FAQs – Help & How To

D&R Photo - help & how to information, tips, advice & answers to commonly asked questions

We are developing an entirely new set of tutorial videos for our new ordering website www.simplphotos.com

Please check out the new FAQs on the new website for any information related to ordering photographic prints, canvases and SIMPL photo books.

Visit SIMPL Photos Website FAQs

  The new site is still being tweaked daily so we thank you in advance for your patience!


General Information

My prints had a weird crop when I got them?

From time to time, we do get a call about someones prints being cropped “weird” or having borders they didn’t want.  There are two main categories for these issues:

  1. Aspect Ratio Issues
  2. Cropping Choice/Instructions When Ordering

Aspect Ratios

Aspect ratio refers to the difference or relationship between the length and the width of your image.  You will commonly hear this expressed in terms of 3:2, or 4:3 or 16:9 in the case of a widescreen TV.  Printing photos is no different.  If the size of the image you have is different than the size of the print you want, one of three things can happen:

  1. You image will be cropped or cut off.  This results in a print that fills the frame, but may have information you would like printed cut off.
  2. All of your image will be squeezed to fit in without leaving borders. – we call this skewing.  It results in some weird looking warped photos and is not recommended.  This will never be done unless you specifically request it.
  3. You image will be fit in by shrinking it while maintaining the aspect ratio.  The longest side of your photo will determine how much shrinking must be done.  IN this method, there is no warping of your image, but you will see white edges on two sides of your print.

Cropping Choice

After choosing your photos, if any of your images do not meet the aspect ratio requirements as described above, you will be shown the following screen:

cropping options screen

  1. You chose “Quick Crop” when ordering prints online, and we cropped them for you here.  This usually means we have to guess what part of a photo is important to you.  By default, we will fill the frame and keep heads.
    • The main exception to this would be with square framed photos.  We shrink these in to keep all of them as cropping them results in significant loss and usually ruins the image.  In this case, you would see white edges on the sides / top & bottom of the print.
  2. You chose the “No Crop”.  This will keep all of your image and (if your image is formatted in a different ratio than the print) will result in white borders on the areas where the image is shrunk in.
  3. Your best option if you care about cropping is to manually crop the images  – middle option.  If you are bothered by the speed of doing this in the browser, we recommend cropping your images in your image management/processing software prior to uploading them for ordering.

Hope this helps sort things out – happy printing!

What are your prices?

Please note: This site is geared towards our retail & consumer level customers.  If you are a professional photographer, please register on our lifethreads albums website to obtain professional printing and flush mount album prices.


Passport & ID Photos:

  • $8.95 + tax for a set of 2 printed photographs OR the digital copy* of your photo
  • $15.99 + tax for a set of 2 printed AND the digital copy* of your photo

For the full price list for ID photos, visit our Passport Photo Page

*Digital copies of your photos are available for write to a disc (CD/DVD – we provide the disc) or to your flash drive.  We do not provide email services, but we do have a computer for your use that allows you to email photos once you have purchased the digital copy.


General Print & Enlargement Prices:

  • See the price list at: http://simplphotos.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/SIMPL_print-prices.pdf
  • We also have a minimum order of $2.00 before tax on ALL print orders (in-store, online and smartphone apps).

Canvas Prices:


Photo Book Prices:

  • See our photo book page for information on pricing for our photo books.  There are several prices per size depending on which option you choose.  These prices include album design & the album itself.

How can I order?

There are 3 ways to place an order:

  1. Come in to the lab location at 6530 Fraser Street in Vancouver, BC (visit our Contact Us page for a map)
    • Bring your files for printing on a USB flash/thumb drive, CD, DVD or memory card
    • Use our touch screen print computer to order your prints or leave your device with us and we’ll print it up (please note that we do not pick and choose from a device for printing, so please put all selected images into a separate printing folder)
  2. Order from our website – click here
    • No waiting around for your order, just come in for your pick-up when you receive the order ready email
    • Pay online or in-store when you pick up your order
  3. Order from your iPhone, iPad or Android device – see our mobile printing page for details

Do I need an account to order online?

