Got digital photos? I haven’t shot film in a camera for almost four years. Why? Have digital camera, will shoot. Often.
Digital photos make shooting fun, inexpensive, and make printing even better. Here’s the best printing tool for the Mac.
It’s not iPhoto, either. It’s Econ’s Portraits & Prints. No single Mac utility does a more professional printing job.
Those are strong words for a relatively inexpensive Mac utility, especially when competing against iPhoto’s stack of features.
I’m a camera buff and have used digital for about 10 years. Serious digital started a few years ago with a Canon and Nikon DSLR.
Film has advantages, of course, but it’s become more of a pro requirement from my perspective.
I just want great photos, easy printing, many options, all done with instant gratification in mind.
That’s what I like about Portraits and Prints. Very good, stacks of options, quick results.
As you might suspect, I’m also using iPhoto to capture and store my digital photos. I just don’t use iPhoto for printing.
Portraits and Prints pulls photos from iPhoto and arranges them into templates on screen. iPhoto does that, too.
What iPhoto lacks is the list of options that professionals demand, and professional wannabes look for.
There are literally hundreds of pre-set templates in Portraits and Prints. I’ve created a few that fit my needs, too.
Any size paper, any Mac printer. Layout the size and number of photos, select photos for each spot in the template.
How easy is that? It gets easier. Some photos require adjustments in cropping, color rendition, sharpening, saturation, and more.
Portraits and Prints does that, too. The Template Manager turns P and P into a personal photo studio and print shop.
There’s well over 200 templates available in each of the Portraits and Prints versions, standard or pro. Select one, click, create.
All the basic holidays are covered—anniversary, birthday, sports, collages, masks—in different colors, sizes, and arrangements.
There are two other feature sets that become requirements when comparing photo printing options.
The first is adjustments in the photo; cropping, sharpening, color saturation—both are available as point and click or precise changes.
The second is the cool extras like the ability to add balloon captions to some photos—control the balloons, color of text, size, font and so on.
Even iPhoto comments transfer to P and P along with image file names and standard EXIF data.
No Mac application that’s worthy of regular use would be worthy without the ability to save settings and P and P is no different.
Basically, you create a simple catalog of your photos, complete with template arrangements, settings, and so on. Select what you want to print, click, and you’re done.
If you’re like me and stuck somewhere between the amateur and professional (not enough money for the latter, better than the former), then you enjoy various settings.
Portraits and Prints accommodates with Photo Cells you create and can add to templates, attractive frames for photos that print exactly as you see on the screen, and text tools for creating cards.
In some respects, P and P is like a photo card layout application with high quality printing options. There’s drawing tools, text tools, graphics tools.
All of which can be used in your own templates or mixed and matched with other templates.
Drawbacks? A few, though they’re more nits than real issues. I’m not a fan of palettes all over the place. There are plenty.
The new user may be overwhelmed with the number of options available, considering the $30 price tag for the standard version.
Do the math. If you want more than what you get with printing tools in iPhoto, try Portraits and Prints. If not, try it anyway for the demo period.
Do you print your digital photos? What do you use to print? Is it a great solution for you? Why or why not? What else works well?