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Tag Archives | photo printing

Photo Printing Sites: Shutterfly, Winkflash, & Snapfish

Reported by Jessica Ripley


Chances are, if you have a digital camera, you have also invested in some kind of printer to print out the photos you collect on your memory card. If you nodded your head yes to both of those scenarios, then you most likely also feel the pinch of the cost to purchase photo paper and ink for those printers. And while printing at home is convenient, it can get quite pricey if you print out those photos very often.

Personally, I only print out photos that I scrapbook (which I don’t do as often as I’d like) so the cost does not particularly add up to print at home. However there are times when I need a special print or several of one copy and just would rather have them printed professionally. Luckily, there are a multitude of online options to choose from, but which one is the best? Are they all reliable? And most importantly, are they a good value rather than printing at home? I set out to see for myself and am more than happy to share the results with you.

For this article, I did a mini-test run of 3 popular photo printing sites; Shutterfly, Winkflash, and Snapfish. I ordered the same 5×7 print from each site on the same day (within minutes of each other) and awaited the results. Was there a clear front runner in who I’ll use in the future? Pretty much yes.

The Websites:

Preferred: Shutterfly

Of all three, Shutterfly has the most to offer in my opinion, not only providing the basics of uploading and ordering, but also a community for sharing projects as well as many how to videos and articles. I like Shutterfly’s website for more than just a place where I could order prints, I could actually just spend some creative time there.

My next choice would be Snapfish, due to their editing options once you have uploaded a photo to their site. Complete with fun frame options, it’s a personalization step that has just a little more to offer than the editor at Winkflash.

Snapfish Editor:


Winkflash Editor:

Shutterfly also has similar editing options to Snapfish.

I found each of the three websites fairly easy to navigate, and actually very similar in the way they work as well. Upload your photo(s) of choice, select printing options, pay and you’re done.

Shuttefly Uploader:
Snapfish Uploader:

Winkflash Uploader:


You must create an online account first to do so which is also an easy process.

Something to note, since I created my account with each of the sites I have of course received promotional emails as well with special offers for future orders. The total to date?

Shutterfly – 4 (1 welcome, 2 order related, 1 promotional)

Winkflash – 3 (1 welcome, 2 order related)

Snapfish – 22 (let’s just say the majority are promotional)

I was sometimes receiving 2 emails from Snapfish per day! I have since opted out of their promotional offers due to the sheer volume of them, which is a shame, because they do have some good offers from time to time.

All three websites also offer a majority of products such as photobooks, holiday cards, and calendars as well. For this particular review however I was only interested in an actual photo print.

The Ordering Process:

Preferred: Any are fine. This was quick, easy, and basically the same process for all three sites.

Once photos are uploaded you are able to select the size of print, quantity, shipping options, etc. before check out. All sites also had a low quality warning for the resolution of the photo I chose to upload.

From Winkflash:

As well as resolution suggestions in order to get the best quality print. I found that a nice feature, since sometimes I forget which photos I’ve already re-sized for posting on the web.

Snapfish’s warning was a little harder to see however, if you didn’t click on it to see what that triangle was for:


Cost:

For one 5×7 print with standard shipping:

Shutterfly – $2.85

Snapfish – $1.83.

Winkflash – $1.14

Shutterfly is not necessarily more expensive when it comes to prints, but definitely the most expensive when it comes to shipping. However, they are also the fastest.

Shipping:

Shutterfly – first to arrive. In my mailbox in 3 days. That was very satisfying to receive my order so quickly!

Winkflash – second to arrive. In my mailbox in 5 days.

Snapfish – last to arrive. Not in my mailbox until 11 days after I ordered. (And lots of trees went into all the junk mail that came stuffed inside too).

I’m hoping one of our readers may be able to chime in on timing related to an order they received from Snapfish, as mine seemed to take an abnormally long time to arrive when compared to the other 2 sites. However, when I contacted their customer service about my concern that it hadn’t arrived after 8 days, they were extremely helpful, and sent out a replacement print at no cost which arrived via FedEx in 2 days.


And it certainly wasn’t like pulling teeth either. They were more than willing to believe me and send a replacement.

Quality:

Preferred: Snapfish


All three of the photos were a bit pixilated due to the print size I requested vs. the image size I sent (even with their warnings). However no two were exactly alike, and I found myself drawn to the color in the Snapfish photo over the other two photos (Snapfish uses Kodak paper, the other 2 sites use Fuji).

Overall:

After trying out all three sites and thinking over my experiences I’m a bit surprised at which one I’ll go to next time. While Shutterfly’s super fast shipping was wonderful, for the cost I could probably wait an extra day or two for my prints to arrive from Winkflash or Snapfish. And then, since I was most pleased with Snapfish’s print quality, and I now know that their customer service is ready and willing to help if needed, I would most likely go with them.

The above of course is just one crafter’s trial, of course, and you may have had different experiences. With that in mind a brief summary of each:

Shutterfly Major Pro:

  • Superfast shipping

Shutterfly Major Con:

  • Most expensive

Winkflash Major Pro:

  • Fast shipping mixed with cheapest price

Winkflash Major Con:

  • Didn’t like the website as much and photo quality not quite as good

Snapfish Major Pro:

  • Helpful customer service mixed with high quality print (and fair price)

Snapfish Major Con:

  • Why did my first print take so long to come? Not sure I’d order if I needed something immediately.

Do you order prints online often? There are so many options out there, including having them sent directly to your local drugstore for immediate pickup. We would love to hear about your experiences. Your comments are a major part of helping our readers find the best of the best out there!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

June Tailor Colorfast Fabric Sheets

Reported by Erin Schlosser

I’ve tried plenty iron-on transfer image paper but I’ve never liked how it looks once it’s ironed on. Unless you’ve carefully trimmed around the edges you get a clear, shiny film over the entire surface. I found these Colorfast Fabric Sheets for Ink Jet printers from June Tailor and thought I’d give them a try.

