Why you should buy your canvases through a professional | Nashville family photographer

While I was waiting to pick up a ship-to-store item in a big box retailer a couple weeks ago, I noticed that they had a display of canvases honoring service members.  We’re a military family, so I thought that was pretty fabulous of them to do.  Well… until I looked a little closer.  This is why you shouldn’t leave your canvas in the hands of just anyone.

Out of respect for the service members, I’ve covered their faces since this clearly was not their fault.  (Before anyone gets worried, my husband, who currently serves, said it was not disrepectful to post like this.)  Many stores will simply do a mirror image to wrap the sides if they need the photo to be bigger for the canvas.  That was clearly this store’s technique because they couldn’t get the person to fully fit on the canvas.

As you can see, I’ve circled some of the issues.  The one that first caught my attention was the second from the right on the top row– his EAR was duplicated.  I stood there, completely baffled.  On others, their rank or other service pins or patches were duplicated.  I was so stunned that took that photo and sent it to my husband.  I then realized that I had to see what the other side of the canvases looked like.

Look at the bottom left image.  They duplicated her entire head and torso.  The guy on the bottom right had his hands duplicated.  The rest are shoulders, hats, rank, etc that were mirrored.  Did they not realize that people would definitely see both the sides and the front of the canvases?  I can’t figure out how this got approval to be displayed.

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I don’t talk about selling wall art around here much.  My clients receive digital images with all of my packages, and I’m ok with that because that’s how I’m running my business currently.  Some sessions include wall art or press printed items as well (Baby’s First Year plans, newborn sessions, special mini sessions, etc).  I do have clients who order prints, canvases, frames, etc through me, and today I want to show you WHY that is a good idea.

One of my Baby’s First Year families finished up their plan, so I was working this week on their wall art order.  This was the image they chose from their 12 month session.  The faded areas on the sides show which part of the image would wrap around the side of the canvas.  You can see below that when I put it in my ordering software that it was going to cut off both of her feet.  Yikes!  We definitely don’t want that to happen.  If you were ordering by yourself through a consumer lab and wanted a gallery-wrapped image, you’d be stuck right there.

When you work with a professional photographer, you have options.  I was able to extend the ground in Photoshop, and you can see the resulting canvas below.  You can now see both of her feet, and only grass wraps around the bottom.  So much better!  The other option here would have been to use a solid color on the sides.  I’m not a huge fan of that, though, because if the company doesn’t wrap the image exactly on the line between the color and image, it would look really silly.

There are Groupons and Facebook deals all day long for canvases.  I’m sure you’ve seen them because I certainly have.  Companies are competing on price because they want your business and $$ matters.  I even saw one for a free canvas the other day (how does that even work as a business model??)

Make sure when you spend your money that you aren’t going off of impulse just because it’s the cheapest.  I’m not throwing all consumer options in the same bag because there probably are some that do a fine job.  If we’re being honest, though, I doubt that any of them can compete with the quality and finishing touches of a professional photography lab.  That’s why it is the professional lab, right?  You want someone who will stand behind the work, know the materials used to make it are quality, and that they will try to make sure your image looks the best it can in the type of product you are desiring.

If you’re a current or prior ECP client and want to learn more, just email me (the “Get in Touch” tab) for more details about how you can order some wall art.

Santa 2017 mini wrap-up

Here’s a sampling of the sweet little friends, some happy and some a little sad (or maybe mad… but still cute!), who came to meet our jolly friend at the studio last month at my 3rd annual Santa mini sessions. There was dancing, snuggling, lots of wishlist discussions, smiles, and a few tears. I look forward to these two days all year long!

Santa Mini Session Clothing Ideas | Nashville child photographer

If you’ve done a session with me before, you know that I enjoy the clothing consultation part of session prep!  Some clients take advantage of it and others don’t, which is totally fine.  Most of my clients either email or text me photos of what they have in mind when preparing for their photo session so I can advise on what might photograph best.

Mini sessions are a whole different kind of prep since there are very specific things that will look good and really make the images special… and honestly, there are clothing choices that can just make the images feel a little flat.  It is absolutely worth taking the time to plan outfits in advance.

To that end, I wanted to give some tips on what to wear to my Santa minis.

Things that will look great:

  • Neutrals: creams, khaki, soft browns… yes, please!
  • Classic colors (navy or green)
  • Black & white: the studio wall will be black, so this would pop.
  • Patterns (plaids/stripes/checks): this can be a great way to add personality… I personally LOVE plaids or a buffalo check print around the holidays!
  • Festive pajamas: I’ve done this with my boys and think it looks adorable!


Things that will NOT look as good:

  • Solid red: your child will blend in to Santa’s suit.  Not a good plan.  If you really want your child to have a mostly-red outfit, break it up with something else.  For example, this red plaid would really blend in to Santa, but it would look great layered under a sweater like this gray one!
  • Every child wearing a different pattern: this can be really distracting unless the patterns are different sizes (I can help if you need me to).
  • Tennis shoes: please PLEASE remember that feet will be visible in some of the images.  Plan for your child to have appropriate shoes on or to be barefoot (if wearing pajamas).

I hope you find these ideas helpful!  These sessions are so much fun, and I can’t wait to see what my clients wear this year.

All items shown are from Gap, Old Navy, Hanna Andersson, Carters, or H&M.  If you’d like to know where a specific item above is from, just email me!


N family | Franklin family photographer

This family got in touch with me a couple months ago because they wanted to document their time in Middle Tennessee before moving out of the country.  I (selfishly)  hate that they had to move because they were so fun and easy to work with!  The big kids and I especially enjoyed being silly, as you can tell by their big smiles.   

H family | Franklin TN family photographer

It’s the time of year that families booking photo shoots are thinking about Christmas cards.  Because of that, I don’t preview any whole-family images on either my blog, Facebook, or Instagram since I know that those are most likely to be used to send to friends and family.  This family met me at one of my favorite Franklin spots for a beautiful, sunny morning.  I like shooting over here both in the morning and evening because I use the property differently (which makes it fun for me!) based on the time of day and where the light is falling.