Running a large photography community like this one, I've come across all manner of photography products - some good and some bad.
That goes for everything from cameras to lenses, tripods to camera bags, and even includes prints, too.
I'll be the first to admit that my run-ins with poor products have often been because I've been tempted by bargain-basement prices.
Of course, that means that I've learned the hard way that there are no shortcuts for quality.
With that in mind, I wanted to share my experiences with getting prints made so you can avoid the same mistakes I've made over the years.
Mistake #1: Going Cheap
As I noted earlier, I've been seduced by bargain prices when ordering prints of my photos.
And guess how many times I've been impressed with the prints that came in the mail?
Cheap canvas prints are cheap for a reason. The quality of the materials used isn't up to par, the colors are never rich and vibrant, and the customer service is lacking as well.
It's cliche to say it, but you really do get what you pay for.
Mistake #2: Not Paying Attention to the Details
As I've already established, cheap prints tend to have dull colors, poor contrast, and overall poor quality of construction.
And even if a cheap print does manage to look okay from the front, the closer you look, like more likely you are to find that the small details are lacking.
Now, with a good canvas print, you'll find a solid, handfinished frame behind the canvas, as shown above.
But a cheap canvas print might have a frame made of warped wood, wood that isn't kiln-dried or wood that's too thin and flimsy to hold the canvas tight for years and years to come.
As another example, cheap prints usually don't come with hardware to hang the print on your wall, or if hardware is included, it's poorly made and questionable as to whether or not it can even support the weight of the print.
So, the quality of a print isn't just dependent upon how it looks; rather, it's dependent upon how the print is made and the products with which it is made.
Mistake #3: Not Thinking About Returns
In my experiences ordering cheap prints, I've found that if I wasn't satisfied with the product, I was usually just out of luck.
I mean, I think you have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst when you order cheap prints. Yet, I found myself disappointed over and over again when my cheapo prints arrived at my door.
Of course, not being able to return the prints to get a refund or have a new one made is like another slap in the face!
Regardless of what company you choose to make your prints, be sure you know exactly what you can expect in terms of service after the sale.
Mistake #4: Thinking That All Prints are Alike
Trust me - this could not be further from the truth.
After ordering my fair share of poorly made prints, I'd all but given up on finding something that did justice to my photos.
And then I stumbled upon CanvasHQ...
Now, while CanvasHQ is a client of PhotographyTalk, I became a client of theirs first.
And it's as a CanvasHQ client - not as CEO of PhotographyTalk - that I write this article.
CanvasHQ addresses each of the mistakes I made above.
Though their canvases are highly affordable, they're made with high-quality materials you expect in a great print. The result in a gorgeously constructed image you're proud to hang on your wall.
These guys take the time to get the color just right by using color-calibrated equipment so that the colors in the print are an accurate reflection of the colors in your image.
What's more, their canvases come to life with various types of finishes, like matte and glossy, to give your print a unique look that looks like a million bucks on your wall.
And the "guts" of the print - the frame - is top-notch, too.
CanvasHQ uses only kiln-dried super premium pine that's assembled using jigs, that way they know every single frame is completely straight and true.
In fact, their frames are finished by hand, that way there's no imperfections behind the canvas that might ruin the viewing experience.
They even attach hanging hardware for you, that way when you get your print in the mail, all you have to to is unbox it, hang it on your wall, and enjoy it.
Just a sampling of some of my prints from CanvasHQ
Like any company worth its salt, CanvasHQ is committed to top-notch customer service as well.
That's why if they detect a defect in your print during the manufacturing process, they'll start over again and get it right.
And if you get your print and don't like it for some reason, they'll either remake the print or refund your money in full within 30 days.
My CanvasHQ prints hanging above the stairs in my home
In the end, all prints are definitely not alike. I found that out the hard way.
If you consider the emotions and memories that are tied up in the photos you hang on your wall, it just doesn't make sense to take shortcuts.
I'm grateful for all the hard work that CanvasHQ has put into all the prints I've ordered from them.
If you want the best quality prints to preserve your favorite memories, I can't impress upon you enough that CanvasHQ is the place that can help you do just that.