Canvas Prints

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas

March 16, 2016

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

In the last few blogs, we looked at what makes our canvas different—from the cotton weave, to the wooden stretcher bars, to the chemistry, to the latex inks. But none of this will mean much to you until you have the perfect photo to print on canvas. So today, I’m going to give you the rest of the details you need so you know how to print that perfect photo on canvas!

The Dimensions

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

The first thing you’ll want to check on any photos you’re thinking about printing is the dimensions of the photo. Especially if you want to print on a large canvas (like a 36×54 shown above) the size of your photo is going to make a huge difference in how good your print looks.

We print at 150 dpi, so to find the size photo you need just multiply the size canvas you want by 150. So, let’s say you want to get a 36×54 canvas. If you multiply 36×150 and 54×150 your final dimensions come to 5400×8100. That’s how large your picture file needs to be to look it’s best once it’s printed.

While your phone camera won’t be able to take a photo that large, anything taken with a DSLR camera or a modern 10-12 megapixel camera should do the trick. In case you were wondering, photos taken from your Instagram feed are 1080×1080. Canvas can be a little forgiving (especially if your picture was taken in bright sunlight) so you can print an 8×8 without too much fuzziness, but I would never go larger than that. If you’re really concerned with the quality of your photo (or you took the photo in the dark) I would stick to a 4×4 canvas. Just don’t expect to print a perfect 36×54 canvas from your iPhone or Facebook.

The Distance

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

Ok, so now you know what size photo to use. Let’s talk about the distance of the photo you want to print. There are three distances that are the most common in photos. Either you have a subject that’s very large and takes up most of the photo, or you have a moderately sized subject where it takes up maybe a third to half of the photo, or you have a tiny subject where it looks like the photo was taken a long way away. You can see an example of each of those above.

You really only need to be concerned about the distance in your photo if you’re looking at really small or really large canvases. Moderately sized canvases look good with any distance. With a small canvas, you don’t want to pick a photo with a tiny subject because they probably won’t be larger than a quarter of an inch and you won’t be able to see the people in the photo. Alternatively, you probably won’t want to print a large subject on a large canvas or you’ll have a 20” face staring at you all day. Notice in the photo above, the photo with the smallest subject is printed on the largest canvas, and the photo with the largest subject is printed on the smallest canvas.

By no means is this a rule that you have to follow every single time you print a photo, but it is something to think about if you’re not sure what picture to print.

The Color

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

Alright, so with the size and layout of your picture determined, let’s look at color. Our canvas was made so that all colors look good on it, and it can accurately reproduce any color that you send through the site. (We would be disrespecting your art if we weren’t able to accurately reproduce all of the colors in your photos!) However, there are some colors that just look better on our canvas because of the way we engineered it.

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

Any photos with vibrant, saturated colors or deep, rich blacks will look incredible on our canvas! More than any other printed product, our canvas can reproduce a broader spectrum of colors, so if you have a photo with a high color range, canvas is definitely the product that you should print on. In the photo above, while the canvas on the left doesn’t look bad, it just isn’t as striking as it could be if it had more saturated colors, like the canvas on the right.

The Finishing Touches

Now, the last thing to keep in mind as you’re ordering is how you want your final canvas to look. We have two options on the site: unframed and framed canvas prints.

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

If you pick our unframed canvas, the depth of your canvas will be 1.25”. That’s the size stretcher bar that we use. Apart from that, you have three wrap options for the sides of your canvas. You can choose a solid color with our color picker (the first photo above); you can mirror your photo, so the outside 1.5” of your photo will be mirrored around the wrap (the second photo, canvas on the bottom); or you can do a full image wrap, which basically stretches your photo out further to wrap around the whole canvas (the second photo, canvas on top). Be weary of a mirrored wrap when you have subjects close to the edge of your canvas, or you’ll have floating feet like in our example.

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

If you choose the last option (full image wrap), you’re going to lose about 1.5” from your photo on each side. This also goes back to our talk about image size above because if you do a full image wrap, you need to make sure the size of your photo will allow for the extra stretching. If you’re unsure of how much this will cut your photo off, our image editor (click the pink boxes in the first image above, and you will see the cropping border as in the second image) can help you determine where the full image wrap will cut off your photo.

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

If you get your canvas framed it will add an additional .5” to the 1.25” stretched canvas, making it stick out a total of 1.75” from your wall. Also, know that if you choose a framed canvas, you won’t be able to choose the wrap type like you can with unframed prints. We actually custom designed our black floater frames and found (through multiple rounds of testing) that a black wrap on the canvas just looks the best!

Ok, I know that was a lot of information, so if you have any questions about what you read, please let me know so that I can answer them for you. The whole purpose of these blogs is to help you understand more about our products and what you’re paying for, so I’d hate for you to still be confused once this is over!

How to Print Your Favorite Photos on Canvas - Snaps: A Blog from SnapBox

In the next post we’re going to be diving into one of my favorite topics: how to display your canvas, so stay tuned for that! If you missed any of the previous posts, you can read them all here. Also, don’t forget that you can get your best pictures printed for 25% off with free shipping right now during our sale! Click here to start shopping.

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