Taking pictures is a great hobby and is a lot of fun for you and your loved ones. But when times comes to develop photos that you have taken, things might get a little bit pricey. Photo processing is not as expensive as it was a decade ago, still, if you plan to keep your albums and scrapbooks full, you will need some advice. Here are some tips on how to keep your costs down without cutting back on any of the fun of photography.
* Use overnight photo processing services instead of instant or one-hour ones. Even though it means waiting a bit long for those special shots you took at the party or on family holiday, it can significantly reduce the money you will have to spend to develop photos.
* Be sure to pick only the best photos. Any good photo shop will refund you the costs of any dark, grainy or overexposed images. If you are not fully satisfied, demand your money back. There is no point in paying for low quality images when there are many more than you can invest in.
* Develop photos in bulk. Many shops have special discounts in place for bulk purchases. There may even be seasonal offers and promotions, so be sure to keep your eyes open. Collect a few roles of film while you wait for a promotion or simply take advantage of bulk photo processing discount.
* Stay away from the extra services. Most of these additional services are unnecessary, like buying a CD with your images. Go for services that you actually need and spend the saved money to develop photos you actually like.
* Get a scanner. Once you develop photos and get your prints, you can use the scanner to keep a digital copy of your images. Many shops offer CD services with their photo processing, but the fees quickly add up so it is much wiser to invest into a one-off purchase of a scanner than paying recurring fees.
* Buy a digital camera. A whole article can be written on the advantages of digital cameras over their film predecessors. But how will the digital camera save you money? First off, you will be able to sort out good images from the bad before you develop photos, without wasting money on the images that did not turn out good. Another benefit is to use online photo processing to develop photos. Many sites offer great discounts if you order your prints online. In addition, think of all the money you get to save on film. If you are a real photography enthusiast, you will probably get the value of your digital camera in one year already.
* Try different shops. Many places will offer photo processing, with prices varying significantly. Some cheaper places will deliver poor quality, and some may provide value for money. Shop around and try out a few different services to determine where the quality and good prices meet. You just might be able to save more than you think.
* Buy film in bulk. Watch out for discounts and bulk sales on film and buy it in advance. Most film packages can last for ages so you don't have to worry about expiration date. You will save money on your purchases and as an additional bonus you will always be equipped with enough film. There is nothing worse than running out of film before an important event or a trip.