This year alone, we spent over 80 hours evaluating the ordering processes and final products of 10 online photo printing companies. We ordered four matte prints and four glossy prints from each service, and to make testing impartial, we hid the company names on each print and asked testers to score the color accuracy and print clarity of each. Our pick for the best service is Walgreens Photo because it offered the most features while also providing excellent print quality. The site's interface is easy to navigate and provides several print sizes and photo gift choices.
Walgreens Photo's prints are of excellent quality, and you can get your photos by mail or same-day in-store pickup. The service offers several print sizes and photo gifts.
York Photo has the best photo quality of any of the services we tested. This service is also economically priced, so you get more for your money.
Shutterfly offers overnight delivery and international shipping, and you can even pick up prints at your local Target. Photos from this service are beautiful and print color is accurate.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Print Quality||Site Features||Photo Gifts||Support & Shipping||Video Tutorials||Live Chat||Overnight Delivery||FAQs||Two-Day Delivery||Telephone & Email||In-Store Pick-Up||Simple Editing Tools||Ease of Use||Online Photo Sharing||Film Printing||Import Photos From Social Media||Mobile App||Print Color||Glossy Quality||Print Clarity||Matte/Lustre Quality||Greeting Cards||Photo Blankets||Canvas Prints||Clothing & Accessories||Holiday Ornaments||Collage Poster||5 x 7||Photo Book||8 x 10||4 x 6||11 x 14||Calendar|
|Walgreens Photo Center||View Deal||5/5||9.3||10||10||10||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||100%||✓||✓||✓||✓||A-||B+||A-||A+||✓||✓||✓||$39.99||✓||✓||$11.99||$2.49||$29.99||$3.99||$0.12||$10.99||$19.99|
|Shutterfly Digital Photo Printing||View Deal||4.5/5||9.5||10||9||7.5||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||100%||✓||✓||✓||A+||A-||B-||A+||✓||✓||✓||$89.99||✓||✓||$7.99||$0.99||$39.99||$3.99||$0.15||$7.99||$24.99|
|York Photo||View Deal||4.5/5||10||9.5||10||5||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||95%||✓||✓||✓||✓||A+||A+||A+||A+||✓||✓||✓||$49.99||✓||✓||$8.99||$0.79||$32.99||$2.99||$0.09||$7.99||$19.99|
|Snapfish Digital Photo Printing||View Deal||4.5/5||8.5||9.5||10||10||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||100%||✓||✓||✓||B+||B-||B+||C||✓||✓||✓||$59.99||✓||✓||$3.49||$0.69||$34.99||$2.99||$0.09||$7.99||$19.99|
|CVS Photo||View Deal||4.5/5||8.5||9.5||10||7.5||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||100%||✓||✓||✓||✓||C||A||B+||B-||✓||✓||✓||$29.99||✓||✓||$9.99||$2.29||$29.99||$3.99||$0.29||$9.99||$19.99|
|Walmart Photo Center||View Deal||4.5/5||8.3||9||10||7.8||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||100%||✓||✓||✓||✓||C+||B-||B-||B-||✓||✓||✓||$29.96||✓||✓||$6.86||$0.58||$24.00||$2.84||$0.09||$5.86||$17.47|
|RitzPix Digital Photo Printing||View Deal||4/5||9||7.5||8||7||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||85%||✓||B+||A+||A+||C-||✓||✓||$59.99||✓||✓||$4.99||$0.99||$24.99||$4.99||$0.27||$4.99||$19.99|
Walgreens Photo is a great place to go for prints and photo books, as well as photo gifts like blankets and accessories. The photos are decently priced and come in a variety of sizes.
Our testers found the clarity and color accuracy of these prints to be very good, particularly in the matte finish. This is also a great service if you need your prints in a hurry.
The site is easy to order from and offers a corresponding mobile app to make the process more convenient. You can create and store an unlimited number of photos on your account. You can even share your albums with friends and family members. This site also lets you pull photos directly from your Facebook and Instagram accounts. The photo editor allows you to make simple adjustments to your photos, such as for brightness and contrast, before ordering prints.
Walgreens offers a variety of delivery options, from standard to overnight shipping. You can even order internationally with this service. If you are in a hurry, photo books, prints and a few select photo gifts can be ordered for same-day, in-store pickup. Check with your local Walgreens for the specific products they can print.
This company is inexpensive, especially considering that it provides the best print quality of any photo service we tested. The matte and glossy photos we received were sharp and accurately represented the colors.
Typically, matte photos have less vivid color than glossy photos, but these prints were nearly the same in color reproduction. This service also provides many features and photo gifts to choose from, including photo blankets, mugs, ornaments and calendars.
