Except for truly spectacular pictures (and I dont take many of those), I rarely print my vacation photos. Im generally content to post my images online, share them with friends, and relive the trip virtually all without harming a single tree or spending too much cash.
Even so, theres something romantic about seeing a printed, physical portrait of the places Ive visited, which is why I love Photos to Art (www.photostoart.com), an offshoot of online home décor store Art.com that converts digital images into wall-worthy prints, canvases, and other framed pieces of art.
I tested the service earlier this month, and its pretty straightforward: Upload your best photos (I opted for a candid scene of a bookseller setting up shop on a Madrid side street), select the size youd like (you can print high-resolution photos as large as 42 x 64), and choose a frame. I went for the wood-mounted version, but canvas prints, acrylic-mounted photos, classic frames, and plain prints are also available.
Prices are comparable to or cheaper than other online framing services: An 8 x 10 canvas-wrapped photo costs $49.99 on Cafepress.com, while Photos to Art charges $29.99 for its canvas option; and a simple, 8 x 10 wooden frame on KodakGallery.com costs $30, while Photos to Art charges $34.99 for a similar version.
The verdict: I dont plan to submit my photography to a gallery any time soon, but the vibrant colors and professional display gave my snapshots a decidedly less amateurish air. Plus, whenever I see that narrow alleyway stocked with books, I remember my trip to Spain and am inspired to take off again.
Ready to show off your own snapshots? Now through April 27, ShermansTravel.com readers can slice 20 percent off their entire purchase; just enter coupon code SHERMANSTRAVEL at checkout (and read the fine print below).
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Promotion applies to art.com Photos to Art order total before shipping, taxes, and duties. This offer cannot be applied to previous or pending purchases. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts, coupons or promotions. One coupon per order. This offer cannot be applied to the purchase of gift certificates. We reserve the right to cancel any order due to unauthorized, altered, or ineligible use of discount. We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with third parties for their marketing purposes. This offer expires April 27, 2011 at 11:59PM in your local time zone.