Why Order Photo Prints via the Web? - dummies

By David D. Busch

You can order and distribute prints right from your computer. Snapfish, Shutterfly, and other sites have web-based picture services that you can use to share and print your best efforts. Technically, you don’t even need a computer or digital camera because you can often upload images from your cell phone or tablet. Here’s why you might want to outsource your printing over the web:

  • Need for speed: Your digital SLR photos are likely to be megabytes in size, even if you’re shooting in JPEG format. If you want to upload images from your computer to a web service, you definitely need a broadband connection. Although most digital photographers have broadband at home and work, sometimes you can’t upload photos quickly, such as when you’re traveling.

  • Honest-to-gosh photo prints: When you order digital prints online, you can receive hard copies made the old-fashioned way, using conventional photographic paper and chemicals. If you value the quality and potentially extended longevity of traditional photo prints, online ordering is one way to get them.

  • Ordering prints for delivery: Online services make prints and mail them back to you or to a third party. So, you may find a web-print service especially useful for sharing prints with folks back home when, say, you’re touring Paris and get a few minutes at un café de cyber. (Dozens of these cafes are in the City of Light, by the way, ranging from Jardin de l’Internet to Station Internet Rive Gauche.) A huge number of the hotels in the U.S. and overseas have either in-room wireless Internet access or a handy computer in the lobby that guests can use.

  • Ordering prints to go: Retailers, such as Walmart, let you upload images to their websites and specify pickup at your local store. Your prints are usually ready by the time you get there.

  • Economy and ease: If you don’t plan to edit your photos much (or the chore is already out of the way), you can’t beat the ease and economy of ordering prints online. Just upload, specify print sizes and other details, and pay as little as ten cents or so per print. What could be easier?