Happy Hunting: Finding That Elusive Perfect Photo

Happy Hunting: Finding That Elusive Perfect Photo

Getting great professional photographs of your family

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Hiring a family photographer is a great idea to ensure you get photos of all the family looking great. All too often one of the adults takes on the role of primary photographer and doesn’t appear in many photos, or you have one child who loves being centre of attention and another who shies away. Professional photos can get you all looking in the same direction and looking good at the same time! Here are some tips to make sure your shoot goes well. Communicate with the photographer beforehand If you have some very specific ideas on the types of shots you’d like, then you should send some examples of these shots to your photographer beforehand so they know what to aim for. It can also help if you can let them know if you want to exactly recreate the shot or if you admire one of more aspects, for example the lighting or the positioning of the people in the shot. You can also let them know if you want formal and artistic shots or a more relaxed feel. Equally, if you aren’t sure at all what you’d like and would love the photographer to use their experience to guide the shoot, it can help them to know this ahead of time. That way everyone can be in the right frame of mind for the shoot. Dress in coordinating, not matching, clothes Matching clothing can look a little dated, so instead aim for a flexible colour family that everyone can dress in such as ‘blue and whites’ or ‘neutral tones’. That way, people can select some clothing that they look and feel comfortable in whilst the shoot is going on. It also means you have some flexibility if someone spills coffee down their shirt just before the photographer start snapping away. Be flexible Your shoot may not go exactly as planned, as is often the case when you involve children in any plans. Bring some spare clothes, snacks and drinks for everyone. Many times the best shots come from unexpected interactions between family members, and everyone will look at their best if they are happy and relaxed. Getting regular professional photographs is a great way to capture your family at this moment in time. Far into the future, you’ll be able to look at these pictures with your family and reminisce about all the adventures you’ve had over the years. Keep these tips in mind as you contact a professional photographer in your...

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Canvas Printing for the Hobbyist: Tips on Finding a Good Printer

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If you are serious about producing canvas prints for yourself, friends and relatives, or you are considering offering canvases as a cottage industry, you will need to get an appropriate printer for the task, and be sure that your source material is of the right quality for printing out in a large format. Finding a suitable printer You will need a large-scale printer suitable for formats such as canvases and posters, and you may find a bargain online. Look at the printer’s specifications to see what size prints it can output: A1 size, a standard size for canvas pieces, is 594 x 841mm A0 size is double that at 841 x 1189 mm A4 size is just 210 x 297 mm  Print speed is possibly a less important figure, unless you are planning on canvas printing being a very active business for you, and you need to seriously maximise how many prints you can produce a day. The DPI (or dots per inch) figure is a measure of how detailed the printouts are—the higher this figure the better. But a printout can only ever be as good as the source image it is based on. Image editing It is important to ensure that your images are in the right resolution, and at the right size, so that they will look good printed out at scale. Preparing any old image, such as you may find on the web, for large-scale printing, may not produce good results. Simply resizing a smaller image in your photo editing software will not give a very good effect; typically you will need to resample the image. The process of resampling introduces new ‘interpolated’ pixels into an image, rather than ‘spreading out’ the existing pixels which will give a grainy effect when the image is expanded. However, resampling in itself is still not an panacea for smaller, lower-resolution images. The best practice of all is to acquire digital source material of the maximum possible resolution (in dots per inch) and size, so that such digital restoration is kept to a minimum. Framing your canvas print Your canvas print will need be to be stretched to its full extent and adhered to a wooden frame in some fashion (staples or glue are two common methods) so it can be displayed. With a gallery-wrapped canvas, the canvas is wrapped around a deep wooden frame so that it is also visible from the sides of the frame, for that quasi-3D effect. You may be familiar with this effect from seeing commercial canvas printouts mounted in homes. It is important to account for this in the digital domain, by ensuring that the printed image will be large enough to account for the wraparound, and that it has a ‘bleed’ area that is continuous with, but contains no important features of, the image. Printer Maintenance The cost of print heads and inks for your large-scale printer can soon add up. Also, if anything goes wrong with your printer, it can prove expensive to put right, as you will need to call a qualified engineer out. Take such running costs into consideration when considering a home canvas-printing setup. Consult local canvas printing companies to learn more about your options and to receive more...

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