, flowerpots to pillows, tea towels to coffee mugs
Best for Mobile Printing and Sturdy Package: Printique
If most of your shots are taken on your phone, the editing and upload process is noticeably quicker and easier.
Best for Large Canvas Prints: CanvasPop
The company specializes in printing on canvas, and if you’re after a particularly large feature piece, this is the place to get it.
Best for Quality Prints and Paper: Mpix
Mpix earns a rare higher rating. An excellent interface, lots of paper choices, sturdy packaging, and top-notch image results all make it a service worth seeking out.
Best for Online Galleries and Low Cost: Amazon Prints
Amazon Prints delivers decent print quality at a bargain price. Its web interface is less sophisticated than you’d expect from Amazon.
Best on a Budget: Snapfish
The app and Web interface are both easy to use, quickly taking you through the various cropping and editing options.
Best for Gallery-Style Prints: Whitewall
With inexpensive worldwide shipping, the company specializes in ready-to-hang prints that wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery.
Our Top 5 Picks
National Photo Lab
· Amazing photo quality
· Protective delivery packaging
· TIFF file support
· Multiple print surface options
· Multiple picture shapes
· Comparatively expensive
· Web interface isn’t the slickest
· No photo-editing tools
· No online gallery sharing
· Excellent interface and options
· Some of the best packaging available
· Great photo quality
· Online gallery sharing·
. Terrific website interface
· Glossy prints cost more
· Prices on the high end
· No TIFF or PNG support
· Excellent photo quality
· Extensive product lineup
· Intuitive web interface with online gallery sharing
· Vast selection of photo-printed gift options
· Prints text of your choice on back of photos
· Good delivery packaging
· Slightly blurry test photos
· Expensive for larger print sizes
· Weak online photo editing
· High shipping prices
· Excellent print quality
· High-grade print paper
· TIFF and large files support
· Superior website usability and features
· Fast and Protective shipping container
· Photo editing
· Fewer printed gift options than competitors
· Excellent print quality
· Colour and lighting correction
· Money-back guarantee
· Protective shipping
· Includes mounting brackets
· No cropping tool
· Long delivery time
See Comparison Table below
What You Should Know About Online Photo Printing Services
Note that the same image with the same photo service can yield drastically different print results from one size to the next. If you are only interested in printing 4x6s and 5x7s, probably just about any photo service can get you decent prints. But once you start moving toward less common print sizes, print quality can suffer. Be especially careful if you are ordering wallets, as only a few services provide wallet-size images that are of better quality. Most of the others will provide outcomes that are either too dark or washed out.
Less is More, Sometimes
So often, saving money means receiving a lower quality product. However, this is not the case with photo printing services. Some of the most affordable services offer the highest quality photos (Shutterfly, for instance offers one of the best). There’s no need to pay much more for photo prints. If you do, you might be disappointed with the results.
Original Image Quality
You do not want to pay for a service that will send you lackluster prints. If you have the means, try as many services as possible. You can start with small sizes first to view the outcome. If you’re pleased, then you go ahead. And if your image is not great, expect your reprints to be just as bad or worse. Even the best photo service can’t make up for a bad image.
Black and White
Getting a service that will produce a good black and white photo print can be tough. Most of the services are pretty hit and miss in producing high quality black and white prints. Unless you order your same black and white photo from several photo services, it’s difficult to know who’s going to give you a good black and white print and who’s not.
Different Services for Different Needs
Some photo printing service websites are way too complex for those of us who aren’t professional photographers. There are some services that are intended for professional photographers, while some are designed for the consumer just looking for a cute Christmas present or birth announcement. The Best Overall winner, Shutterfly, is easy to use and offers enough variety for the shopping needs of the average consumer while delivering high-quality prints that professionals would appreciate.
That being said, services like Nations Photo Lab and MPix offer a few extra features that photographers might find helpful. Drop shipping, custom framing options, and extremely secure packaging might not be necessary for the average consumer, but certainly worth considering for a client.
