You might expect a discussion of photo printers, but you won't find it here. I find printers a headache and a nuisance and rely on custom print shops to do my printing.
Another whole section about color management belongs here. Maybe someday. This is an important and complex topic, the root issue being that you want to get something looking the way you want on your monitor and get as close to the same thing as possible on a print. Entire books have been written about this, and the topic is called color management.
What I do want to include is some information about online print services:
MPIX comes with glowing recommendations, but the two times I have tried to use them (well over a year apart), their image uploading scheme has given me headaches. This has led to my interest in WHCC. Stay tuned, I am pretty frustrated with MPIX.
I found the following guidelines about submitting images to MPIX on their Mpix-Pro sister website:
The short description of how to send images to them is that they want JPEG files only, sRGB, with as much resolution as you can give them. Their printers do 250 dots per inch.
They present a video on color management issues. A google search for something like "how to prepare files for mpix" will probably lead you to forum discussions that will be helpful.
In a nutshell, the video tells you to buy an use a monitor calibrator -- and this is good advice, it is the only way to have any confidence that what you see on your monitor will be what you will see on a print.
A good calibrator will cost perhaps $250. They used to recommend a product made by "Eye One", but in 2013 they began recommending the "Color Munki" product for reasons that are unknown to me.
You also need to do the right things about your ambient lighting, and let the calibrator calibrate for ambient light.
In photoshop, go to Color settings, select an sRGB workspace and convert to working sRGB, and turn on converstion warnings - save these settings as MPIX.
In Camera Raw, go to workflow and set color space to sRGB. Note that with the Eye One, MPIX recommends setting the White Point to 5000, Gamma to 2.2, and Luminance to 120. You will probably find that the Eye One recommends a quite low brightness (like 4/10), you should believe this advice.
Uncle Tom's Digital Photography Info / email@example.com