Making Your Images All They Can Be | Spokane Portrait Photographer | Holly Clouse

There is absolutely nothing like seeing a picture of your children or your family together that you absolutely adore, for the very first time. It’s amazing to see your vision brought to life from a custom session; not only the little details like the clothing or location you picked out, but the big details that stand out; the smiles, the laughter, the togetherness and the memories. Because it is something my clients consistently ask for, I sell digital files. I know sharing them with family and friends easily, and Facebook’s and blog’s are ever so possible (and wonderful!) with friends and family so far away.

But, life gets busy. Many times, those amazing images you have, that you swoon over, and show off for 2 weeks straight, get put away. That disk of high resolution file sits on the desk, and then gets moved to where it belongs. I am guilty of doing that exact thing-images never make it out on print. OR, they do get printed, but they’re small, a mistake most of us make. They don’t look so great on the wall, because of how little they are.

Here’s a secret for you: have you noticed many photographer’s have a set price for “desk” or “gift” prints, and another for “wall” prints? Ever wondered about that? An 8×10 and smaller is a “desk” or “gift” print. It’s NOT a “wall” print. The only time I feel that an 8×10 should ever been on your wall is either matted to a much greater size, or in a large, and close knit collage. 11×14 prints and larger are wall prints. These are appropriate to put on your wall, due to their greater size. I know many think that 11×14’s are quite large, but they’re not! They’re only the right size if the size of the wall is right. Otherwise, they get lost in the hugeness of your home, and your images become less than stellar.

Part of the reason I choose the images I do for the my clients, is the extreme sharpness of them. Images that are huge are amazing…if they look good. Fuzzy, less than sharp, or an image with the focus off becomes something sad when blown up huge. If you’re a client of mine, know that I take pride in the sharpness of my images-you will be receiving images you can make huge, that looks amazing. If you’re out of the area, and looking for a photographer, or thinking of choosing one, take a look at their portfolio. Don’t pick someone that doesn’t have sharp images. You might be able to hide soft images in small prints, but printing at 11×14 or larger will result in disappointment. Can’t tell by there portfolio? Tell them you want to see quite a few of their images from a session printed large before you commit; professional photographer’s are easily able to show a handful of tack sharp images from various indoor and outdoor sessions.

Finally, to really show off my point, (I’m a visual learner myself!) check out our (newly textured and painted!) hallway wall. As you come up the stairs in our home, this is the first wall going down the hallway, and I wanted something amazing for it.

Here’s an 8×10. This just absolutely kills me. That gorgeous image?  You can hardly see it 10 feet away. Go bigger.

This is the size most of us would pick. Please go bigger, unless you want to do a collage of 11×14’s here. It’s just too sad, up there all by itself.

16×20! We’re finally getting warmer,  and if it’s your first time ever printing larger than 11×14, this is an excellent start! BUT, being as this is what I do for a living, and I was the photographer, we wanted larger. Nathan & I love huge, HUGE images. We just couldn’t do this one.

And, so, we went with a 20×30. 20×30 of our kids, which practically makes them the same size as the picture is (ha!) and guess what? It’s amazing. It’s gorgeous, and it’s completely how I, as the photographer, intended it to be and look like.

20×30 or 24×36 is huge. I get that, and I understand that there are some walls in your home that won’t take that size of an image. Or, if you’re like us, you’ve got walls galore that need images up, and you can go that big, but it’s a big investment. I understand that too. My challenge to you is to take your images from your session, pick one you adore, and go get it printed in either a 16×20 or 20×30. Costco prints are $5.99 or $8.99 respectively. While I would love it if you went through my professional print lab due to the greater quality, I understand the expense can be daunting. Then, frame it (you can buy a large frame very cheaply at WalMart to come in at just under $20 for your huge image!) or come back here next week for how I mounted this print, or check Pinterest for inexpensive ideas. Hang it up, or buy some inexpensive 3M hanging strips. You don’t have to put any holes in the wall, and can move it easily. Then, leave it there for one week. Take a picture and send it to me! If you hate it? You’re out hardly anything, but I guarantee you won’t. I’m going to bet that you won’t be able to stop staring at it.

Great walls to start with? Above your couches, fireplaces or beds. Print a huge one for the playroom or the kids’ room’s. Again, Pinterst is a fabulous place to start with some ideas for sizes. Cut paper’s out in the image sizes you want, and put them where you want your prints to go, to make collages and the imagining easier.

And finally? Enjoy those gorgeous, huge images. Exactly how they are intended to be.

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