One of the print specialists at AdoramaPix inspects prints for a wedding shooter. Photo: Bonny Diadhiou; Gabe Palacio Photography
7. Find out about black-and- white.
If you’re working with a lab that can make inkjet prints, you’ll have more paper options than you would with digital c-prints. For instance, you’ll likely be able to print on fiber-based papers in a range of finishes from matte to glossy, which can give you a more traditional darkroom look. You’ll also be able to send RGB files that contain some tone.
Labs that make digital c-prints sometimes offer printing on true b&w resin-coated paper; both Kodak Gallery and Mpix are two examples. But it is essential that you find out what kind of b&w file your lab recommends.Some labs prefer to do the conversion for you using their own software, others request you send a grayscale (rather than an RGB) image. If you don’t give the printer what it expects, you could end up with strange color casts you don't want, or a neutral image when what you were expecting was a nicely toned one.
8. Consider your image’s aspect ratio.
If your photo doesn’t fit the same dimensions as a lab’s print size, its technicians—or automated program—may do the cropping for you. To control this yourself, you can crop your own image before uploading. Or, to get the aspect ratio you want at the largest size, open the image in your image editor, then make a white border around your shot so that the total image area, including the border, matches the print size you’re ordering. If you want to display your print without the border, you would then need to trim it yourself or frame it using a mat that covers the border.