FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions, and some helpful tips.

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General
Yes, absolutely.  We offer high quality scanning services to digitize and optionally enlarge (and even retouch) your images in order to print them the way you’d like.   We can digitally capture almost any size film negative, slide, printed photo, document, or two-dimensional piece of art.   For an accurate estimate of time and cost; please bring in your originals so we can see the size and condition firsthand and learn more about how you plan to print or view the final images.

The term “aspect ratio” describes the width to height proportions of a rectangle. A photo with a 1:2 aspect ratio would be twice as high as it is wide. A 6″x12″ image has a 1:2 aspect ratio, as does a 24″x48″ image. An 8″x 10″ image has a 4:5 aspect ratio. An image that is 4″x6″ has a 2:3 aspect ratio. Images can be scaled up or down in size consistent with the aspect ratio to avoid distorting or cropping the content. Aspect ratio principles apply to both digital and physical images.

Yes, our card reader here in the store is configured to accept ApplePay, as well as Visa/MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

We can scan or photograph your items to make a very high quality reproduction from your original. The digital copy can then be restored, printed larger/smaller than the original, and mounted/framed as you desire. We do not directly mount, frame, modify or restore original items.

No, we don’t provide passport/visa services. 
Image requirements for government IDs are very specific and can vary by country. A nearby portrait studio – Lola Photographic does provide passport and visa services to meet the requirements of most countries.

This topic on our website provides instructions on determining an image file size on your phone.
You can also browse print products and options on our website. Just go to PhoenixPhotoLab.com and click the big green button that says Order Prints Online. There you can see prices and options as well as preview, crop, rotate, and zoom in on your images to get them just the way you like before placing an order.
When a selected print size is *significantly* larger than recommended for good quality print with the image file, you’ll see a warning symbol and a prominent text message in red, alerting you to consider a smaller print size. (This alert is based only on the file dimensions, and not whether the photo itself is in focus.)

“Zipped” files (ending in *.zip) are large files, or large quantities of files that are digitally compressed into a smaller file size for fast and secure transmission over the internet – such as through a service we use called WeTransfer.com
Do download and open a file;
– Click the WeTransfer link in your email notification message.
– Click the blue button to agree to WT Terms of Use.
– Click the blue “Download” button. If the file does not automatically begin downloading to your default folder, select a location on your computer where you’d like to save the file.
– After downloading, use File Explorer (PC) or Finder (Mac) to browse to the downloaded the file on your computer. You should see your file ending in a *.zip extension.
– Click once on the file to select it (but not open it) and then right-click with your mouse to get a menu of options. You should see decompression option in that menu such as “unarchive to” “extract” or “uncompress”…   This varies by operating system, so select the closest match. Your computer will then decompress the zip file, creating a new folder right next to it (with the same file name as the zip file) This decompressed folder will contain your individual images.

Here’s a link with general instructions on how to open a zipped/compressed file.

We do! Here’s a topic in our film category that has more information!

While we do offer mounting and framing options with our print services; we don’t mount or frame original pieces. We can digitize and print copies of your originals which could then be mounted and framed, or we can refer you to a nearby framing shop whose focus is framing original paintings, posters, memorabilia, documents, textiles, and other one-of-a-kind items.

Yes, we digitally capture and reproduce works of art in our facility for many artists. Under controlled lighting conditions, we photographically capture and digitally prepare full resolution image files which can then be printed true to color on paper, canvas, metal. We also offer wood print options, acrylic, gatorboard and foam mount options. Print pricing and production time varies depending on the kind of prints and finishing options you need, as well as how many reproduction work orders we may have in queue. On average 10 to 15 business days are needed for the photography, editing, printing, as well as custom size canvas frame construction when applicable. For the most accurate estimate of time and cost; please bring in an original so we can see the size and attributes firsthand and learn more about how you would like the final image reproductions printed.

