Mother’s Day is less than a week away and if you’re anything like me you’re so busy with the day-to-day that procrastination, in some form, is inevitable. As a creative I try to make the gift-giving process as thoughtful and unique as I can. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but mom’s ALWAYS appreciate the gifts you put heart and a little thought into.
As a photographer my first thought when trying to come up with a unique creative gift is to utilize my photos somehow, whether it be a candid family photo or a nice photo from a family trip. It was not until fairly recently that I started making quality prints of my work for gallery shows and to display in my office and at home. The biggest print I’ve had in my home of my own work up until this point has been maybe 11″x14″, so naturally I was blown away when I started producing nice 24″x36″ prints. In the office I use a Canon Pixma Pro9000 mark II inkjet printer for decent sized photo prints and regularly turn to my local Costco for surprisingly awesome prints for a great price.
Since I don’t really work in the wedding / senior portrait world I haven’t really kept up with all the new products such as albums and fold outs and accordion prints, etc, however I did start to notice a trend of canvas printing over the past few months. Coincidentally my mom had several of her own photos from vacations printed on canvas recently and although they were on the smaller side, they did look pretty nice. As any artist is, I am pretty particular about my photos and how they manifest into the physical. My main misconception about printing on canvas was that the image would lack the “pop” that my images are known for.
Boy was I wrong.
I was made aware of Easy Canvas Prints, an on-demand canvas printing outfit that is actually based close, in north Austin, Texas, several months ago. Even with my preconceptions on canvas printing, they hooked me up with a beautiful 24″x36″ canvas. Their website was a breeze to navigate. The hard part was picking an image to have printed. I worked with several of their artists and learned that since I wanted the nicer 1.5″ wrap (the thickness of the canvas) I would be losing part of my image due to it being wrapped around the wooden frame. This ruled out any image where it was absolutely essential to see the entire composition.
Their website gives you a nice 3D proof of what the canvas will look like so you can play with different images and crops until you find an image that you think will work best. The 3D view allows you to visualize how the wrap will look when its complete as well. I ultimately chose an image from the Bo Kaap district in Capetown, South Africa that I shot back in 2009. If I was going to have a rather large print I definitely wanted it to be something I would be happy with and to me this image is perfect. Its colorful, has strong lines, nice light, is minimalistic and pops; all characteristics of my overall creative style.
Shortly after placing the order I received the canvas in the mail. It was VERY well packaged and I blown away from the very start. The frame was assembled well and firm, with no wiggle or play in it at all. The entire piece was still very light.
The rear showed just enough overlap of the image so that when mounted the edge of the image or the white border is not visible, while not wrapping too much and compromising more of the actual image area. The canvas was mounted very clean and there were no splinters or nails or sharp edges to cut yourself on. I’ve definitely had more dangerous encounters with other pieces of canvas-based artwork in the past.
The piece also came with pre-installed mounting teeth for easy mounting. Given the weight of the piece all I had to do was align two screws and use a small level to make sure it was sitting properly and it has had no issues since then. Mounting and install is definitely one of the pluses as dealing with complex and heavy frames with piano wire, matte board and hooks and nails is a fiasco in and of itself. This thing is super light and went up in no time at all.
I must say that my initial worries about the canvas went out the window when I saw how well the colors popped and how detailed the piece was. Sure I’m using some images in this post to help illustrate, but the photos don’t do the piece any justice as it’s really stunning in person. The colors are just as bold and vivid as they are on the screen and in a glossy paper print. I noticed things about the content of the actual image that I discovered viewing it at that size…and the canvas hides nothing.
The biggest surprise was that I actually received the canvas in the mail on my birthday! And what a present it was. Thanks a ton to the Easy Canvas Prints team for not only this amazing present, but making the entire process seamless and professional. If you’ve ever read any of my previous gear / review blogs in the past you know that I value awesome customer service more than anything and this company embodies that. I’m definitely biased here, but it’s probably because they are from Texas.
If you are looking for a last minute Mother’s Day gift idea or an early Father’s Day gift idea look no further than http://easycanvasprints.com.