5 Tips for Choosing Personal Photos for Enlargements

Picking out a photo to enlarge is not something you do every day but it’s an important skill to have when it comes to finding ways to decorate your home. Personal photos are the easiest and most classic way to make your home stand out among the rest. Use these tips to choose the best photos to print for your space.


1. Look for a “crisp” image.


Keep in mind that any flaws you see in a picture on your computer or phone will be magnified when the image is enlarged. If the image is a little blurry on your phone, it’ll become much blurrier when enlarged. Since blurriness is not something any amount of retouching can fix, it’s best to avoid it when selecting a photo.




2. Get it from a good source.


Often images taken from social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, will not be suitable for enlarging or printing. Websites compress images and make them smaller. So when you jump on Facebook to take a few pictures from friends, you’re downloading a really tiny version of the image that’s only meant to be seen in a small size online. No amount of retouching can make an image bigger in size—it’s best to get the image from the original source, like the camera. An ideal photo size for enlargements is 1 MB.




3. Pick a photo that was taken in good lighting.


Good lighting, like golden hour at sunrise and sunset, is nature’s guarantee for a beautiful photo. Really harsh lighting (like direct sunlight) or photos taken in the dark are not ideal for enlarging since they’ll either be way too light or way too dark. For photos taken at night or in low light situations, your image will likely be grainy, which is not something retouching can fix.




4. Avoid over-filtering it.


A photo that’s been edited too much will end up looking just that—overdone. You’ll not only lose quality of the image but what you loved about it in the first place. Be especially careful of this with photos taken from your phone. Running images through an app on your phone might make them look great on the small screen but they run the risk of looking less than perfect when enlarged for printing.




5. Pay attention to the details.


Are everybody’s eyes open? Is there anything in the background that might distract from the subject of the photo? Are there any imperfections in the photo that might become noticeable when it’s enlarged? Working in the photo industry, we see a lot of photos everyday and sometimes the tiniest imperfections become big issues in an enlarged photo. For example, a tiny bug in the sky above a couple posing for engagement photos suddenly becomes a very large black splotch when the image is blown up to print. Recognizing those small imperfections and pointing them out to the professionals will help you fix the issue before printing.