Yes! It is actually possible to order prints from us using your phone or tablet, although our online ordering portal is best suited for use from a computer.  Our Medium Size print category for our Professional Paper Photo Prints catalog, containing print sizes most typically fitting smartphone images. Depending on your device settings, all order options may not be readily visible; so look for the menu icon of three black lines in the upper right corner of the screen to choose your paper type as well as any borders and mounting choices. 

Be sure to send us the highest quality version of your image(s) from your files or your Photos catalog.   If an image is much too small to print acceptably in a size selected, a warning icon will appear in the middle of the image; however please note that this is based entirely on the file dimensions, not the sharpness or clarity of the photo. If you accidentally rotate or zoom your image and can’t get it back to the starting position, just drag your photo up into the middle of the screen again and it will reset.

On iPhone:
In the Photos app, tap the image to open it. Tap the “info” icon beneath the image, or just swipe up on the image itself.

On Android:
Go to Photos, select your image and click the “…” (three dots) icon in the top right. Scroll to bottom of page to find image size.

The image details will be displayed, including some or all of the following: date, time, and image filename camera and lens information, image size in megapixels (MP), width/height pixel dimensions, and megabytes (MB) exposure settings (if available) location information (if available) Width/Height

Pixel Dimensions are the most helpful attribute for estimating the best print size for the image. Please keep in mind that image size is different than image sharpness. Photos that are not in focus will look even softer (not sharper) when enlarged.

The High Efficiency (HEIC) file format is proprietary to Apple and can contain multiple still (burst photo) images inside one file, and even video content.

We cannot print files that are in HEIC format. Please convert your files to JPEG before to uploading them to us for printing.

How to Convert HEIC files to JPG on an iPhone

  1. In the Photos app, find the photo you wish to convert and tap Share.
  2. Tap Copy Photo.
  3. Open the Files app on your iPhone.
  4. Tap On My iPhone.
  5. Long-press on an empty area and tap Paste.
  6. A duplicate of the photo will be made and automatically converted to JPG / JPEG file format.

HEIC files are purposely smaller than standard image files so that more of them can be stored on your phone. For this reason we recommend that iPhone photographers change the Photo Capture settings (in the Format section of the iPhone Camera app) from the defaults to the highest quality options available for your phone model.

Yes, if you have a printed photo, please bring it to us.  We will scan it to make a digital image file and can also edit and crop the file the way you’d like, and make new prints in your desired size.

If you already have the photo in a digital file; you can order right on our website and even make basic changes, add borders and other options. 

Just click here, choose your print size, upload your photo.

Use the control arrows to zoom in/out, reposition left/right to get your image positioned just the way you want it to be printed. You can then add borders and choose your paper finish. (Lustre is most popular for portraits). Once you are done with your adjustments, add the number of prints you’d like to your cart, check out, and we’ll let you know as soon as they are printed!

The system does accept Tiff file; however we’ve found that most web browsers won’t allow TIFF uploads, the exception being Apple’s Safari browser.  We recommend saving your files in a JPEG format after editing them to reduce their total size and enable online upload.  This won’t compromise the file quality when printing.  It is most important to preserve the range of colors while making editing changes.  Once you’ve completed those changes, convert the color space to sRGB and save the file in JPEG format (with the color space embedded) for the best results.

In conjunction with an image editing and/or print order, we can accept images on one form of media (such as a camera memory card) and return the edited image files on another media type such as USB or email. We do not offer data copy/backup or file management as a standalone service.

Due to resource limitations, email orders are no longer accepted.

If your desired product or service is not available through our website, please give us a call at 602-466-1303. A team member will gather the necessary details about your digital editing or print request, including image sizes, media types, finishing options, delivery method and soforth. This process better allows us to accurately and efficiently produce your prints without multiple emails back and forth. We will assign a work order number, take payment, and provide you with instructions on how to send us your digital files so we can quickly get your work order into production.

