Call/Text 847-401-2017 ** Veteran Owned Small Business

Chemical Photo Lab printing

If you are searching for a photo lab that can handle your photo printing then you need to look no further. I started color printing by hand in 1987 when I outfitted my first color darkroom. The knowledge base learned from years of printing by hand made the transition to machine printing smooth with an increase in quality and a level of production that allows me to fulfill the largest orders.  I can print chemically to just about any size.  I have the basics covered very well from wallet sized up to 8×10 or 8 x 12.  Real silver halide chemical photo printing is a look that’s crisp and colorful. Printing on Glossy or Luster papers you are sure to be amazed at what your images can really look like.  Unlike a big box chain, my lab is maintained to a professional quality, calibrated EVERY single time it’s turned on. Nothing comes out of the lab unless it passes a very strict set of quality points. 

If your photo printing is part of your income then you will want to investigate my lab printing. See why many working professionals desire to have me, a working professional photographer, printing your images. 

Having a full blown Chemical Photo lab has it’s advantages. First off I can print enormous volumes of 3 ½ x 5 inch or 4 x 6 inch prints for you at such a low cost when compared to other methods of printing. Second the color and quality from a lab like this when maintained and calibrated the way I keep it  will absolutely amaze you, yet this used to be normal quality years ago.  (read the paragraphs below about the evolution of the photo lab.

Photo Lab Evolution

  • In The Beginning...

    Through the 1990's and 2000's mini-labs flourished. Micro-chip technology was able to program a lot of the science into processing images. As long as an experienced lab technician, who understood color balancing and the care and calibration of the chemical process was overseeing the printing then the results were excellent. Camera stores across the nation and eventually across the world were buying these machines as fast as they could make them. The efficiencies of these mini-labs saved photo labs hours every day. Usually the photo labs were independent storefronts or housed in camera stores. By installing these mini-lab machines they were saving thousands of dollars a month processing your film (remember that word?) or making your prints. The savings stemmed from the consistency the computer-controlled machine provided the operators, which lead to less waste in "do overs" as they strived for that perfect print. The independent and camera store labs were all about the quality of the image and the accuracy of the color. The stability and consistency achieved still required a person or team of people to maintain chemistry balance, cleanliness, and standard maintenance.
  • Garbage in - Garbage out

    By the late 1990's big box retail, pharmacy and grocery stores were heavily invested in mini-labs because they saw the profit potential. However they were not willing to hire experienced photo lab technicians or trained photographers with that eye for color. The reason was simple, to hire these individuals required them pay more for their experience which added to much expence to the cost center. After all the computer did all the work right? No! Not really. the computer kept everything consistent if it was "fed" good information, such as accurate calibrations every morning, chemical "strength" tests, light calibrations, etc. If an untrained, or unmotivated individual started skipping these crucial routines then the lab would start drifting in it's quality. The effects were subtle at first then suddenly a customer notices the poor color or quality and complains. This usually meant they just printed them over on the same poorly calibrated machine and hoped the customer would be happy. Most big box photo labs were not actually set up to be a profit center. It was an area where break even was good enough. So keep the prices low to attract more people, many big box labs were a lost leader. Meaning they would operate at a loss with in the store hoping to get you in for the savings of printing there in 30 minutes to an hour, while you shopped and accumulated real spending. The problem with that is they didn't want to lose more money fixing problems caused by poorly trained lab techs.
  • Dumb & Dumber

    The cry went out to the mini-lab developers for them to design a machine that required little more than a green light / red light operation. No calibrating, no maintenance, little room for error. Little room, but not error free. Anytime you have people involved you have mistakes. The machines auto calibrated if the operator put the proper calibration card in it, and as long as they weren't color blind and emptied the red chemical bottle into the red tank, and yellow in yellow, and matching the corresponding numbers.... well you see it was still not full proof and mistakes still happened. About 2010 a new process came out. Well not entirely new, it was gaining acceptance in homes across america for about 5 years but the quality was not very good compared to a chemical print, but when you're getting chemical prints from a big box store you didn't see the difference anyway. The quality of color printing in big box chains has been slowly degrading for over 12 years. It was like a frog in hot water. Put the frog in hot water and it jumps out. Put the same frog in warm water then turn up the heat the frog stays in. Not a healthy decision for the frog. The water temperature goes through a gradual shift and the frog doesn't feel it. Same thing with big box printing, So the newer full proof solution which was even more degradation in quality still goes unnoticed by most. The frog is cooked.
  • The Solution

    NEVER FEAR- He's where I stayed in the picture. I could never overcome the marketing dollars spent by these bog box pharmacies, discount, and grocery stores. So I couldn't really advertise the difference in the traditional means. My customers who were generally more picky about their prints tried these labs and came right back with the samples of how bad the printing was. They spoke about it often, so word of mouth was my friend. They were my motivation for working hard to keep my machines tuned, cleaned and calibrated. Sure I was printing my own studio photography the same way but labs need a lot of paper to run through it to justify the expense of chemistry and calibration time. We used to challenge people all the time. Bring me 5 images you've had printed anywhere else, film or digital. Let me print them and if you don't like ours better I'll take $10.00 off your next order. Still today people find me and cannot believe I still use chemistry to process film or photo paper. They tell me film is dead no one makes it any more. That's not true, your big box chains stop selling it because they no longer process it. It's no longer part of their circle of profits. They sacrifice your quality and your long lasting memories, or record of your memories for profits. I cannot get too mad at them that is their reason for existence. Profits. It's not their passion as it is mine. I have processed and printed over 700 rolls of film in 2013 and last year probably another 150 more. Way down from our hey days in 2003-2005, but I also print digital images the same way. Chemically ! Since 2005 I have printed over 2.6 million photographs chemically. That's amazing. That's a sloppy average of over 800 a day. I said a lot to say this. IF YOU WANT YOUR VISUAL MEMORIES TO LAST THOUGH THE NEXT 100 YEARS MINIMUM AND LOOK FABULOUS THE ENTIRE TIME. LET ME PRINT THEM. Remember ... you know what happens to images on phones and computers. ugggg. Keith

Film Processing

C-41-Color or C-41 CN Film

Develop Only Per Roll (no Prints)

12 exp

 $4.00

35mm

24 exp

 $4.00

36 exp

 $5.00

Develop and Print

Single Prints Double prints

4 x 6 in

12 exp

 $9.00

 $10.50

35mm

24 exp

 $10.50

 $13.00

36 exp

 $14.50

 $15.50

Single Prints Double prints

3.5 x 5 in

12 exp

 $7.50

 $9.00

35mm

24 exp

 $9.50

 $11.00

36 exp

 $13.00

 $15.00

120

220

Develop

 $8.00

$11.00

120

220

5 in wide paper price per print + Developing

 $0.90

 $0.90

Film Scanning per roll at the time of developing*

Lo Res . jpg

Hi Res .jpg

TIFF

12 exp

 $4.00

 $6.00

 $12.00

24 exp

 $4.50

 $7.00

 $12.00

36 exp

$5.00

 $8.00

 $12.00

120

 $4.00

 $7.00

 NA

220

 $6.00

 $9.00

 NA

*price Is in addition to develop or develop and print costs