Ok- so as you all know, I let my clients have their pictures so that they are able to print them wherever and whenever they want. I want them to put them all over their house. I want them show them to their friends, I want them to put them on Facebook, I want them to make photo books and give them to relatives as gifts. I want them to be able to re-print them years down the road. I just want them to have them. Yeah- I took the picture and it’s my work and it belongs to me….but I take pictures to make people happy and to give them something that they keep and admire for the rest of their lives.

Not saying I don’t hit problems here and there by giving people their pictures, but for the most part it works out fantastically. I’ll discuss that in another post, because I’ve got some new “rules” to talk about :-) Nothing big- just a couple things that happened in 2010 that I would like to change for 2011

Ok- so the point of this post is to show you some of my favorite products. Not the typical Canvas Gallery Wraps, photo books, wallets, framed prints, etc. I’m going to show you some of things you might not know about.

When you get pictures done with me, I give you a list of sources I recommend for professional prints. I would say that the sources I use the most are Nations Photo Lab and Mpix. I like the services/options they offer, I like the products they offer, I like their print quality, I love their prices and plus they’re just pretty darn nice to work with. I do have to say that I probably use Nations Photo Lab a little bit more than I use Mpix, but they’re both awesome. Ordering with Nations Photo Lab the first time can be kinda confusing (you have to download their ROES software), but after you do it once and get familiar with it…you’re good to go! Mpix lets you uploaded directly from their website.

So off we go to my favorite products! (btw- These are not in any sort of order) Click on blue words to go to the link

1.) Standout- I showed these to you right after Christmas. Both Nations Photolab & Mpix offer this product. They are a great way to get a sleek, crisp, professional ready-to-hang product. You can even use the Command Picture Hanging Strips to hang them because they’re so light weight. They come in 2 different thicknesses and 2 different border colors. Awesomeness!!!

2.) Print Mounted on Gatorboard- This next one isn’t really a designated product (hence why you can’t click on the name and go to the product), but it’s something we’ve (my family) come up with and we’ve found we really like. When you have a photographer in the family, you find yourself wanting to print like 500 pictures a day. This get’s expensive. We wanted something that wasn’t as expensive, but we also wanted something that we could easily toss up on the wall and have it look nice. We wanted something that we wouldn’t feel bad about switching out and moving around as new pictures came along. What we came up with is VERY similar to the Standout product, just a smidge different and cheaper. What we do first is order a print. Typically it’s a normal Luster (non-color corrected) print, but they also offer Metallic paper. The metallic is more expensive, but the prints turn pretty cool. The Metallic has a different, more saturated look- so you have to decide for yourself whether or not it’s for you. Another “print type” that Nations offer is a Textured Print. I LOVE the textured print!!! It gives you the look of canvas, but for a fraction of the cost. A textured print is typically just a few cents more than a normal print.

So to continue- we first pick a print type. Whether it be Luster, Metallic or Textured. Next we select to have it mounted on Gatorboard. Mounting options are typically Foamcore, Matboard or Gatorboard. Standout’s are mounted on Gatorboard, but the only difference between the actual Standout product and what I’m describing to you right now is the edging. Standout’s have a plastic like edging whereas the idea I’m explaining right now is just a print mounted on Gaterboard….with no edging. It’s much more inexpensive and it’s a GREAT option for getting a quick, easy and no guilt product. It to can be hung with the Command 3M Picture Hanging Strips. Another great thing is that you can choose the thickness of the Gatorboard. We typically go with the thicker option just because we feel like it makes for a more finished look, but you can go with the thinner option and get the same outcome. Either way you get a inexpensive & light weight product. One last thing I want to say about this type of product is that they can easily be popped into frames at any point in time. Awesome, huh?

