WALGREENS and WALGREENS.COM
With digital photography now the standard, and the ability to print out photos at home, do one-hour photo shops still have a place? You'll know the answer to that question as soon as you use the on-line service offered by Walgreens.
If you have a really good printer with six or more ink color cartridges, you can print a picture at home comparable to what you get at a one-hour store. But if your printer is one of those small photo printers and/or has just two or three cartridges (most have one for black and white and another with three colors) then you are not doing your photos justice. With a commercial, one-hour photo shop, you will get the best quality photos, and they will probably last much longer (although, again, with a higher-end printer you can print archival
I have a high quality printer, and yet I still use Walgreens because of the convenience factor. I especially like Walgreens because it is a 24-hour store, and if I get a hankering at 11:00 p.m. to print out the photos I've been Photoshopping all day, I can upload them to Walgreens and pick them up at midnight. Try that at Costco. Plus, I avoid all the little annoyances that come with printing at home, such as realizing I'm out of cyan ink, having to align the print heads and clean the
nozzles, or investing the time and supplies to print a nice 11 x 13, only to have the printer hiccup half way through the print. I haven't done the math, but I also suspect that the prints at Walgreens are cheaper than printing at home. Once you get on their email list, you will routinely receive discount offers, often bringing the cost per print down to just five cents.
Go to Walgreens.com and test the service with a few of your photos. The interface isn't perfect, and I wish they offered a larger variety of print sizes, but this is, after all, designed more for consumers than "prosumers" as the photo magazines call them. They will also mail your photos to you, which kind of defeats the whole one-hour thing, but it's very convenient. For mail orders you can pay with PayPal.
The three photos shown here were taken by me and printed at Walgreens. Of course, these are the digital versions and thus are pointless in showing the quality of the prints at Walgreens, but I promise they looked every bit as good. Work with me here. For more photos, go to Best Camera Store.
-- Aaron P. Morris
13052 Newport Ave. (corner of Irvine and Newport)
Tustin, CA 92780
Open 24 hours