The York Photo mobile app allows you to upload images to your account and order prints from your phone. You can save as many photos as you want on your York account, so it can double as a photo storage site. You can pull photos directly from your Facebook and Instagram accounts and add them to your York Photo albums. Basic editing tools are avaliable, but they do not include red-eye removal, which means that must be done before uploading images to this service.
York offers two-day or overnight shipping. Most photo gifts require a specified number of days for processing. This site doesn't offer live chat, but you can contact a customer representative via email or phone. Our questions were answered quickly and thoroughly.
Shutterfly’s photo prints had amazing color accuracy, but they were a bit blurry compared with some other services.
This service offers many print sizes and photo gifts. Price-wise, this isn't the most expensive we have seen, but some of the products are priced higher than average.
The site is incredibly easy to use and offers tutorials if you want to design something new. Shutterfly's app allows you to upload and order your favorite images on the go. It also lets you pull photos from a variety of sites, including your Facebook, Instagram, Google Photo, Flickr and Smugmug accounts. You can even create a Share Site to collect images from family and friends for your projects. The simple editor allows basic edits to your images before ordering.
Photo gifts, including tote bags, plates, phone cases and even Christmas stockings, are available. What's more, this service not only delivers, but also allows you to pick up images from your local Target, which can be a lifesaver when you're short on time.
Cheapest Photo Gifts
Walmart Photo is already known as one of the fastest places to get your photos printed, but this speedy ordering also extends to their other photo gifts as well.
They offer the regular printed photo products, namely prints, photobooks, calendars and canvas prints. However, Walmart Photo also sells customizable mugs, pillows, blankets, necklaces, phone cases, puzzles, tote bags, cards, plates and more, all at low prices. There is also a decent selection of holiday themes that you can add to your photos for festive occasions. Depending on the availability at your store, you can order and pickup your photo gifts within 24 hours or less, a great idea if you need a thoughtful gift made quickly.
In our testing, Walmart Photo's print quality was average with the colors being a little faded and the images a bit less clear than other photo printing services. However, this is likely something you wouldn't really notice unless you purchased the same item from a different service and compared them next to each other. The Walmart Photo prints site is straight forward and easy to use, and you can store as many photos as you want on your Walmart Photo account. Even better, the mobile app lets you do this from any location.
Widest Holiday Selection
As we were looking through Snapfish's selection of holiday themes, we noticed that they had several that we didn't see on other printing sites, including Diwali, Zwanzaa, and the Chinese New Year.
If you find it hard to make photo prints with designs from your favorite holidays, Snapfish might just be the service to order from. On the website you'll also find designs and stickers from the most common holiday themes like Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, Halloween and Valentine's Day to spice up your pictures. Snapfish is less expensive than many of the other services we tested with a 4 x 6 print only costing 9 cents per print at the time of writing this review.
Snapfish has basic photo editing tools like crop, color correction, and brightness and contrast adjustments. In fact, the web-based software is designed to automatically remove redeye, color correct and rotate any images that need editing when you upload them. The mobile app allows you to add images to your library on the go or order prints at your convenience like when you’re waiting to pick up your kids from practice. In our testing, we found this services' print quality to be above average but not the best. Still, this is only something that you'd notice when comparing prints side-by-side.
Why Trust Us?
We have been reviewing digital photo printing services for the last 12 years. For this latest review, we ordered eight prints from 10 companies, a total of 80 prints.
Our testers spent an hour evaluating each company's prints against the digital images we provided. They looked for color accuracy as well as the clarity of each print, comparing them with the original image and other companies' prints.
Since our testers have backgrounds in photography and graphic design, we wanted to make sure they didn't feel partial to specific printing services. We concealed the names of the printing services and didn't disclose company names until scoring was complete.
We not only looked at print quality, but also the ease of using each service’s interface, the variety of photo gifts offered, the convenience of delivery or pickup, and customer service in general.
How We Tested
We carefully evaluated each company's print quality, user interfaces and photo gifts. Services that offered a large variety of print sizes and photo gifts scored better. Although we didn't score services based on their pricing, we did take note when a company was on the pricey side.
Since fast service is important, we paid particular attention to delivery and pickup options. Services providing overnight and two-day shipping scored higher than companies without those options. Companies providing in-store and same-day pickup were also scored higher.
To ensure the companies are user-friendly, we evaluated the help features of each service. Services offering tutorials and options for contacting customer-service representatives scored better.
We also contacted each company to determine how they responded to our questions. Companies that answered our questions in a fast, friendly and thorough manner scored better. Any company offering a mobile app was also scored higher, since an app adds to user convenience.