Andy ordered a bunch of these for Autumn for Christmas. She wanted to use all my pictures throughout the years and do a collage going up their stairs. She figured it would be an on going project because of the cost….a stairway full of professional pictures??? expensive!!! Well….Andy & I schemed and he surprised her :-) It worked out perfect because Andy was able to get ALL of the prints/mounts pictured below for about $200. Truth be told my mom actually got 4 of the smaller square ones for autumn to add on to Andy’s christmas gift, but the total was still right at $200. We did all different sizes. The biggest is 24″x24″ and we went down to as small as 8″x8″. I LOVE how it turned out :-) Please note- everything (including the plaque) was hung with the Command 3M strips.

Kinda hard to take a picture of staircase wall :-)

Zane did the same thing for Kaitlin last Christmas. He did a collage of their wedding pictures.

Zane had me add the Irish Blessing that my dad used in his toast at their wedding. how cute is that??? You can kinda see it. It’s on the big black & white picture.

3.) Gallery Blocks- Nations Photo Lab started offering these AWESOME blocks this past fall. I HEART THEM!!! Their awesome. Your picture is laminated onto solid wood. It looks similar to a Canvas Gallery Wrap, but it’s just a wooden box (with an open back, exactly like a canvas wrap) with your picture printed on it and wrapped around the corners. They also offer Floating Gallery Blocks!!!!! You just need to click on the link above and go read up on them. They are light weight, affordable, durable (scratch-proof) and a fun new product. Their pricing falls right in between Standouts & Canvas Gallery Wraps. Affordable!!

4.) Wall Clings- Several places offer this product. HERE is Nations Photo Lab, HERE is Mpix and HERE is a source my sister used called Wall Hogs. Here is a picture of what she did up in Jackson’s room.

I know it’s a small picture (I stole it off her blog), but you get the idea. That MASSIVE reusable vinyl print is from Wall Hogs for $70!!!! SEVENTY DOLLARS!!! Isn’t that crazy??? A picture that big for only $70 is nuts to me. It’s a picture she actually took with her point and shoot camera at Busch Stadium. Awesome, huh? Anyway- She had that done and then she took my Take Me Out To The Ballgame pictures I took a couple summers ago and she did what I talked about earlier. She just had them printed and then mounted on Gatorboard. Then we hung those up right on top of the Wall Cling of Busch Stadium so that they were kinda “floating” above the wall cling. Then she had me take different “sports” pictures of Jackson and she had those framed and hung them around his room. Perfect for a boy!

6.) Canvas Clusters- These are just an easy way to create a collage of your pictures. A lot of people want to do collages, but get overwhelmed trying to come up with a layout that fits what they need. Nations created Canvas Clusters to solve that problem. Now all you have to do is pick your pictures, they give you the layout and the picture sizes.

7.) Image Splits These are another awesome Canvas product. Click on the link and go check them out. They are way too cool!!!


So there you have it! Those are just SOME of my favorite products. I know there are TONS of other options, I just thought I would introduce you to some you might not know about :-)

This is the awesome part about getting your print release….you get to use all these product options and not just what your photographer has decided to offer AND you get pricing direct from the printing source, not from your photographer. When your photographer doesn’t give you the print release, it’s because they make their money off of your prints. Yeah- I’ll talk about that in a different post as well. It will involve a comparison chart and all sorts of good stuff :-)

Now go order some pictures!!!! Have fun :-)



These are sources I like to use because of their print qaulity and the variety of products they offer. There are lots of reputable, local, smaller print labs out there, but a lot of them do not offer as wide a variety of products & print sizes as some of these sources. By no means are these the only sources out there and available to you. These are just the ones that I’ve enjoyed working with and highly recommend. I DO NOT recommend printing at places like Wal-Mart, Walgreens or any other sort of super market printer. Their prices might make it seem more worth it, but the print quality is horrible.   One more word of advice on printing, don’t ever let any printer auto correct anything on your pictures.  Pretty please :-)  Feel free to contact me with any questions :-)

Nations Photo Lab
White House Custom Color
My Photo Pipe
Full Color


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