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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 08 Oct 2013 (Tuesday) 09:00
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Papers, Textures, & Mounting...Oh My! Millers lab

 
NewCreation
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Oct 08, 2013 09:00 |  #1

I just signed up for both Millers and Mpix pro. Got my sample prints back along with catalogs & paper samples. I admit I am a bit overwhelmed. I don't even know what some of it means!

Proofs - Millers offers some great printed proof options. Do any of you still offer printed proofs? I usually do in person proofing on some sort of device...computer or tablet. However, as my bookings expand, the distance is expanding, too. I'd almost rather send them a proof set via mail than have them or myself drive 3 hours. I'm trying to offer a nice customer experience, more than they can get elsewhere. If I offer online proofs, am I defeating this purpose?

How does one wade through all the choices? How do you determine what to present to your clients? Do you have samples of all the products you offer?

And for color correction: Millers offers is or not, Mpix pro doesn't offer it, and Mpix makes it sound dangerous if you don't allow them to do it. What do you do and why? My sample from Millers are indistinguishable between the color corrected and not (at least to my eyes).

I know this is a lot of random questions. Any help is appreciated. :)

~Brenda


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nathancarter
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Oct 08, 2013 11:06 |  #2

Disclaimer: I haven't used any of the Miller's labs; I generally use H&H or WHCC, or print myself.

NewCreation wrote in post #16355253 (external link)
How does one wade through all the choices? How do you determine what to present to your clients? Do you have samples of all the products you offer?

They can probably send you a paper sample, showing identical prints on all their different papers. Choose a couple that you like, and have some of your work printed on a few different paper types. Choose two or three that you like, and stick with those to offer your clients. Don't give your client a dozen different paper choices; you'll make their head spin.

Semi-Gloss, Premium Metallic, or Premium Velvet-touch. That's all I generally offer, and I give a recommendation based on content type. (of course, if a customer specifically requests matte or full gloss, I can do that... but I don't bring it up unless they do)

NewCreation wrote in post #16355253 (external link)
And for color correction: Millers offers is or not, Mpix pro doesn't offer it, and Mpix makes it sound dangerous if you don't allow them to do it. What do you do and why? My sample from Millers are indistinguishable between the color corrected and not (at least to my eyes).

Millers and MPix Pro assume you know what you're doing, and you've done WB and color correction yourself.
MPix assumes you're a casual consumer with a point-n-shoot, you don't know what you're doing, and "white balance" is a foreign concept.


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HBOC
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Oct 08, 2013 12:09 |  #3

Get a calibrator, if you have yet to get one. Then you don't need to worry about correction. Also download the profiles for the type of paper you are going to get printed on, so you can soft proof.

I used to have Millers color proof my stuff, then I bought a calibrater and colors are still perfect. I also use Aspen Creek and WCI


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NewCreation
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Oct 08, 2013 12:59 |  #4

nathancarter wrote in post #16355585 (external link)
Disclaimer: I haven't used any of the Miller's labs; I generally use H&H or WHCC, or print myself.

They can probably send you a paper sample, showing identical prints on all their different papers. Choose a couple that you like, and have some of your work printed on a few different paper types. Choose two or three that you like, and stick with those to offer your clients. Don't give your client a dozen different paper choices; you'll make their head spin.


Semi-Gloss, Premium Metallic, or Premium Velvet-touch. That's all I generally offer, and I give a recommendation based on content type. (of course, if a customer specifically requests matte or full gloss, I can do that... but I don't bring it up unless they do)

Millers and MPix Pro assume you know what you're doing, and you've done WB and color correction yourself.
MPix assumes you're a casual consumer with a point-n-shoot, you don't know what you're doing, and "white balance" is a foreign concept.

Thanks for the reply. I did get swatches of paper samples. I agree that only a few options for clients is wise. Heck, it was making my head spin!

So, let's say I do some of the "aged" processing that is so popular right now and I had them color balance, wouldn't what I have rendered as "artistic" have the risk of being greatly altered?

HBOC wrote in post #16355772 (external link)
Get a calibrator, if you have yet to get one. Then you don't need to worry about correction. Also download the profiles for the type of paper you are going to get printed on, so you can soft proof.

I used to have Millers color proof my stuff, then I bought a calibrater and colors are still perfect. I also use Aspen Creek and WCI

Thanks for your input. I'll have to look at a calibrator. If my prints look as I expected and the color corrected version looked the same as the non-color corrected, will I be OK for a bit or does a monitor vary after regular usage?


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nathancarter
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Oct 08, 2013 13:12 |  #5

NewCreation wrote in post #16355905 (external link)
So, let's say I do some of the "aged" processing that is so popular right now and I had them color balance, wouldn't what I have rendered as "artistic" have the risk of being greatly altered?

Quite likely.

You could try doing a few test orders, with and without their color correction, on a few different styles of images. Should only cost you a few bucks. When you get them in, clearly label them so you can refer back to them later. (I've made the mistake of not clearly labeling test prints; it makes them worthless when you refer back to them in the future)


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drvnbysound
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Oct 08, 2013 16:19 |  #6

I work on a non-IPS Dell monitor which I have calibrated with a DataColor Spyder4 Pro... and I use Mpix for all of my printing (at least to date). I have had (2) pictures come back different than how they appeared on my screen, but both were only off in exposure/brightness (which is more of a recommendation when calibrating your monitor, based on ambient light); I've never had any issues with color representation being off.

Note, that in both cases I had the 'color correction' option checked (default). In the first case (pre-calibration), it was a light colored faux matting/shadow that I added in PS. They 'corrected' it (assuming correcting the exposure of the image, without regard for the matting that I added in Ps), which made the matting disappear; at least it wasn't visible in the print. My wife and I really didn't care all that much about it (as far as it being off) so we just left it as is, and I didn't bother with trying to have it re-printed - it looked good as it was anyway.

In the second case (post-calibration), I was wanting to have 16"x20" standouts printed.... before spending $70ea on them (ended up ordering 2), I ordered some 8x10s of the images to see how they printed first. Two different images; one of them came back great, while the other one was slightly darker in print than what I saw on screen. I ended up ordering another one with some minor adjustments and turned off the color correction option and got what I wanted... then ordered the 16x20s.

Having said all of that, there are times when my wife just wants to order a bunch of 4x6s to put into the cheap clear sleeved albums that you can buy at Wal-Mart... some of the pictures could be from her phone, while others could be from her P&S, and some may even be ones that I had taken. In these cases, I just order them with the color correction box checked, and allow Mpix to handle it... because it's just not worth my time to correct all of those 4x6's.


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Oct 10, 2013 13:38 |  #7

I've never let MPix or Nations Photo Lab use color correction on my pics. My monitor hasn't been calibrated either.

The next time I do an order, I need to order a couple of prints with correction and without just to see the difference.


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