** This is NOT a sponsored post - simply sharing my experience and delight by highly recommending a great online professional printing lab **
As I continue to refine the collection of images I am planning to exhibit next August, I began the search for a professional printing lab. One of the most important criteria for me was to find a professional printing lab that offered Hahnemühle Digital FineArt papers in their printed products. Having spent many hours researching archival printing methods, this paper was a common theme and I just had to try it with my images.
One evening, while Googling "fine art printing labs". I came upon Musea Lab in my search and was very intrigued by the company's website, their message, and the printing/mounting services they offered. AND the icing on the cake, they utilized the fine art papers I was seeking!
If you are interested in more information on the many types of papers for printed images, let me know in the comments below as I would love to share what I have learned so far in a future post.
Back to Musea lab.....
Their website is beautifully simple with easy access to all service offerings and educational links! They also have a chat feature for questions so I gave it a spin. I was connected to a representative within minutes and was provided answers to my printer and "ink type used" questions in a very friendly and quick manner. I was quite impressed! - I just love friendly people and great customer service!!
Musea Lab works with professional photographers solely so I provided them the information they sought for review in the hopes of working with them. Approval came shortly after and I set up a business account.
At this point I was eager to see my work printed on their archival papers with pigment inks so I decided to try their test print offer. They requested a 5x7 image in which they would print that image on seven of their papers.
To get the best test, I chose my Atlas Jar with Cherries image due to the deep color in the cherries, the clear glass jar with bright reflections, and the white mottled background.
This image has strong color differences and very highlighted areas. A good test subject I thought - let's give them a workout!
I sent in my order and just seven days later, my package arrived!
I was delightfully surprised with the packaging as a very substantial white box arrived with my test prints. This might seem a bit dramatic but trust me when I say padded envelopes do not make good photo mailers....they just don't.
I have always wanted to do an "unboxing" post so I did just that. I immediately took the box to my studio and started opening....taking photos of the steps along the way...
I am a full-on sucker for great packaging and branding....this hit the nail on the head!
The first document out of the box was a wrapped card listing each of the papers and their attributes. Not only was this card wrapped and sealed, each of the seven photographs were individually wrapped in a sealed photo wrap keeping fully protected and orderly. As I read the information on the paper description card my heart started pounding when I saw the words "Museum Etching" and "Canson Rag".....I was about to see my work professionally printed on gorgeous paper!
There it was....the first one in the group...right on top....my image printed on deckle edge Museum Etching paper. You have to see and feel this paper to fully appreciate it's qualities. It is mildly textured and best described as having a rich buttery feel. Almost painterly....absolutely loved it. The colors and highlights were beautifully printed and it was right then and there that I had to agree....
Digital images MUST be printed to be fully appreciated.
I moved on through the rest of the test prints one by one...holding them up to the light, carefully opening resealable wrapper and lightly brushing my finger over the surface. It might sound crazy but it was a heavenly experience.
Each of the prints had a special look and feel that I was just amazed by. The prints also had the paper type labeled on the back for reference. It was interesting to see how each of the paper types played with the highlights and colors and there was not one that I was unhappy with.
If you are a professional photographer I strongly encourage you to try Musea Lab. Their ordering process is a breeze, their customer service is stellar, and the quality speaks for itself.
I encourage everyone with a camera to Print. Your. Images.
Go through your online albums that contain the loveliness you share on your blog or website and get them on paper! There is just something so incredible about physically holding your artistic vision and creativity! There are countless awesome online printing labs for everyone and you will hug yourself when you see and feel your photography printed on beautiful paper.