May 2, 2010
By Dan Havlik
Yes, that stretched, three-dimensional effect makes canvas photos look like paintings (duh!) which is appealing to anyone seeking to "art up" their home or studio. What's also nice about canvas prints is their simplicity: no framing necessary; no glass required; no mattes. Just bang a nail in the wall and hang your stretched canvas photo print.
Of course, if you are printing and stretching canvas photos on your own via an inkjet printer, you know there's nothing instant about it. In fact, it can be a real pain. To help ease that pain—while also separating you from your hard-earned dollars—many labs and Web sites now offer canvas photo printing and business is, reportedly, booming.
Along with selling canvas prints directly to consumers, labs have been making a play towards pros—particularly wedding and portrait photographers—who might want to offer the service to their clients. One such online lab that came onto my radar recently is called YourPhotoOnCanvas. com which had a booth at both the PMA and WPPI shows earlier this year.
The site has mainly targeted consumers up until now—it does back-end canvas print fulfillment for Costco—but it recently launched a Pro service offering stretched canvas photo prints at reasonable "wholesale" prices. I recently tried out YourPhotoOnCanvas.com's Pro service to produce both color and black-and-white canvas prints of my work and here's what I thought.
While the market for online services that print photos on canvas has gotten rather crowded lately, YourPhotoOnCanvas.com (YPOC) sees its experience as a main selling point. The site's owner John Doe, whom I spoke with at PMA, told me he's worked in canvas, inks and acrylics for over 20 years with his previous company Bulldog Products.
According to Doe, YPOC uses proprietary canvases and inks that add extra color, luminance and texture to the finished product. Doe developed those proprietary materials and techniques at another company of his called Harvest Productions.
Other benefits to YPOC's canvas prints include a tidy stretching method that uses minimal stapling. YPOC had thought about adding a black cloth backing to its pro canvases but after feedback from photographers who liked the exposed finish as it was, the company decided not to change the product. (A good idea since it makes the canvases very easy to hang.)
Photokina 2010 Day 3: Medium-Format's Last Stand?; Photo Odds & Ends; Live Nude Girls; Leaving Cologne
Photokina 2010 Day 2: Hasselblad Drives a Ferrari (and an Economy Model); Leaf Shoots a Gumpert; Manfrotto Looks Cool Behind the Wheel