Do you own rights to the image or photo?
Simply taking an image off the web and reproducing it often times can mean copyright infringement. Besides, taking an image straight off the web means low resolution images which cannot effectively be enlarged and produced into great artwork. Make sure you own the rights to the image or have permission from the author to reproduce it.
What is the best file size for my photo?
A file that is at least 1MB in size often signifies you're in good shape. Yes, it can be lower, but this is a good guesstimate size. To see the size of your file, find where the image is saved on your computer. Right-click the file name and go to 'properties.' You should see attributes indicating size. Anything under 500KB is generally going to be too small. While a size of at least 1MB (or 1,000kb) is best, I may be able to produce a quality artwork with an image between 500KB and 1MB.
Was your photo emailed to you?
Often times email programs will downsize an image to make it easier to send. The original file will be the one that was saved directly from the camera to the computer without being cropped, edited, or saved to a website or photo-editing program. Make sure the image is in its most natural state from your memory card. This will ensure it can be enlarged, reproduced, and make people marvel at your new wall art.
Did you take the image from a website (Facebook, Shutterfly, Instragram, etc.) or edit it in iPhoto, Picasa, or Picnik?
Websites downsize images to make them easier to load and display online. If you took the photo with your own camera, please send me the original file from the camera, before it was saved to any websites or photo-editing programs.
Did you take the photo with a smart phone?
Sometimes, photos taken with a cell phone’s camera are not high enough in quality to enlarge, but this is not always the case. If your phone prompts you to choose the image size when you save or send a photo, choose the largest option available (usually called “actual size” or “original size”). Remember that if you have a "real" camera on hand and a breathtaking scene, you may regret just using your cell phone. Use your camera. This will change over time, but cell phones just don't usually measure up to regular cameras quite yet.
Did you make any changes to your photo before sending it?
Please send me the original, unedited file and I'd be happy to make the adjustments for you! If you have something in mind, just let me know.
Did you use the right settings on your camera?
Digital cameras allow you to change the quality (size) of the photos your are taking. This really gets on my nerves quite honestly, but the theory is that people don't want to be changing memory cards too often, so instead you can shrink your photos so they take up less memory...and this of course lessens their quality. In order to enlarge a photo clearly, the camera should be set to the highest quality possible. The most likely cause of a file too small is that the camera was on a low setting.
To adjust your camera setting, you’ll want to go to your camera’s menu and find the following settings (your camera will have one or two of the following. If you have two, you’ll want to change both): Quality/Image Quality, Size/Image Size, Compression, Resolution
Following are examples of the lists you’ll see in these menus, from largest to smallest. Choose the LARGEST setting in each menu (your options may be slightly different depending on camera model):
SUPERFINE > FINE > NORMAL > BASIC
LARGE > MEDIUM > SMALL
L > M1 > M2 > M3 > S
2400x3200 > 1200x1600 > 400x600
Did you scan a physical print?
Scan your photo at 600dpi (or ppi). You can find this setting in your scanner’s software program, under ‘resolution.’ You may have to go to advanced options or settings to find where to change the resolution. You can also take your photo to a local camera or copy shot at ask them to scan it at 600dpi.