Printing Services: Your Photo On Canvas
If you’re a portrait or wedding photographer, chances are you currently offer some form of photos-on-canvas provision. If you don’t, get ready for a whole new avenue of services to offer your clients: professional-quality prints in a multitude of sizes reproduced on artist-grade canvas, stretched and finished to a wood stretcher frame, and ready for hanging on any wall. I tried a hands-on experience with Your Photo on Canvas, a professional service specializing in photo-on-canvas reproduction, to get one of my fashion portraits converted into a PhotoGiclée work of art.
“When you put an artistic-looking photos onto canvas, they bring you the suggestion that your photo should be viewed as art,” John Doe (real name), founder of YPOC. It certainly is way better than keeping your digital files top secret and stored on a hard drive.
What is YPOC?
Your Photo on Canvas (YPOC) is a photo-on-canvas reproduction business based in Anaheim, California, which started as Harvest Productions in the late 1980’s in the garage of a suburban home with one of the very first IRIS printers. Now they’re called YPOC and are housed in a modern 50,000 square foot facility, still owned and operated by the same family.
What is a PhotoGiclée?
PhotoGiclée is a standardized process for printing photographs onto canvas. We invented and trademarked the term. Take that, industry. The name itself is an extension of a fine art print process for art reproduction, popularized in the mid-nineties. The Giclée (and the PhotoGiclée) process describes the “highest quality reproduction of imagery on canvas available to the world culture at any given time”. Some of the parameters that define PhotoGiclée include quality considerations such as pixel to print image integrity, color gamut capability, longevity, and durability. What it means for you, is that you have the power of Harvest Productions at your disposal and you can now get gallery quality canvas printing that was just a year ago only available to serious industry insiders. The future is awesome. –YPOC
1. I created an account, required for first-time users.
2. Then took a look at the helpful info under the FAQ link for information on photo size, ICC profile, file type, canvas, etc. They have covered every question I personally had with regards to the process.
3. Sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request the ICC profile for soft-proofing. I got an email right back with the info as well as instructions on where to put the file (in case you’re a newbie to soft proofing and working with ICC profiles).
4. Followed the guidelines in the FAQ section for exporting a file of the goal size for the 18×24″ print I was interested in making. 3150×4050 (they have a max file size of 50MB, so keep that in mind if you are a Photoshop layers person and like to create extra large files—YPOC may not be a fan). They have 2 sections: I looked at the recommended file sizes for getting the best quality print (in the professionals section).
5. Once I uploaded my image, next was to choose my preferred canvas size. Based on the pixel dimensions of the file I uploaded, YPOC highlighted the “recommended” canvas size. This seems to be based on the “good” image quality pixel dimensions. I uploaded an image based on the recommendations under the “best quality” recommendations. I think it would be a little less confusing if YPOC made a chart with both “good” and “best image quality” recommendations side-by-side. It does seem, though, that they’re catering to both non-pros who may be shooting with a point and shoot or digicam, and to pros selling prints for clients.
6. The image I uploaded was actually a little longer than the recommended pixels. In the next step, I was given a crop box for adjusting the image. Also, I got a warning that the image quality was “poor”. I went back in to see what I did wrong.
7. This time, I uploaded the image at the exact pixel dimension specifications. Image quality was listed as “good”. It would be helpful if it was more clear that the “poor” or “good” feedback related to the image size. Perhaps that is clear to others, but it wasn’t clear to me at first. In this step, you can also choose from 2 edge options: image wrap or black edge; and color options: color or black & white.
8. Once I finalized my selections, I clicked on “Finish”. YPOC processed the changes to the photo that I made (crop, altering the color space from color to black & white, or altering the edge finish), and then placed it in my cart.
Delivery and Hands-on Inspection
My photo-on-canvas arrived on time and with absolutely no hassle or delay. Maybe I got lucky? They seem to be a very on-time sort of operation. The print was packaged in a heavy plastic wrap, backed with cardboard for extra support, and encased in a flat cardboard box. My initial reaction: wow, beautiful. It was pretty stunning to see my work of art on canvas, seeming like I spent months reproducing my subject with oil paint on stretched canvas. The colors were true to the soft proofing I did when finalizing my image in Photoshop. One thing: I didn’t realize how much extra room around the subject I should leave for the “gallery wrap” print method. Hence some of the model’s hair on top wraps around to the top side of the print, and her dress wraps below the edge of the frame. Perhaps this is something YPOC could call out more clearly when you’re uploading your image. It could be helpful to provide a size guideline along with the recommended pixel dimensions for your final image, stating how much room to leave around the subject for the wrap-around print option. Overall, I had a very positive experience working with YPOC, and would definitely order more photo-on-canvas prints from them in the future.
YPOC’s Services for Professionals
For wedding photographers, portrait photographers, fine art photographers, YPOC offers wholesale pricing and while label shipping with your branded logo on the back of the canvas, as well as custom-branded packaging slips.
Pricing starts at $59.95 for a 8×10″ print, a 20×30″ print is $199.95. Check out their Pricing Page for more details.
Try out Your Photo on Canvas with a 20% off coupon, special offer for Photo.net members. Use the code PHOTONET-1 at checkout. It grants 20% off along with free FedEx Ground service. Coupon expires 05.31.2011.
What about other Photo-on-Canvas reproduction companies?
Numerous other photo reprinting companies offer photo canvas prints: Pictage, Mpix, Shutterfly, Costco, etc. Quality, cost, turnaround time, etc., all factor in to your decision. For many professionals, choosing to go with a company like Pictage or Mpix who offer every possible type of photography reprinting for their clients for a one-stop kind of deal makes the most sense. YPOC focuses only on PhotoGiclée printing on canvas, but that does also speak to their specialty and quality of product.
YPOC makes ordering a print on canvas relatively easy. Their web site is clear with easy-to-follow UI, a very helpful FAQ section, and near-immediate feedback. When I emailed for an ICC code, the response time was within a half hour. From ordering to receiving the final product, it took 2 business days for the print to be ready for shipping, then another 4 business days to receive the print. My overall impression is that YPOC will take care of your work with precision.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a coupon to try out YPOC’s services and write about my experience. I ended up ordering an 18×24″ gallery wrap print.
Text and photo ©2011 Hannah Thiem. Intro Image: model: Danna Lee, makeup/hair: Layna Roberts, photographer: Hannah Thiem, Fort Tilden, NY.