 

Yes. You need to set up a shopping account on our new SIMPL Photos. Site.  Yosimpl photos by d&r photo login to create accountu can do that here.  Just click on LOGIN in the top right to get started.


 

 

Can I edit my photos with your site?

Our ordering platform has basic photo editing (i.e. cropping, change to black & white) in the design portion of the software – you use this when you order any poster, canvas or SIMPL photo book product.

 


Other Options

We also recommend a great web-based photo editor with tons of capability Pixlr.  It is browser based (nothing to install on your computer) and also has apps for iOS and android smartphones/tablets.  You would edit the photos first on your computer, save your edits and then upload and order.  Check it out at http://pixlr.com/

 

Do you serve professional photographers?

Yes we do!  

D&R Photo has been bringing top-notch printing and service to the metro Vancouver photographic community for over 30 years.  Our smaller location allows us to keep the essentials at the forefront: providing the best quality prints, with the best turnaround times and service possible.  Our pro customers like that they can interact with our technicians and management directly and work with them to achieve success.  We like to say that you can think of us as a big lab with a face.

*RECENT CHANGE* – We have just moved ALL our professional services over to our lifethreads albums website and our new lifethreads:Creator software.  This allows the busy professional to do everything from one convenient and easy to use location & free piece of software.  Check out lifethreadsalbums.com for more information and sign up on our professional customer list to receive important product updates, tips and access password restricted materials  for our professional customers only.


 

Professional services include:

  • Silver halide (RA4) printing up to 36×12 inches (on Professional PDN paper and now Professional Deep Matte Paper – Deep matte currently available on select sizes only)
  • Wide format enlargements on photo paper up to 24×36 inches (or 24x longer) (your choice of premium lustre or enhanced matte)
  • Direct to canvas giclee printing (Museum Grade Exhibition Satin or Matte canvas)
  • Our very own hand made line of professional flush mount photo albums – lifethreads albums
  • Digital Album Design – custom design services and free design software (lifethreads:Creator)
  • Photo retouching & post-processing
  • Downloadable templates
  • Downloadable price lists for pro print rates and (you must register as a professional customer of D&R Photo to gain access to password protected areas of the D&R Pro site)
  • *BRAND NEW* lifethreads:Creator software — free software tool that allows you to design & order professional flush mount albums, order canvases, order prints and transfer your files to us for speedy & professional service

 

How do I use your online ordering platform?

We do get this question from time to time.  As we do not administer the actual web-based software that powers the platform, it is very difficult for us to provide direct help to you.  However, the company that powers the site – Lifepics – has dedicated help at this link: http://photoprinter.lifepics.com/Help/.

Before trying this help link, we do suggest checking the following:

  • Ensure your browser software is up to date – out of date software is one of the most common reasons things don’t work
  • Also make sure your operating system is up to date.  This makes sure all necessary security features are working properly.
  • Sometimes cached (stored) information in your browser is bad and prevents things from working correctly – just reset your browser or clear your cache
  • Sometimes simply closing the browser down and restarting it can work.
  • Sometimes an alternate browser software works better when one won’t work – as reference in store we use Chrome on both our PC and our Mac computers and it works fine.  Internet Explorer, Firefox & Safari also work well.

We’ve also created a new youtube channel for D&R Photo that we will be posting tutorial videos on.  Here’s the Printing Online video to help you get started:

 

 

Can I email you a picture?

As a general rule, we do not process orders via email.  The reasons are as follows:

  1. Email programs tend to compress files = POOR PRINT QUALITY.  Email was never really meant to transfer print quality image files, it was meant to communicate words.  As such, most email programs will by default, shrink or compress your attached image files to make them easier to send in one quick email.  This is fine for on screen viewing but horrible for printing.
  2. It is possible to send non-printable file formats thru email. These formats include PDFs, word documents, and PNG files to name a few.  None of these file formats are compatible with a photographic printer, all must be converted in order to allow for printing. This can involve unexpected file conversion charges on your bill or an order that is not printed.
  3. Email is UNRELIABLE. In a busy environment such as ours, emails are easy to miss, easily filtered into junk mail or just not received due to typos.
  4. Email is TEDIOUS on our end.  This involves more time to process an order and is why all email orders are subject to a $5 surcharge in addition to regular printing/processing charges.