We do not digitize or print images which:

  • Depict or imply sexual content involving minors
  • Depict, imply or glorify violence, illegal activities, illicit drug use, acts of war or terrorism
  • Explicitly display genitalia or sexual acts
  • Are considered obscene, morbid or pornographic
  • Include content that is generally recognized as offensive or illegal
  • Infringe on the copyrights of artists/photographers/publishers

At Phoenix Photo Lab, we trust our customers to submit images they have the legal right to reproduce. This applies to both digital scans/photos and printed photos.
While we cannot verify copyright ownership for every image, we reserve the right to decline orders due to copyright concerns.
The responsibility for copyright ownership and licensing lies solely with the customer. We cannot obtain permissions on customer behalf.

If we receive notification or have reason to believe an image might have copyright issues, we may decline the order or require a signed copyright liability waiver before scanning/printing. This protects both you and Phoenix Photo Lab.

Please visit Copyright.Gov for much more information and guidance on this important topic.

Film

Please allow 3 to 5 weekdays for order completion. Times can fluctuate with total volume of film orders we receive as well as prints or special service options selected with the order. Color film is processed separately (on different days) from black and white film, so your order may be completed in two parts and you may receive two download links for your digital scans.

We develop all film on site and accept standard 35mm, 120mm, APS* and 110* film sizes in color (C-41/CN-16 process) or black and white. Additional charges may apply for scanning some frame sizes such as half-frames or panoramas, and for expired black and white film. Please note that while we do not develop Kodachrome K-16 or Echtachrome E-4/E-6 slide film, we do scan nearly any kind or size of film which has already been developed – including sheet film.

Standard 35mm film negative scans are currently $1.20 per individual frame, $5 per cut strip or $9.99 per uncut roll. High resolution options are available based on target print size and bulk discounts are available over 100 pieces. When we also do the developing of your film roll, the digital scans are even more economical.

The chemistry for developing Kodachrome in color (K-14) is no longer manufactured.   Some labs will process it as Black and White film, but to do so with the best outcome there are some additional steps and buffering solutions that we don’t use here.

Absolutely! We will ship your negatives back along with your prints, or hold for pickup here in our store for up to 90 days.  Please note that unclaimed negatives and prints will be disposed of after 90 days.

We use an Ilford chemistry process for Black and White film and a C-41 Fujitsu chemistry process for color.

In the event that an entire roll of film is blank, we will issue a voucher for scanning a future roll of film. If there is a high likelihood of your film being blank (such as with disposable cameras from a group event, old film rolls or significantly underexposed film); we recommend choosing the “Develop Only” processing option and having us scan the roll after developing if there are viable frames.

Certainly! We can develop most types of old black and white film, as well as C-41 / CN-16 color film.  Heat and moisture can particularly degrade the quality of undeveloped film, but if the film has been stored in a very cool, dry place; we are often able to recover photos.  Even when stored carefully, the colors do shift over time, contrast and sharpness reduces, and fogginess increases.  For these reasons; we recommend choosing the “Develop Only” film service option.  That way you’re not paying to scan or print any frames that may not come out in the developing process.

Yes, however keep in mind that (even if stored properly) the colors shift, contrast reduces, and fogginess increases over time.
As color film ages photos will tend toward having a magenta color cast (and negatives appear greenish-tinted, the opposite of magenta).

We can provide your digital files by email download, USB, or CD.

Most disposable cameras contain standard color (C-41 process) film. Some contain black and white film. Either way, we process it here! If pre-ordering you’re developing on our website, just count each disposable camera as a standard roll of film.  Additional note: We work with a company to recycle the camera bodies so both the plastic and the electronic components stay out of the landfill!

This occurs most often when one of the rolls in your order did not contain any scannable frames due to over-exposure, under-exposure, or camera advance malfunctions. When you come to pick up your negatives; we recommend using the light table in our lobby to look for such indications. Very dark film has been overexposed, very pale/transparent film is underexposed.  If there are viable frames that we missed for some reason, we will gladly re-scan your film.

