Which method of developing digital photos works best for you?

Developing digital photos is fast and easy nowadays.

In the past, you are limited to putting your digital photos in a CD then handing it to the clerk for developing at developing centers. Now, you can have your digital photos developed either at your local store or even without leaving your home.

Generally, there are three ways of developing digital photos:

The first option is the most common of the three. It's somewhat similar to film cameras where you visit the store to drop your film then come back to pick up your developed photos.

The difference is that these photo centers have online features which you will find convenient, and some have do-it-yourself digital kiosks that let you develop your digital photos through ATM-like machines.

But what if you don't want to leave the comfort of your home to go to your local store?

No problem. Try developing your digital photos through the online printing services via the internet where you just upload your digital pictures online, order your prints, and then have them delivered to your home.

You can also try printing your digital photos at home using a high quality photo printer.

Actually, there are some similarities between these 3 options, as well as advantages and disadvantages. Read on, and find out which method of developing digital photos is most suitable for you.

Photo Centers

Developing digital photos in the photo centers of your favorite stores is the most common way of developing your digital photos. This is similar to bringing your films to your local store.

You can find these photo centers in Costco, Walmart, Rite-Aid, Ritzpix, Target, Sam's Club, Safeway, etc. Typically the price range is from 9 cents to 21 cents per 4x6 digital photo print.

There are many ways to develop your digital photos in these photo centers.

The first way is to bring the memory card of your digital camera and hand it over to the clerk. And the next day, or in as little as an hour, you can pick up your developed digital photos.

Some stores even offer to upload the pictures from your film to their website where you can choose the digital photos you want developed.

Just bring your film, 35mm or APS camera to the store and they will upload your pictures for you. They will give you a roll ID no. and claim no. for use when you come back to pick your prints.

The second way of developing your digital photos at your local store is by inserting your digital photo or memory card to a machine yourself instead of handing it over to a clerk.

Just follow the menu displayed on the screen, select the digital photos you want to develop or print, and select the quantity. Then upload the digital photos for developing.

If your local store has a website, then another way of developing your digital photos is by uploading your photos to their website.

The advantage of this option is that you can edit your digital photos in your computer using your favorite image editing software before uploading them.

Or you can use the editing features offered either through their website or as a downloadable software. Some of these features include zooming and cropping, removing red eye, adjusting brightness, or even converting pictures to black and white.

And since you've already uploaded your digital pictures online, you can share them to your family and friends via e-mail. They can even order their own prints through the website. The nice part is that they only order the prints they want and thus saving you both time and money.

Aside from developing digital photos, many of these stores even offer fun picture gifts like Photo CD's, greeting cards, calendars, mugs, etc. You can have these items delivered to your home or to your local stores for pickup.

Imagine placing your favorite pictures in mousepads, T-shirts, mugs, etc. Cool eh? :-)

And if you're already comfortable with uploading your pictures online, then you might be interested in online printing services. They're a pretty convenient way of developing digital photos. Let's discuss them a little bit.

Online printing services

If you don't want to go out of your house but still want great looking digital photo prints, then the online printing services are right for you.

Typically, you upload your pictures to their websites then select which ones you would like to print.

A 4x6 digital photo costs around 9 to 15 cents to develop, plus shipping and handling. There is a price range for different quantities, so the more you order, the less it costs per print. And if you choose the prepaid packages you can save more money.

Three of the leading online printing services include Snapfish, Shutterfly, and Kodak EasyShare Gallery (formerly known as Ofoto). But before you can avail of their services, you will need to sign up in their websites.

The advantage of this type of developing digital photos is that you don't have to leave the comfort of your own home to get your prints. You just wait for your prints or developed digital photos to be delivered at your doorstep.

And aside from just uploading your digital photos in their websites, you can also, edit, crop, remove red-eye, rotate or flip your photos, adjust the color, add fun borders or other special effects so you can come up with great looking digital photos before ordering and printing.

Aside from developing digital photos, these online printing services also allow you to organize your digital photos into albums for easy sharing with family and friends. And it's free to store your pictures online.

There are other cool things you can do with your digital photos, too. You can put them in calendars, mugs, mousepads, notebooks, etc. Or simply create a Photo CD. These items are perfect for gifts or for display and use at home.

Check out the cool features of the service you signed up to.

Some even offer to upload your digital photos to your account by emailing them these photos from your PC or even from your cell phone!

And don't forget to avail of the special offers by these online services. Usually they offer to develop the first 15 or 20 of your digital photos for free.

The disadvantage of this type of developing digital photos is that sometimes it takes 2 or more days before your printed digital photos arrive at your home. (Although some claim that it can be less than 2 days.)

That's why Snapfish is now offering you the option of picking up your prints at Walgreens in as little as one hour. Just select "pickup at retail" during checkout.

Yahoo Photos offer this feature, too. But instead of Walgreens, you can pick up your prints at Target.

If you want the fastest way to develop your digital photos, though, then the third method of developing digital photos is right for you: printing at home.

Printing At Home

The third way to develop your digital photos is by printing at home using a photo printer.

This is very convenient because you don't have to go out of your house to pick up your developed digital photos in a digital mini-lab, or upload your pictures in an online printing service.

Another advantage is that you can edit your digital photos using your favorite image editing software and add any special effects you want.

Then you can immediately see the output right after printing your digital photos. No need to wait for an hour or a few days.

But your printed digital photos at home might not be of the same high quality as those developed in mini-labs or online printing services. Not to mention that they might not last as long. And if you will calculate the expenses of printer, printer ink, digital photo paper, etc. the cost of developing per digital photo is usually higher.

As you can see, each method of developing digital photos has its own advantages and disadvantages. Try out these different methods to see which one works best for you.

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