Today’s professional photo labs offer a wide range of products and services, and you can access them instantly without leaving home. From digital photo printing to customized merchandise featuring your images, labs offer a variety of products and services; best of all, you can compare prices and submit images right from your computer.

Here are five things to look for when choosing a professional photo printing service:

* Digital Photo Printing: The mainstay service of the digital photo lab is making prints of all sizes on a variety of materials from your digital files, negatives or slides. Some labs use silver-halide photographic paper, while others make pigment inkjet or other digital prints. With today’s digital photo printing technology, all prints should be long-lasting.

* Mounting and framing prints: Most photo labs can mount and frame prints in a variety of styles, and some offer classy gallery wraps, with the image printed on art canvas and wrapped around a thick frame.

* Other image displays: Digital photo labs can print your images on lots of media besides photo paper: mugs, mouse pads, statuettes, trading cards, buttons, magazine covers, holiday/greeting cards, postcards, playing cards, business cards, calendars, notebooks, t-shirts and clocks are just some of the possibilities.

* Your own books: One gorgeous way to present your images is in bound hardcover books. A number of photo labs offer this service, allowing you to create your book (all photos, or photos plus text) using their templates. You can then order one or more copies, at surprisingly affordable prices.

* More services: Other services offered by many photo labs include scanning negatives and slides into digital form, displaying your images via online galleries and albums, and online storage of digital images.

As you visit the websites of online labs, compare their services based on what you need from your photographs.

Read more tips on getting the best photos from a professional photo lab.

Kristine Knight is a professional nature photographer who specializes in Southwestern landscapes. As an Arizona native, she’s been honing her art since childhood and in her free time teaches photography workshops.