I recently sent some ho-hum quality iPhone vacation photos to a handful of companies that I’d never used before and had them enlarged to various sizes and printed on different surfaces. I’ve also offered some guidance about bulk digitizing those boxes of old travel photos sitting in your closet or basement so that you can begin the New Year if not with a vacation, then with a clutter-free home.
Of all the ways to turn photos into wall art, I was most interested in trying engineer prints, named for the large, lightweight prints used by architects. For less than the cost of a couple of movie tickets, you can make huge enlargements. Mind you, it’s a particular aesthetic, one that’s most likely to appeal to people who are after an industrial, shabby chic or bohemian look. The paper is thin and the lines of the images are softer than a fine art print. And engineer prints need not be formally framed. People stick them to their walls with washi tape, a crafting tape that comes in innumerable colors and prints; or they hang the prints using wood poster rails or skeleton clips. For a while, engineer prints from photos were primarily available in black and white, but now you can find them in color, too.
One of the easiest ways to order them online is through Parabo Press, which is run by Photojojo, an online photography gear shop, and Zoomin, a photo printing service in Asia. As with all printing sites, you upload your image, zoom in closer if you like, and then click to buy.