This story begins with a little bit of procrastination, as do so many stories in my life.
I procrastinated a bit on getting 28 photos printed for a class I'm teaching this weekend (subject: Photo-A-Day albums). I decided to go with my February photos, way back in March when I was planning the class. You'd think I would have gone ahead and ordered the photos I needed then, but you'd think wrong. I do not operate on the principle of Get It Done Early To Save Self Stress, but rather the principle of Wait Until The Last Minute Because Then It Only Takes A Minute. I have operated on this principle for decades now, managing just fine most of the time. As we say in my family, I must have been in the bathroom when the Responsible Project Habits were handed out. My mama was in the front row that day. [note: this is not to say that my method achieves poor quality results. No, I can achieve high-quality results too, just with a heck of a lot more stress involved.]
So... fast forward to last week, when I realized I better get my act in gear. Fast forward another few days until Monday, when I actually got my act in gear. I headed over to Walgreen's with my photo CD in hand, thinking that they'd be the quickest option for procrastinators like me. I needed 5x5 prints, which I realize is not something Walgreen's does every day, but when I asked if this was possible, the camera counter guy said "no problem! See you in an hour!" Precisely 57 minutes later, we headed back in only to find quite possibly the worst order of prints I've ever seen. Pixellated, stretched out and distorted to 5x7, and totally off color. A $30 order. Camera counter guy was no longer there, and camera counter girl looked at me as if I was speaking Urdu when I pointed out these were not acceptable. Especially for $30. My consumer queen self won over my non-confrontational self, and I refused the order. Wide-eyed with disbelief, she huffily said OK.
By now a small amount of panic was setting in. I couldn't go to Target, because while many Targets have fine photo-processing, my Target does not. I've not had good experiences with King Sooper's developing either. I think the problem is that I'm just way too picky. So I did what I should have done in the first place: turned to 2peas.pictures (www.scrapbookpictures.com will get you there, too) and uploaded all my photos with my fingers crossed that they could get them printed and delivered on short notice. I paid for the express shipping and my order was delivered in less than 24 hours, from hundreds of miles away, with perfect color and true 5x5 prints, all for less than the bad Walgreen's order. When I called in a panic to make sure the order had shipped, the customer service representative was very helpful, and even called me back to make sure I'd received my order. This company is absolutely fantastic.
Moral of the story: Try really, really hard to quit procrastinating. And try out Scrapbook Pictures. You need not be a scrapbooker to order.