Frames are automatically skipped when they are completely over/under exposed or when content is too blurry for equipment to focus and produce a scannable/printable image.  These exposure issues can can be due to incorrect ISO or shutter speed settings, insufficient light, a malfunction of the camera, opening the camera back before the film has been re-wound, accidentally taking a photo when the camera lens cap is on, and many other similar scenarios. In such cases the frames are neither digitally scanned nor printed.  If for any reason we missed scanning a viable frame on your film roll, we will gladly re-scan your order. When picking up your negatives; we recommend using the light table in our lobby to examine your film for such indications.  Very dark film frames indicate overexposure, while very pale/transparent frames indicate underexposure.  Uneven spaces or overlapping between frames can indicate a potential mechanical problem with the film advance function of the camera.

We stock small amounts of popular items at our sales counter; such as film, disposable cameras, standard frames, mats, and archival sleeves. Due to fluctuations in the quantities on hand from day to day; these items are available in-store only and not sold through our website.

Scanning/Digitization

An average shoebox can hold approximately 600 to 900 photos that are 4×6 or 5×7 in size, depending on the thickness of photo paper they were made on. If they are unframed and free of tape/adhesive residue on the back, we can capture standard resolution digital images of them at low cost. Please call us for pricing on small “flexible print scans”. We offer bulk discounts for large jobs.

Yes, we scan or photograph heirloom/historical images and artwork to reprint high quality archival-grade reproductions.  We do this for individuals, as well as museums, historical societies, schools, and businesses. The technique and equipment required can vary depending on the size and condition of the original, including whether it is framed, mounted, or very fragile.  We recommend bringing your items in to us in person if possible so we can see the sizes and condition of the originals, discuss your needs with regard to the final prints, and provide a full and accurate work order estimate.

Yes! We can ditgitally scan slides so you have them for backup, or even make new prints from them. We recommend bringing your items in to us in person so we can see their sizes and condition, discuss your needs with regard to the final prints, and provide a full and accurate work order estimate.

Originals should be reasonably free of dust, lint, and other surface debris. For liability reasons, we do not clean the surface of original images, including artwork, slides, film rolls, documents or photos. Printed photos should be removed from frames/albums/folders whenever possible. Flexible-scan items must not have tape, stickers, notes, or adhesive on the back. We recommend organizing your photos in a box or folder. Remove any duplicates and then count and group the items by size. These steps will help us create your work order and complete your imaging more efficiently.

Because every order is different, we recommend bringing your originals to our location in person whenever possible. Please call to open a new work order with us before sending any original items by mail. A team member will need to gather key pieces of information from you before generating a work order. You’ll be given the work order number for job tracking purposes.

Please include your work order number written prominently on your shipment.

We offer an economical scan option ($1.20 each) if your photos are unframed, flexible and in relatively sturdy condition (not so old they are starting to fall apart). This is for photos or documents between 3″x3″ and 8″x10″ in size. They must be free of any sticky residue, such as from tape or album mounting adhesives. Average completion for this type of scan order (not including print services) is approximately 5 business days, but varies based on our current order volume.

Other scanning equipment and options apply for images that don’t fit these descriptions (fragile, framed/mounted, very small or large, or those requiring significant enlargement etc). Those processes require more detailed processing for each photo during the scanning process resulting in longer completion times. It’s best to bring your photos in to us for a full and accurate work order estimate.

Scan order completion times vary by order attributes and current job volume. Orders under 50 pieces are generally completed within 5 business days. Large or complex orders take longer to complete

Photo Studio reservations for large artwork reproduction are currently $50/hour, during which we can typically capture up to 5 oversize pieces. This quantity can vary depending on just how large, reflective and/or textured each piece of artwork is. A variety of lighting equipment and techniques are used to capture art effectively and to minimize surface reflections.

There are three delivery options for your digital files:
– WeTransfer digital email download ($2)
– USB ($10)
– or CD ($5)

Prints

Gicleé (pronouced “zhee·klay”) is a term used to indicate a high-quality inkjet print production. Our printers are capable of producing high resolution prints due to the very small droplet sizes of ink that are deposited with this technology. This enables very detailed accuracy and zero ink bleed on even the most textured paper and canvas.