I used the white to make a cover for my passport, because who says you can’t have an awesome passport cover? After designing my artwork in Illustrator I printed a couple of test prints on regular printer paper before I printed the final on the Fabric Sheets.

I was surprised at how the colors printed out. They were identical to the paper test prints I had done. The only difference is that the white fabric wasn’t a clean white, but it wasn’t noticeable unless you place it against something else white.

The rest of the instructions were easy and quick to follow. They require you to heat set the image with a hot, dry iron, rinse (not wash) the fabric, pat excess water off with a paper towel (don’t rub), then iron with a hot dry iron to finish drying. This entire process took less than 5 minutes then I was ready to sew! Of course, it said not to rub, so I did a little test on the Schlosser part of the print that didn’t matter just to see what would happen:

This was only after about 5 seconds of rubbing with just my finger…case in point: don’t rub, just pat dry!

I was amazed at how fine of a detail I could get as well. Some of the fonts I used were very narrow and they printed successfully


I was able to stitch this just like regular cotton fabric and completed my passport cover! Hopefully the agents in Europe will appreciate “Hello” in their language!

While the 3-pack retails for $9.99 I thought it was well worth it for the color quality I got with them. They are available in both white and cream for your projects.

Pros:

  • Get that design/image transfer look without the extra shiny outline you get with iron-on transfers
  • Color prints as well as your printer will print
  • Even, bright, saturated colors won’t bleed
  • Easy to sew with, although the feel of the fabric is slightly crisp
  • Since most households use ink jet printers, it doesn’t require a special trip to the copy shop to use their laser printers

Cons:

  • Designs are hand wash only so can’t be used on projects that will get a lot of use and need to be washed frequently
  • Sheets are pricey at approximately $3.33 a sheet
  • Fabric is not very forgiving if you mess up with the stitching and pin holes don’t really disappear when the pins are removed

These sheets are available from Amazon.com in a 3 pack Colorfast Printer Fabric – White 3/Pkg
and in a 10 pack June Tailor Colorfast Sew-In Inkjet Fabric Sheets- 8-1/2 Inch x11 Inch 10/Pkg
If you decide to buy them by clicking that link, you’ll be helping Craft Critique as well!

Have you tried June Tailor Colorfast Fabric Sheets? What did you think? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

ScrapbookPictures.com

Reported by Jenny Chesnick

(from their “About Us” webpage)
Founded in 1949, ScrapbookPictures.com is a third generation family-owned business. Throughout their history, they have been an industry leader in photo printing. In 1978 they were the first company to offer one-hour photo printing. In 2001, they were the first online photo company to allow film users to see their images online before they were printed, and only order and pay for the prints they wanted, sized and cropped the way they wanted. Their commitment is to continue providing the best photo quality prints available, with the best customer service. They have a very good FAQ page; all of my questions were easily answered there.

I personally have been using ScrapbookPictures.com for a couple of years now. I was drawn there because of the various sizes they offer for prints. I typically scrapbook 3×3 photos and they were the only place online (that I have found) that prints this size. They offer an enormous range of sizes. You can see on the list below the sizes they offer for just prints in general. They also offer a variety of finishes and color correction services.

For even more information check out their pricing page of the site.

As far as finishes go, I personally always stick with Matte. I prefer to scrapbook with that finish as it doesn’t show any finger prints and photographs well. Scrapbook Pictures also offers tons of borders for your photos, giving it that nice edge and doesn’t restrict you to “matte” your photos when scrap booking. The layouts below show you some examples of the prints that I have used. I left these in large file format, click on them to see the prints larger.


Scrapbook Pictures also offers a Metallic finish to their prints. Let me just say WOW! I took a picture of a photo to show off the finish, but, sadly, cannot get it to show up well enough. Even scanning the photo did not work. I surfed around their sites for examples and didn’t find any. You can see that photo below. You are just going to have to trust me on this one and try it out!


I also recently tried out their 12×12 prints for Digital Scrapbook printing. Ali Edwards has long raved about them for their quality and pricing. Again, I was completely surprised by the quality of the prints. The prints turned out better than my computer screen first displayed them to be. They also arrived on my doorstep TWO days after ordering, wow!

Here are two of the layouts I printed with a matte finish, no color correction added. If you are going to print digital layouts always be sure they are 300dpi. Otherwise, they will not print at a 12×12 size. It was hard to photograph the photos. Hopefully you can get the feel of the product quality! Click to enhance the image.

original

print

original
print

I really cannot say enough about the quality, color and depth of these prints. I will be ordering like crazy now! If you have never printed your layouts, I definitely recommend using ScrapbookPictures.com.

There are a couple items they offer that in the very near future I want to try. They offer 12×12 photos books! You can use the full photo page books and upload your digital layouts to create a bound scrapbook of your layouts. Perfect for making an album, ordering and sending it right to the person it is for!


I also want to try their calenders out. I can totally see my layouts as themes for each month! How cute!

Pros:

  • Quality & Service, amazing!
  • Price, 12×12 layouts are $1.54!
  • Range of sizes for prints
  • Unlimited storage
  • Fast printing, turn around times vary. However I have never waited more then a few days.

Cons:

  • I wish they printed in ATC size (hint hint) and also offered wallets as singles.
  • Easier upload format, it can be confusing how to manager your albums and upload
  • There needs to be more examples on their website. So people can see how awesome they are!

Have you tried printing with Scrapbook Pictures? Please tell me I am not the only one in love here! Share your stories and I would love to see your examples of their prints!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!