How Much Do Photo Printing Services Cost?
If there's one thing we learned from our years of testing and research, it's that there is no consistently inexpensive service. Let me tell you what I mean: you can find a 4 x 6 print for as little as $0.09 on one website but then find that the same service has one of the priciest options for 5 x 7 prints. Similarly, a company might sell the most expensive 4 x 6 prints and yet charge the least for a canvas print, so you shouldn't assume that your favorite service for ordering photo gifts is the most economical service for ordering prints and vice versa. Remember that you can find really good promos and discounts for prints and photo gifts near holidays, but you will want to give the company plenty of time to print your order if you purchase at these busy times; rush jobs near holidays will cost you extra.
To help you further, we've broken down the average costs of the most commonly purchased prints and photo gifts based on the companies we compared:
4 x 6 Prints – We found that the least expensive companies only charged $0.09 per print while the most expensive company charged $0.29. This doesn't include the cost of shipping or taxes.
5 x 7 Prints – Individual prints ranged from $0.58 to $2.49. The most common price range being around $0.75 cents before tax and shipping.
8 x 10 Prints – We found the least expensive option was $1.59 per print, while the most expensive was $4.99. The average price was between $3 and $4 per print before tax and shipping was factored in.
11 x 14 Prints – The least expensive choice was $3.85 per print while the most expensive was $10.99. The most common price was about $8 before tax and shipping.
11 x 14 Wrapped Canvas Prints– The least expensive canvas print was only $29.99 while the most expensive was $89.99. The average price for a 11 x 14 canvas was between $30 to $60 before tax and shipping.
8.5 x 11 Photo Book – The least expensive price for a single 20-page hardback was $24.99, while the most expensive option was $70.00. Companies most frequently offered these books between $30 and $35. Keep in mind that prices will vary depending on the embellishments, number of pages and cover options you choose. Many companies offer large quantity discounts for photo books, but the discount will depend on the number of books you order. We recommend Mixbook as our best overall pick for photo books.
8 x 11 Calendar – The least expensive calendar option we found only cost $17.47 while the most expensive cost $34.99. Typically, companies sold 8 x 11 calendars for about $20 before shipping and taxes were factored in. Some companies will offer discounts if you order a large number of calendars at once. The discount will depend on how many calendars you purchase and the company you purchase through.
Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Photo Printing Service
Storing & Sharing
Most photo printing services double as an unlimited photo storage site. Since so many of your photos are on social media sites, it is smart to work with a photo printing service that can pull images directly from your Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts. Plus, services that can pull photos from these platforms typically also make it easy to share your stored photos and albums on social media sites.
If you are constantly taking pictures and ordering prints, you might want to download a photo service app. Most apps allow you to order prints, but only some allow you to order photo gifts. If you think you'll be using the app regularly, you should find one that allows you to do everything you want.
Typically, every photo service will offer some form of editing capability. Some of the best ones include red-eye removal, cropping and the ability to adjust brightness and contrast. If you do crop an image, make sure the image is still high enough resolution that it will print well.
A photo’s print quality is tied to the printer that produces it. Most photo services have multiple printing locations around the U.S., which means the printing quality can vary. Find a service that works for you and offers the print sizes and gifts that you want.
Additional Gift Printing Options
Most printing services allow you to purchase a range of photo gifts that go beyond calendars, canvas prints and other basic paper products. For instance, many companies, like Walgreen’s Photo Center, allow you to print photos on mugs, blankets, puzzles, decks of cards, coasters, furniture pillows and even iPhone cases. These make the perfect personal gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Christmas and special events. The photo gift options will vary from one company to the next. Many printing services also allow you to create your own stationary like custom paper, envelope designs, notebooks and note cards. Services that offer custom stationary include several beautiful original designs to choose from, so you are likely to find something that works for you. You can also use photo card companies to create custom wedding or party invitations, as well as thank you notes and greeting cards.
Best Printing Jobs in a Hurry
When you need to get prints of your favorite photos fast, picking up at a brick and mortar store is the way to go. Most companies will allow you to print at Walgreens Photo, CVS Photo and Walmart Photo. In our testing, Walgreens had the best print quality out of these three. Shutterfly had the second best print quality in our testing, and this service lets you pick up prints at your local Target. If you order directly at a physical Walgreens, CVS or Walmart, you’ll likely be able to have photos in hand within one hour of ordering them, whereas you’ll have to wait at least two days for processing and shipping if you order prints for delivery from an online store. Admittedly, two days isn’t very long to wait unless you’re in a time crunch and need your photos fast. Be aware that some sizes and print finishes are only available for mail order.