Our individual printers are carefully calibrated for each of the specific papers that we carry. Therefore; we can accommodate this request for very large print runs, and by special appointment only. We do not print on sheet stock. A sufficient number of paper rolls for calibration and the print run must be supplied (unopened, undamaged, and from the same lot), or be ordered by us directly. There is a custom calibration charge, and a small monthly storage charge for any remaining rolls held in stock for your future orders on that paper. Please call us for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Print technology has advanced greatly since the 1970’s and 1980’s. All of our inks, papers and canvas materials are acid-free and of archival quality so they can last for decades without fading or yellowing when kept at normal indoor temperatures and out of direct sunlight.

A “rolled” canvas is an image printed on canvas but not stretched onto a wood frame. We print the border as well as extra material so that the image can be rolled and shipped in a tube, and later stretched onto a frame. This greatly reduces shipping costs for remote customers, but is also a favourite option of mixed-media artists who wish to further add paint or other materials to the surface of their print before putting onto a frame.

We offer an artist approval process (full scale test strips) for large format art reproductions requiring color-matching, and we have a digital proof process for images that we retouch or restore.   If you are inquiring about various paper type samples, we recommend ordering small individual prints in standard sizes which start at approximately $2.50 each.

Yes. While we certainly always strive to achieve as close a color and tonal match in ink as compared to original pigments in artwork, we also offer a test print approval process for paper and canvas prints. A section of the image containing key colors and tonal range is printed on the selected paper or canvas and held for your review and signature approval. To achieve the closest color and exposure match between your digital photography/art and your printed images; we recommend using a monitor calibration tool from a company such as X-Rite or Datacolor to fine-tune your digital display. Save your final edited print file in the JPEG file format with an embedded sRGB color space. One-on-one color consultation with our lead print technician is also available by appointment, charged in 15 minute increments as it halts regular print production.

Each canvas is custom made to the desired dimensions.  Our standard production minimum is 6 days, but can vary by how many orders we have in queue at the time. It can sometimes be sooner if we happen to already have your frame size in our pre-built stock.The fastest way to order is through our website.  Our Canvas Wraps catalog lists a variety of sizes where you can upload your file, position and preview your image inside the print dimensions, as well as select from border and finishing options.  We also offer shipping.

An image is considered “print-ready” when it is:

  • A single layer (flattened) JPEG or TIF file format; ideally with an embedded color profile such as sRGB or AdobeRGB
  • Contains no special characters in the filename (#!^%$*@_/|:;’?, etc)
  • Has image dimensions of 300 or more dots per inch for the print size you desire (for best print quality), or no less than 150 dots per inch

Proprietary file formats, (often ending in  *.NEF, *.CR2, *HEIC, *RAW, etc.), must be opened by an image application such as Photoshop™, Lightroom™, CameraRaw™, or CaptureOne™ in order to view the size information for the image.

For standard file types; such as JPEG or TIF –

  • In Finder on Mac: Right-click the filename, choose Get Info. In the More Info subsection, look for “Dimensions”.
  • In File Explorer on Windows: Right-click the filename, choose Properties.  On the Details tab, scroll down to the Image section to “Dimensions”.

Example:
An image that is 2500px X 3200px will print well up to an 8”x10”
2500/300 = 8.33      3200/300 = 10.66

A 24MP camera typically captures images that are approximately 4000 x 6000 pixels in size (this will vary slightly from one manufacturer to another). At the recommended print resolution of 300 pixels per inch, your best quality print size would be up to 13.3″x20″.  Generally speaking, a sharp image in those dimensions can usually be printed up to 50% larger with very good results, even on very smooth paper surfaces.  Often twice that size on canvas due to the texture.You can preview your images in various sizes and aspect ratios on our website.  If a file is lower resolution than recommended, a triangular warning symbol will appear in the middle of your image.

