- Size of display area.
- Image file resolution.
- Contrast and color.
- Framed or not.
- Subject interest.
photo by prill via iStock
It’s time for holiday family photos!
We recently looked at how to take better family photos and some Christmas photo shoot ideas, so now let’s talk about how large we should print our photos and what processes other than paper might be desired.
What Other Processes?
When making enlargements of our holiday family photos, or any of our excellent images, some of us probably first picture in our mind a nice paper print, mounted on a mat board, and put in a frame.
There are also places that make very low-cost poster-style prints which can be pinned up as is or put in a low profile frame, but for this discussion, we’ll assume you’re considering a higher quality final image, though I see nothing inherently wrong with low-cost poster prints as a decent budget option.
For our cherished holiday family photos and enlargements of our fine art images, however, I’m going to assume you’re considering a higher quality professional style printing service. Some of the options from a quality printer include fine art paper prints, metal and acrylic prints, and canvas wraps.
How to Decide Size
So, we have this awesome landscape image, architectural view, or some fun holiday family photos and we’re wondering just how big we can go. What are the determining factors?
The space in which we’re going to display the photo is an important consideration. Holding a 16x20” print in our hands, it looks giant. But mount it on a mat, put it in a frame, and hang it on a blank wall, now it looks positively tiny.
It’s a matter of perspective. In a small office with limited wall space, that 16x20 all by itself may dominate the wall space, but over a large couch in a waiting room or our own living room, that size is probably too small.
Larger areas demand one of two things, either bigger pictures or more of them. Multiple moderately sized enlargements of the same size or in various sizes can fill up a wall space, sometimes better than one giant picture would. Using various processes in our mini art gallery also works well.
Using a large canvas wrap from a printing service such as CanvasHQ with various smaller prints as satellite images can create nice interest in our personal gallery of holiday family photos or any other images we wish to display.
As important as the wall space consideration is how good our image resolution is. Will it handle being blown up or does it have some limits?
We’ve had some articles discussing how to maximize our results for fine art photography to display as wall art, but it basically comes down to how sharp, well-exposed, and in focus the image files are.
A photo that looks fine on social media might look fuzzy or unsharp when blown up to a large size. Our image capture techniques and post-processing are the primary factors that decide this, but a high-quality professional printing service is necessary for our excellent images to show all the quality we put into them.
CanvasHQ has a wealth of sizing options, from small to ginormous, that we can choose from, including custom sizes. One other option is to print the one image as two or more separate canvas wraps.
One of the nice things about using a high-quality printing service such as CanvasHQ (winner of our canvas print shootout two years running) is that the uploaded image file will be evaluated as to how big is recommended for it to be printed.
Some of the other factors to weigh when deciding how large to print our photos are contrast and color, whether it will be framed or not, and how interest grabbing the subject matter is.
Color and contrast have an impact on how an enlarged image appears from an appropriate viewing distance. A well-done monochromatic photo and images having excellently laid out color contrasts can be quite stunning when enlarged on a canvas wrap.
A frame can take up a lot of interest from our well-crafted images, so sometimes simply letting the canvas itself be the entire image viewing experience works out nicely.
As to whether your image sustains the interest of being a large piece of wall art is a pretty subjective decision. One you will need to decide for yourself. These ideas for how large to print your holiday family photos and other fine images you’ve captured should help you decide how large and what type of print process to use.