File Preparation

Print prices at Luxlab are for files submitted “print ready.” However, not everyone uses Photoshop or wants to prepare their own files. Our photo geniuses take the time to listen to your needs to assure that we prepare your files correctly and on schedule. We charge reasonably to collaborate with you on file preparation and retouching, if needed.

"Print Ready" Specifications

  • • Files should be cropped, sized, and color corrected
  • • Include borders if needed
  • • Cut marks are not needed
  • • 300 dpi for digital-C
  • • 360 dpi for inkjet
  • • 8 or 16 bit flattened Tif or Psd, LZW compression is ok
  • • Jpgs often work if saved at highest quality
  • • Adobe 98 color space
  • • Add sharpening as needed
  • • Files are printed as submitted with no changes
  • Ask us if you have questions or need us to prepare your files


How do I know what I see on the screen will match my print?
If you have properly managed color in Photoshop and your monitor is calibrated correctly then your prints should match. You are welcome to look at your images on our calibrated monitors. Also see our color management page.

I have partially prepared my files but need
additional help?

Our policy is to share our expertise with clients whenever possible. We do not charge to view files on our calibrated monitors when dropping off in person.

I need just a little bit of help with color?
If you are dropping off in person, we will look at your files with you on our calibrated monitors.

Should I add crop marks and what size paper
do you print on?

Please include borders in your files. We print on roll paper, any size is possible. We do not need crop marks.

What is your turn around time?
Generally 24 hours. Depends on our current workload. Inquire when submitting jobs. Rush jobs bill additional.

My file does not meet the size requirement of 360 or 300 dpi?
Smaller file size affects sharpness and clarity. We have seen files as low as 170 dpi look fairly decent. We have had clients happy with their prints at 72 dpi. Some labs run their printers at 200 dpi all the time. We like being at maximum dpi so your files will look as good as possible.

How much does it cost to have the photo geniuses prepare my files?
Typically this cost adds about 30-50% to the first print price. Additional prints and reorders bill normally.
What other services are offered by Luxlab?
We have skilled retouchers and color experts. We make amazing scans. Our knowledge spans analog, digital, fine art, and commercial photography.

How can I get my files to you, how do I pay?
Use our secure uploader. It keeps your work private and safe and is fast to use. After files are submitted we will contact you for billing information.

What are your workstations like?
Plush cashmere lined workstations with calibrated monitors are $25 per hour. Imacon Flextight scanners are $50 per hour. Analog color darkrooms start at $15 per hour. We endeavor to have the finest rental photo lab serving professionals and artists. See our Resources page.

How should I sharpen my files?
This is a tricky question. A bit of sharpening really improves a picture but over sharpening will ruin it. The appropriate amount of sharpening depends on the type of camera or scan as well as final print size, subject matte, and desired results. A good starting point for USM in Photoshop is 70-120% with a pixel radius of 1.1 - 1.3 and threshold at zero. We know other people that swear by Nik-sharpener, high-pass sharpening, or smart sharpening.

Why do you still support analog, I heard no one shoots film?
Well, you heard wrong. Many serious photographers still shoot film. It is an aesthetic decision. It has different qualities than digital. If you have not shot film in awhile, we say: give it a try.