As a large-format print lab; there are production and transaction limitations due to time, material and equipment constraints. The smallest size print we mount on foamboard is 4×6.  All print production orders require a minimum transaction amount of $15.

Printed images will almost always look somewhat different when printed with ink as compared side-by-side to a computer screen. Screens can display much more vibrant, saturated colors than can be recreated with ink. Also, when a monitor’s brightness is set too high, images will appear much brighter on the screen than what will be produced by the printer.

To achieve the closest color and brightness match between your digital photography/art and your printed images; we recommend using a high quality computer monitor and using a calibration tool to fine-tune your digital display. Save your final edited print files in the JPEG file format with an embedded sRGB color space before uploading to our online portal. Additional details can also be found in this FAQ.

Standard print resolution is 300 dots per inch.  We recommend going no lower than 150 dots per inch on paper or any smooth surface, particularly metal. You can preview images using the online ordering interface on our website and it will display a warning if the image size is lower than recommended.

We also have a few FAQ topics regarding print quality and steps for finding your image dimensions which may be helpful.

Digital images are go through multiple stages from initial capture in-camera or in software before being printed onto paper or canvas. Each technology interprets and reproduces color in different ways. Here are some key steps you can follow to be sure you excellent print results with your edited images.

1) Choose a high quality computer monitor, and calibrate your monitor before evaluating or editing your digital images. Make sure your monitor is not set too bright. This value can be adjusted in most high quality monitors and/or within monitor calibration software tools, such as I1Display, DataMunki, or SpyderX.
NOTE: The optimal screen brightness for previewing accurate print results is 80 CDm2 (not the default 120 CDm2), with the temperature D65.

2) Never edit images in direct light or in a brightly lit room. Avoid very yellow or blue light casts in the room which can alter your visual perception of colors on the screen, and allow your eyes 10 minutes to adjust to the room lighting before editing. Be sure the background of your editing space around your image is set to a neutral medium gray, versus a bright or dark color.

3) While editing; always work on a copy of your file – never the original. Use soft-proof preview functions to identify areas of your image which may be too bright or saturated to be reproduced accurately when printed. The proof setup (device to simulate) should be sRGB IEC61966-2.1.

4) AFTER editing is complete and you are satisfied with the proofed image, flatten the layers and *convert* – (do not “assign”) – convert the image color space to sRGB IEC61966-2.1. In Adobe Photoshop, go to “File/Convert to Profile…”

5) Save your edited file in the JPEG file format (or TIFF if hand delivering to us), and check the box that says “Embed color profile: RGB IEC61966-2.1”
* – Do not convert files to CMYK Mode

6) You’re ready to upload or bring your files in to be printed.

Ink and paper/canvas cannot perfectly reproduce all of the millions of colors that electronics are able to capture and display, but following these steps will greatly improve the accuracy of your printed images. Many more tips and detailed tutorials are available on YouTube.com and Adobe.com.

Our metal prints are produced offsite due to the large specialized equipment and ventilation conditions required. Therefore metal orders take a minimum of 7 days for both the production and transportation, and this can also vary by current order volumes.

Yes! Our Metallic Lustre and Metallic Glossy papers are specialty options which are particularly good choices for images containing reflections or shiny surfaces, such as water scenes, glassware, star photography, chrome vehicle accents, etc. As with all of our Professional Photo Paper types, both are acid-free archival quality products that will last for decades without yellowing.

Average completion time for most Professional Photo Paper print work orders is 3 business days.  Large quantity orders, mounted prints, specialty paper types, shipping and other factors can add production time.We do offer Same-Day Rush and Next-Day Rush services for standard pro prints.  Rush orders must be received by noon to be ready by end of business on the same day or next business day as applicable.

The inks we use in our Professional Paper and Canvas production meet the very highest quality standards. Exposure to ultraviolet light will reduce the life of all prints over time, however todays archival quality papers matted with museum quality matboard are estimated to last over 200 years behind UV coated glass, and as long as 300 years in dark storage (such as in an archival box or album).