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“Why should I work with a pro lab when consumer printers offer the same services for less?”

We’ve heard this question so many times from photographers. It’s possible you have even thought it. And while it’s true consumer labs like Walmart, Target, Walgreens and Costco have more print offerings than ever before, for professional photographers the answer should be a no-brainer.

But why? What makes working with a pro lab so much better than a consumer lab? Here are just four (very important) reasons to choose pro labs over consumer printers.

Color Matching

When you print with a pro lab, you are able to calibrate your monitor’s color to match the printer’s color. Each printer should provide you with calibration settings for your monitor when editing. This means you can achieve a screen to print match.  This match will help you get color-perfect prints every time!

In comparison, if you print with a consumer printer you do not have the option to match their settings. Many times this will result in prints that don’t match the original file you spent time editing to perfection.


One thing pro labs can promise that consumer labs can’t is consistency. When you work with a pro lab, you know you’re working with printing experts, because printing is all they do. Pro labs have the experience and the equipment to produce beautiful, accurate prints on a large array of printing materials.

Printing Material Quality

If you’re just looking at cost, consumer lab pricing may be tempting. Sure, the prints might be cheaper, but what of the quality? Will these prints last? The answer is likely no.

When it comes to printing labs, you get what you pay for. Though the prices at a pro lab may be a little higher, the quality of the print will far surpass that of a consumer lab. From photographic prints to metal curves, both you and your customers will appreciate the beauty of the image and the quality of the archival printing material.

Customer Service

Customer service is a priority at McKenna and many other pro labs. Consumer labs don’t have the manpower – or maybe the passion – to provide individualized service for everyone who needs it.

Here at McKenna, we have experience working closely with professional photographers to produce color-perfect, accurate prints. We’re also available to answer any questions you have about our products or services. Our customer service team is always happy to help and will work tirelessly to get you the print you need, when you need it.

Free Calibration Test Prints

Need another reason to choose a pro lab over a consumer printer? As they say, the proof is in the pudding. You can get 10 free 8×10 calibration test prints from McKenna to test your monitor’s calibration and see for yourself the quality of our prints! Download McKenna’s Easy Order and use promo code CAL810 to get your free prints!

Download Easy Order