The photo cards creation sites will try to save you from yourself. Many have built-in warning messages if you have uploaded a photo that has no chance of printing out as anything better than a blurry mess. Even with the warning in place, there are ways to end up with a photo card that is disappointing if you don t pay attention to certain guidelines. We looked for some ways that will always improve your results when it comes to the photo portion of photo cards.

Always concentrate on trying to get the best possible photo in the first place. Printing a photo will often bring out the weaknesses. Learn about concepts like white balance and how to adjust your digital camera to account for it. You may not notice the slightly bluish cast to photos taken in fluorescent lighting, for example, until you see the photo in print. Placing a photo with a bluish cast against photo cards designs with a very warm color scheme will be less appealing visually. Shooting in natural light is one easy way to remove some risk for lighting disaster. When shooting indoors, use natural light projecting from doors and windows when possible.

Always shoot your photo in the highest resolution possible. Pack in as many pixels per inch as you can. Resolution will never be too obvious on your camera or computer screen, but once a photo goes to print, fewer pixels means more potential for blurriness white space, more potential blurriness.

Always check each site s specific requirements for photos. Photo cards sites sometimes differ in what they are equipped to handle. Most sites will tell you exactly which file formats they can accept and what photo proportions will lead to the best result. If you can t find that information easily as you are uploading, try the FAQs page or give them a call. Winging it is not a good choice.

Always send the original photo. Online photo services showcase your photos in a low resolution format, perfect for viewing on the web. If you submit a link to your photo on Shutterfly or another service rather than the original photo from your digital camera, you may not get the resolution on your printed photo cards that you envisioned.

Always request a proof. This will remove some of the guesswork. Many photo cards sites offer at least a digital proof, and some offer hard copy proofs as well. There is normally an associated fee, but if you are basing your whole design on whether or not the color of someone s eyes match the color of one of the graphics you may be shocked to see how much your printed photo cards can differ from what you see on the monitor. It is worth the extra time and money to get a look at the final product first.

Consider using the time you will save by not designing your own photo cards on making sure the picture you upload to one of these sites is the best it can possibly be.


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