You've gotten the session. You have the perfect photo, and you want to look at it all the time. Who wouldn't? Your family is awesome!
The first question comes when you're looking at all the choices offered. Large print? Canvas? Which one?
The answer is.... it depends. I know. Really helpful, right?
I'm not going to lie. I love me some framed prints. I love the gallery feel they give, especially when they're displayed in an oversized black frame with a wide white mat surrounding them. LOVE. IT. But I'm also not going to lie- when you get too much above 11x14 prints, that gets rather pricey. As in, you're almost better off buying your own mat cutter and learning to do it yourself kind of pricey! A good 20x30 frame can run close to $100 (if not more- I'm talking about the simple black frames I prefer), then there's the mat you need to get cut to go with it. That will run you at least another $20-30, if not more. By the time you've paid for framing and matting and the print, that 16x20 you loved is going to run you around $200.
This is where canvases come in. While you may not get that same aesthetic a series of framed prints gives, you save a significant chunk of money. Instead of a 16x20, you can get your favorite image printed larger, say 24x36. Or a cluster of canvases, to show off MORE of your faves. Another benefit of canvases is that they come ready to hang. You don't have to worry about taking it to the frame shop, waiting another month, then getting the hardware on, and and and..... Just take it out of the box, put a picture hanger up, put the canvas up. Revel in its beauty.
The second question I get is "how big a canvas should I get?"
You know the answer.... it depends. I'm just FULL of helpful responses today!
Really, it does depend. How big is the wall you're hanging your canvas on? Will there be other photos around it? Is it the focal point for that wall?
A good rule of thumb is the bigger the wall, the bigger the canvas, if it's going to be the only one. You want it have presence, and to not look like it's lost, floating alone on a sea of wall.
One of my favorite tricks to figure out what size I need to order is to first decide how many things will be hanging on that wall. Then I take an old newspaper and cut it into the sizes I'm considering and tape each one to the wall to see which one I like best. If I'm planning a cluster of images, I cut a paper for each image and play around with the arrangement. If I already have copies of the photos I want to hang (even just 4x6s), I'll put those on the papers so I can make double sure I like the arrangement, both in size and variety. A lot of work? Maybe. But I know I'll be happy with the arrangement in the end.
(Yes, there IS an easier way to do this. There's an iPad app called Preveal that takes a snapshot of your wall and does the work for you. You can even plug photos from your session into it. Ask your photographer if they have it!)