To simplify things, just use our web-based ordering platform at www.photoprinter.lifepics.com.  It takes care of all the issues mentioned above, gives you way more options with your orders (sizes and products) and allows you the convenience of receiving a simple email telling you when your prints are ready for pick-up.

More questions?  As always, please drop us a line through our contact form.

Do you do enlargements?

Yes we do.  All enlargements of greater than 12-inch width are printed on our Epson 7900 using ultrachrome K3 pigment inks and archival quality papers from Epson.  This results in archival quality prints of outstanding colour, clarity and definition. We have a 24-inch machine which typically allows us to print up to 24×36 inches.

Our current paper selections include:

  • premium lustre photo paper (awesome for colour enlargements, especially portraits)
  • enhanced matte photo paper (amazing black and white enlargements
  • exhibition satin canvas (print only or print, stretch & wrap option)
  • exhibition matte canvas (print only or print, stretch & wrap option)

There are 2 ways enlargements can happen:

1. Digital – we print directly from your digital file.  No scanning.  Your files need to be of high enough quality (both file size / resolution and the actual clarity of the image) in order to print the size you want.  The bigger you want to go, the better they should be.

2. Scanning From existing picture/print – we scan your file, prepare it for printing and then print it up.  You will be charged a fee for the scan and enlargement ($5 or more depending on the size of your original print).

Do you print headshots?

Yes we do print head shots.  Our printing services are professional, fast and cost effective.

Other services we are able to provide headshot customers:

  • Formatting file with a border and name
  • Retouching images
  • Storage of files for convenient ordering

We do not take head shot photos ourselves, we are a lab who prints only.  We can happily provide you with names and numbers of photographers who pritn with us if you’d like.

Please visit our head shot page (http://photoprinterinvancouver.com/headshots/) for more information.

Do you process film?

Unfortunately, we are no longer able to process film of any kind.  We are also unable to scan negatives, positives or slides for printing or digitization.

For professional labs who can provide film services we recommend trying one of the two big labs in Vancouver:

For one-hour film developing, we recommend trying your local London Drugs, but we do recommend calling first as not all LD photo locations are able to offer all their services.

Can you copy / scan an existing photo? (I don’t have anything else)

Yes, we get this request all the time.  We can certainly scan an existing print and copy it for printing or just digital archiving.

We provide the following scanning services:

  • General Scanning – $3 per image starting price (lower on volume), at 300dpi minimum
  • Print to print scanning – special reduced rate for 4×6 to 4×6 copies only – $1.75 per image
  • Scan & Enlarge – starts at $5, more on prints larger than 8×10
  • CD write – write your files to a CD (700MB) – $4 per disc
  • DVD write – write your files to a DVD (4.5GB capacity) – $10 per disc
  • Archival Grade DVD write – $20 per disc
  • Write to customer provided USB flash drive – no charge with purchase of any scanning order

Any printing costs are as per our print price list found here.

What are your prices?

Fair question.  We have kept our price list all digital rather than printing brochures to save a tree or two.  We operate on a volume based printing scheme. Simply stated – print more, save more.

 

  • Professional Photographers – to have access to our Pro-only rates, you must have signed up with D&R Photo & lifethreads albums as a professional photographer.  For more information, please visit our pro photo website resources page http://photoalbumsinvancouver.com/resources

Can I print pictures from my iphone / smartphone / android device?

Yes – from the browser in your phone.  No need for an app. Click here to get started now.

Do you do photo restoration work?

We can scan old torn or faded photos, fix a digital version and reprint the photo for you.  We do not repair the original photo itself.   There is a minimum restoration charge of $15 per image, but this can range up to $60 or more. Rates vary depending on the amount of damage to the photo, the severity of the damage and the overall size of the image.

If you are considering a restoration, we recommend bringing your photo by for one of our staff to have a look at. They can provide you with an on-the-spot estimate for the job, no obligations.

Want more information?  Please use our contact page.