No need to kiss a frog in the search for your handsome prints

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If you’re stewing over the notion of ordering family prints to include with your holiday mailings – simmer down. We have a recipe for you.

Consumer Reports has found that not all photo printing services are picture perfect so here are the guidelines you need.

Online Prints
CR researchers checked out 10 online photo printing services looking at everything from the ordering experience to editing options to costs. And of course their trained photo experts also rated each print for quality.

Consumer Reports’ electronics editor, Tercius Bufete, said, “The big takeaway is, price doesn't determine quality."

Walgreens and AdoramaPix had the best quality for around 30 cents per 4x6 print. But Walmart and Amazon had excellent quality for only 9 cents each.

At the bottom of CR's ratings were photos from Mpix.

"Pictures were less saturated,” Bufete said. “They were less clear and a little bit blurry."

But all photos examined were still better and cheaper than using most home printers.

CR also looked at online editing options like auto-cropping, a feature that should enhance a photo, but “Some photos were actually cropped so severely that they cut off people's heads."

CR advice: make sure you review your order closely before you click buy.

Consumer Reports emphasizes that you should not make decisions based solely on how much each print would cost. Be sure to review shipping costs too because they can have a big impact on the final bill. And check for free shipping offers or free in-store pickup.