Reviews of the Online Photo Printing Services
Nations Photo Lab
National Photo Lab is a fantastic option if you are looking for high-quality photo printing services. Its reliable shipping and friendly prices too makes it a terrific service. Prints have bright, accurate colours and are sharp and detailed even at the larger sizes that many similar services struggle with.
The site offers a wide variety of photo paper options, including glossy, metal and textured linen, in a vast array of sizes. Whether you want tiny shots to keep in your wallet, large photos up to 30 x 45 inches to hang on the wall or anything in between, you’ll find it here.
It covers a wide variety of print surfaces that include lustre, metallic, glossy, and linen, while also offering a variety of photo books and albums to choose from. This is perfect for a family album or to capture an entire event like a wedding or holiday.
When it comes to shipping, no other online printing services match the protective shipping containers. Your photos will come in a double-layered cardboard container that makes it nearly impossible to receive bent photos in the mail. Prints usually take two to three days to arrive, although that can vary based on quantity, time of year and your location.
You can use either the company’s website to edit and upload a few images for printing or the ROES desktop app that speeds up the process for larger orders and gives more editing options.
If you are looking for a huge variety of print and gift options with reasonable prices, and excellent photo quality, the look the Shutterfly way!
This service takes the lead when it comes to photo gifts. But of course, the Shutterfly product lineup is much more extensive than just prints and photo books. It offers a huge variety of customizable holiday cards, invitations, calendars, canvas prints, home decor, flowerpots to pillows, tea towels to coffee mugs and even specialty items for kids and pets. The options seem almost endless, meaning you should have no problem finding a fun gift option.
Images can be uploaded directly via the app or website or pulled in from Facebook or Instagram. Shutterfly’s editing options are limited, so if you want your photos to look a particular way, you may want to tweak them ahead of time.
Prices are mid-range, and you’ll typically get better standard prints from one of the other services listed here. When you want to see your photo on something weird and wonderful, however? Shutterfly’s the way to go.
And if you’re looking for a great photo book, you can design your own from its many styles and sizes, or from $29.99 there’s a “Make My Book” service. Make My Book allows you to hire a Shutterfly designer to take your photos and turn them into a beautiful book within three business days. You receive the final design, add any finishing touches, and pay for the book only if you decide to order the finished product.
With over 20 years in existence, Printique knows how to print high-quality photographs. There’s plenty to like about their service, from quality photos to competitive pricing, but it’s the company’s mobile app that particularly stands out. If most of your shots are taken on your phone, the editing and upload process is noticeably quicker and easier as a result.
It excels at providing a host of printing options including photographs, book covers, coffee mugs, acrylic, and canvas prints, calendars, and so much more. If you want to add your photo to a specific object, odds are Printique can do it.
One of the biggest concerns people have about ordering photos online is the delivery process. After all, you don’t want your photos bent, but that’s not a concern at Printique. All photos are delivered in a cardboard package to ensure nothing is out of place.
Print quality is very good, with high-quality papers, accurate colours, and good detail. There are plenty of choices for the size and type of print you’d like, from calendars to photo books, and metal, wood, and canvas in addition to standard papers. Pricing is in line with other online print services, and shipping takes around three days.
Whether you’re using the app or website, the company gives several options for how you’d like to crop your photos if needed. Helpfully, it also won’t let you use a photo that would result in a poor-quality print because it’s too small. It’d be nice if other companies did this!
If you’re looking to print high-quality canvas and framed prints with personalized attention and customer service, then look no further!
Rather than trying to be all things to all people, CanvasPop focuses on doing one thing particularly well. As the name suggests, the company specializes in printing on canvas, as well as framed prints, photo collages, and triptychs. And if you’re after a particularly large feature piece, this is the place to get it.
Using high-quality printers and archival quality canvas that’s rated to last over a hundred years, CanvasPop laminates and stretches all canvases by hand, and applies a protective UV coating to prevent fading. Not happy with the result? They’ll reprint or refund without question.
