FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
This section offers answers to the most asked questions about our services.
Does U-Photo Still Develop Traditional Camera Film?
Because of the unprecedented decline in demand for these services since the incredible growth of digital photography in the last decade, U-Photo stopped processing roll and sheet camera films in late 2012.
Although we no longer develop film, we still offer a range of scanning services that will allow us to offer high-quality prints from previously processed color or black & white negatives and color slides, so if you are still interested in shooting film and can get it developed, we are happy to provide you with these services.
Have you considered setting up a home darkroom and developing your own film? You can start with Black & White negative film and master the skills to create your own masterpieces. We offer many of the necessary supplies in our Best Photo Gear On-line Store.
How long will it take to complete my print, scan, or framing 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.
Will 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?
Completed orders will typically go out by the following business day after completion. Orders that are shipped locally by USPS First Class or Priority Mail 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.
We can also ship orders by FedEx, (Ground or Overnight) and UPS at additional cost. We can provide these charges on request.
Can I get "Same-Day" printing?
We produce regular photo printing twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and/or Fridays. Orders placed before 3:00 pm on production days can be ready for pick up, by appointment, between 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm that day, subject to the workload. Regardless, you will receive a phone call or automated email to let you know your work is ready for pick up.
Make certain to ask for “SAME DAY PRINTING” when placing your order so that we can assign it a priority. You can also schedule a face to face “Concierge Service” appointment, in advance, and we try to complete your order during the visit. Please note that there may be an additional charge for this premium service which includes one-on-one consultation on your project.
How long will you keep my order around once it is complete?
Can I drop off an order to your shop in person?
Is it O.K. for me to e-mail images for printing?
Can I upload my order by using an FTP client?
Absolutely! We recommend using our FTP server to transfer RAW, PSD, TIF, and bulk JPEG images for corrective processing. You will need an FTP software client to connect to our server so that you can transfer virtually any number, size, or type of file.
We recommend applications like FileZilla, Fetch, Cyberduck, or similar program. Once you have completed your FTP file transfer, you’ll need to contact us so that we’ll know to download your images and begin work on your job. Once we have successfully retrieved your files, we delete them from the server.
Call us at 301-937-5510, EXT 1, or toll-free at 800-362-5959 so that we may verify the upload. For a FREE download of the FileZilla client please use the link below. Make sure you download the CLIENT software for your system.
How do you handle Color Correction or Matching?
What do you mean by a "calibrated monitor"?
We recommend that all photographers utilize an external Monitor Calibration Device to get reliable, consistent results from their digital workflow. Think of it this way… would anyone buy an expensive new watch and NOT set it to the correct local time? Even the best new monitor will not produce accurate results without calibration, which includes the operating environment.
What kind of Monitor Calibration System do you recommend?
Systems from several manufacturers are available that do a fine job. We have tried several and we now use and recommend one of the Datacolor Spyder expert calibration systems. These are available through our Amazon Affiliate Store by clicking on the link above. These devices will help you calibrate your screen so that it will display images to an industry-standard brightness, contrast, and color balance.
How to get our Standard Color Reference File?
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. Once you have this image on your device, just open it with a program like PhotoShop.
We can supply you with a free standard reference print that has been made from this file. Ask for one of these the next time you stop by or request one to be included with an online 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. When you compare this sample photo with the image on your monitor, you will be able to visually determine how close they match.