Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to complete my order?

Orders placed through our Photo Factory gateway will be filled in the order that they are received. We will email you when it’s ready.  Turnaround times are subject to order volume and are estimated, not guaranteed.

Orders placed in person at our Beltsville shop will be quoted turnaround when the order is placed. You can schedule our “concierge” service where we meet with you one-on-one, and in many cases, complete your order while you wait. Appointments must be scheduled in advance.

*Subject to order volume. Rush charges may apply.
Can you let me know when my order is ready?

When your order is completed, we’ll let you know! Orders that have been placed online will receive an email. In-person orders dropped at our shop will receive a phone call immediately upon completion. Make sure to provide a current phone number (preferably a cell number) and email address when placing your order.

When will my on-line order be shipped?

Orders typically will ship on the next business day following order completion. Orders that are shipped locally by USPS First Class or Priority Mail will usually arrive within 1-2 days. In other parts of the country, you may need to allow up to 7 regular business days for USPS delivery.

Is Same Day printing available?

We normally provide regular photo printing twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you place your order before 3:00 pm on these days, your order should be ready for pick up, by appointment, between 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm that day, subject to the current workload. Regardless, you will receive an automated email or phone call to let you know it is ready for pick up. Make certain to ask for “SAME DAY PRINTING” when placing your order so that we can assign it priority. You can also schedule a face to face “Concierge Service” appointment, in advance, and we can often complete your order during your visit. Please note that there may be an additional charge for this premium service.

How long will you keep my order once it is complete?
Naturally, we would like you to collect your completed order as soon as possible, however it is our policy to stored orders only for up to 120 days. If you can’t come in person, we can ship your order for a small fee. Payment will be required, in advance, before we ship. We will make every reasonable attempt to contact a client before securely discarding abandoned orders.
Can I drop off an order to your shop in person?
After over 23 years in our Route one Beltsville, Maryland store, in 2016 we relocated our business to a Non-Retail location, however we still see clients face to face by appointment. These can be set up most days from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm – 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday. If you can not meet with us during normal week day hours, we can sometimes schedule appointments on Saturdays from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Please don’t make unscheduled visits as we may not be available to serve you.
Is it O.K. to email images to be printed?
While it is fine to email a small number of files for printing, it’s preferable for you to use our ordering online  so that you may preview cropping, choose printing and finishing options, and specify your turnaround time.  You will also automatically receive email notifications at submission and completion. Please remember to send your images as file attachments (not embedded) or send us a drop box link using the contact form at the bottom of this page, making sure to include a phone number so that we can go over any details with you and collect payment information. Posted turnaround times often do not apply to emailed orders which may be delayed during peak volume.
Do you offer order uploading be FTP?

Yes! We recommend using our FTP server to transfer RAW, PSD, TIF and bulk JPEG images for processing. You will need an FTP software App to connect your device to our server to  transfer virtually any number, size or type of file.

We recommend applications like FileZilla, Fetch, Cyberduck or similar program. Once your FTP file transfer to our server has been successfully completed, you need to contact us so that we will know to download your images and begin work on your job. Once we have successfully retrieved you files, we delete them from the server. Call us at 301-937-5510 or toll free at 800-362-5959 so that we may verify the upload.

You can download FREE software from FileZilla using the link below. Make sure you download the FILEZILLA CLIENT software for your system.

What about Color Matching?
Most clients have us perform color and density corrections to their images in order for us to produce the highest quality prints. That said, if you work in a properly color managed environment, you can order our Economy, “Ready-to-Print” option, from your self-corrected files, and they should closely match what you see on your screen.

We strongly suggest that every photographer utilize a Monitor Calibration Device. We use and recommend one of the Datacolor Spyder PRO or ELITE series expert calibration systems. You can purchase one of these systems from our Amazon Store listed below. These devices will help you calibrate your screen so that it will display images to an industry standard brightness, contrast and color balance. To check your display, download our monitor calibration file at the bottom of this page by right clicking then selecting “Save Image As”. This is the same file we use to check our own workstation monitors after they have been calibrated. We’ll also supply you with a free standard reference print that has been made from this file. Ask for one the next time you stop by, or request one to be included with your next on-line order. For color-critical work, we recommend that you submit a reference print and have us produce a test print for approval of quantity print orders.

This monitor calibration image can be downloaded and saved to your device by “right-clicking” and selecting the “Save Image As” option in the pull down menu. Specify the location where you want to save it and click “Save”. One you have this image on your device, just open it with a program like Photo Shop. We offer a printed copy of this file, free of charge, that has been produced without any correction. When you compare this photo with the image on your monitor, you will be able to visually determine how close the two samples match. This will provide confirmation, one way or the other, of how well you screen is calibrated.

fuji-digital-reference_uphoto
Fuji Digital Reference for U-Photo
Looking for a great Monitor Calibration System?  Check out deals on Amazon for these great devices.
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