Well, fast forward to now. My wife is putting a photo of our family in a frame. I stop her (it's one of the ones she got from Walgreens) and I tell her, that I'll print one up. Sure enough, my looks 10,000x better.
Here's the remarkable thing though...I used the exact same file that I provided her to get them printed...the same, exact file. Not one difference. No change in white balance. No change in exposure. No change in anything. So, I can assure you that the photo I posted yesterday, and the photo posted today were shot at the same exact parameters.
The only difference was, yesterday's was shot with a 70-200 2.8ISMK2, whereas today's was shot with a 24-70 2.8. The camera was the same. The photos were taken with the same lights, same backgrounds, same settings (with focal length being the ONLY exception). Both photos were shot on Dec 8th, and both were done within minutes of each other. I have to rant about this...because while the one of just my son was underexposed when printed by walgreens, but spot on when done by me...this photo of my wife, my son and I was 2 stops or more underexposed, in comparison to one of my photos...THAT HAVE THE SAME SETTINGS. So what I'm trying to say is, the same exact digital file, yielded two completely different results. The results speak for themselves.
I'm not trying to sound rude, or anything, but this is exactly why it pays to have your prints done by the photographer. It pays to have them work with a custom lab, or even their own private lab. The results are truly night and day. The above photo, is a salable photo of a family. The bottom photo, though shot exactly the same, is a pile of crap and the person at the photo lab ought to be ashamed of themselves for even handing this order back to my wife.