Sizes start at 8 x 10 inches for both framed and unframed prints, but you can order anything up to a huge 76 x 38 inches through the site, with non-standard options available as custom orders. You can also spread one image across up to four canvases, and create collages or panoramas as well.
If you’re looking for something beyond canvas prints, the company offers a few other options, too, including fun products such as photo pillows and magnets.
Although CanvasPop’s ordering process is fast, customers can expect a delay of one to three days, as each canvas print is reviewed by a real person. The company also frequently offers specials that can lower the overall price of an order by as much as 50%.
MPix is well-known for high-end photo printing service that appeals to professional photographers. It prints on Kodak Endura paper, and offers a variety of paper options.
The service offers a good variety of customizable photo products, like birth announcements, several kinds of photo books, holiday cards, metal collages, photo ornaments, and keepsake boxes.
it has a really nice phone app that allows you to print in a variety of sizes. You can print the photo immediately after taking it on your phone, which is great for those that don’t like to wait. However, you can also use the website to upload straight from your computer.
The website is simple to use. You can import images from the most popular social networks and photo backup services like Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Unfortunately, Instagram isn’t on the list. Once your images are in your MPix account you can order prints in virtually any size, including options tailored to images for your phone (4 x 5.3 inches, for example). There are also options to print on canvas, wood prints, and more.
It is important to point out it has limited options for a 4:3 ratio that all smartphones use. Thus, that might be a deal ender for some.
It’s not the cheapest service, but MPix frequently has sales.
The Amazon Prints offerings are pretty basic, but the photo quality is respectable, the price is reasonable, and prints can be mailed to you for free. The Amazon Photos app can automatically back up photos from your phone or tablet’s camera roll for easy ordering later (and a little peace of mind that your memories are stored in the cloud). Amazon also provides unlimited photo storage space for free with a Prime membership.
The best part about this service is the Amazon Photos app. It is available on both Android and IOS and allows you to select images straight from your phone for printing. You can put the photo on a variety of surfaces and objects much like any other photo shop.
It is worth noting that any touchup or photo editing options are not available on the platform. The quality of the prints is very solid for the price and the majority of print options are some of the cheapest you can find.
Sadly, it doesn’t offer wallet-size images. But if you’re looking for standard sizes and good-looking prints at a decent price, Amazon is a good choice. It also offers a basic selection of other services including photo books, invitations, enlargements, holiday cards, calendars, and announcements.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, but you still want good-looking prints, Snapfish delivers. Snapfish doesn’t offer the same quality of prints you will find in our top picks, but it’s also less than a third the price and the results are not bad.
You can upload images from your computer, phone, or import them directly from social media (Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, or Flickr). The web interface is easy to use, though as with most of the cheaper services, you’ll be constantly bombarded with upsells for books, mugs, and more.
It provides a host of printing options that you can choose from including cards, hardcover books, matching blankets and pillows, coffee mugs, reusable shopping bags, custom facemasks, and more. If you want a photo on a specific object, they can do it.
If you’ve taken a photo you’re particularly proud of and want a large version to hang on the wall, it’s worth checking out Whitewall. With inexpensive worldwide shipping, the company specializes in ready-to-hang prints that wouldn’t look out of place in a gallery.
As well as the luxurious acrylic prints that earned the company its reputation, you can also print on canvas or metal, with a range of options in each category. No matter which one you go for, the end result is very impressive, with beautiful yet lightweight prints.
Various frame types are available, or you can opt for unframed if you’d prefer. Given the company’s focus, it’s no surprise that even enormous prints aren’t an issue — standard lengths go all the way up to 90 inches!
As you’d expect from a company that ships around the world, the packaging is sturdy, protecting from all but the most heavy-handed couriers.
Prices are reasonable given the superior quality of Whitewall’s prints, so be sure to check it out when you’re after something a little bit special.