By Cassandra Balentine
The photography industry has drastically evolved over the past decade. Consumers are taking more photographs, but are more apt to share moments on social media outlets then sending them to print. However, when photographs are printed, they are expected to be completed fast and at high quality.
Several print providers with a niche in photographic output have invested in the latest digital print technology to offer high-quality prints on demand.
Professional Photo Prints
Miller’s Professional Imaging started in 1964 when its founder, Bill Miller, began developing prints for other professional photographers above his own photography studio in downtown Pittsburg, KS. The company now has two locations, one in Pittsburg, KS and another in Columbia, MO. The Pittsburg facility has grown to nearly 170,000 square feet in size with up to approximately 460 associates at peak seasons.
The full-service photo lab relies on digital print technology. According to Paul Rotter, marketing coordinator, Miller’s Professional Imaging, “digital printing is at the core of what we do—all day, every day.”
The company has processed images for more than 50 years. “By offering the highest quality products available, along with the best customer service and technologies in the industry, Miller’s Professional Imaging has grown to be the largest professional lab organization in the U.S.,” says Rotter.
Equipped for Success
Miller’s installed the Canon DreamLabo 5000 in May of 2017. The photography lab had looked at the machine for several years, and at Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference 2017 saw a much improved sample product and made the decision to invest. The Canon DreamLabo 5000 enables the company to offer a higher-end inkjet print.
The Canon DreamLabo 5000 production inkjet printer is a seven-color inkjet photographic printer featuring a wide color gamut, smooth gradations, and accurate color reproduction and premium paper options. The printer utilizes Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE) printhead technology. It features automatic double-sided printing that lends itself to printing photo albums and on demand, two-sided documents.
“The DreamLabo provides better speed than traditional printing and higher quality than press printing,” states Rotter.
In addition to the DreamLabo, Miller’s operates a Kodak Nexpress and Noritsu 3704HD for photographic printing. For finishing, it utilizes the Imaging Solutions Fast Block for book block production, Perfecta 76 Guillotine Cutter for final trim size, and the GP2 SC2 for producing book covers.
Time and Quality Sensitive
Miller’s understands the importance of turnaround time, and its Signature Albums are completed in the lab in one to two business days and many of the photographic print and press card orders placed through the company are out the door in just one day.
One feature that sets the print provider apart from the competition is its ability to maintain its turnaround times even in the holiday rush. “When many other labs post early deadlines for orders in December each year, Miller’s turnaround is unaffected by the holiday rush, with the same speedy service and normal turnaround times throughout Christmas,” says Rotter. “In addition, almost every order placed with Miller’s ships overnight for free.”
Rotter explains that eyes and hands are on orders from the time it enters the lab until it ships. This ensures that each order is handled with the care with which each employee would want their own personal photographs treated, he shares. Orders are signed off after personal inspection by each department that works on them as they pass through the lab.
“Speed and quality are two of the things Miller’s is most known for among photography labs. We are also constantly looking at ways we can improve on those two areas. The DreamLabo provides better speed than traditional photo printing and higher quality than press printing,” says Rotter.
With the DreamLabo, Miller’s offers Dream Prints, which are touted as a unique giclée printing process that provides higher image detail than traditional photographic printing.
Dream Print orders can combine different paper types into the same order. They are available in 15 set sizes, including 5×7, 5×10, 6×9, 7×10, 8×8, 8×10, 8×12, 10×10, 10×13, 10×15, 10×20, 11×14, 12×12, 12×18, and 12×24 inches.
Customers submit files through ROES or Designer Plus.
Positioned for Progress
Miller’s continually strives to stay on top of industry trends, offering products and services based on new technologies and machinery, like its investment in the Canon DreamLabo for growth into high-end inkjet photographic printing. dps
May2018, DPS Magazine