With competitions and Exhibits underway, many of us lament the passing of photo services at our local Sam’s Club and Costco.

That means we are going to have to take a little more care in choosing our photos for print competitions, and do so in a timely manner. Most of the companies I use to print my photos usually have them to me in 5-7 days, though with disruptions in supplies and shipping I would try to have photos uploaded for printing at least two weeks before I needed them.

In the past, Costco was my go-to printer for photos for competitions. Its photos were good quality, and relatively inexpensive. I could upload photos one day and almost always pick them up the next. Ninety percent of the time I was satisfied with the prints, and if not, Costco always cheerfully reprinted them for free.

I still use Costco for printing, but now have to figure in at least a week to receive prints. No more last-minute decisions on what images to enter in a print competition. There is one ding against Costco at this time. The last time I ordered enlargements they were mailed rolled up and placed in triangular shipping boxes. I was able to unroll and flatten them without any creases or dings, but it is another step to go through before mounting/matting prints.

The other two companies I use for photo enlargements are Mpix and Printique, which is a part of the Photorama company. Both offer good quality prints on different papers for reasonable prices, though more expensive than Costco. Both ship photographs flat and well packaged in 5-10 days. I have signed up for both their email lists, and both often offer discounts on their enlargements.

If you want prints done locally, where you can upload the files and pick up the prints in person to decide if they need reprinting, Pixel Connection or the Dodd Company are available. There is a range for the cost of an 11×14 but there may also be a quality difference and you have to experiment.

Here are some approximate costs for an 11×14 (2022):

  • Pixel Connection $9
  • Costco $4
  • Mpix $10
  • Dodd Company $11
  • Printique $5

For more information on online photo services, you can check out this article: The Best Online Photo Printing Services in 2023 | PetaPixel.

– Bill Keaton – Former Competition Chair