I often get asked to review wall art of different kinds and just before Christmas I had a bit of a brainwave when a request came in from MyPicture.co.uk, I asked the lovely William Allen from KernowinFocus to take on the job of being chief reviewer and he kindly agreed. So for today it is over to Will and his review:
I am always looking out for a service to create something special to hang on my wall and the opportunity to test some products from Mypicture.co.uk was exciting.
I decided to pick a medium sized canvas and an image printed onto aluminium as I could see both being a great way to show off my photographs.
The packaging arrived and the products were very well protected inside bubble wrap. Just as well as the courier firm looked like they had stood on the box leaving footprints and nice dents in the cardboard.
So what are the products like? Well, they are currently on my wall but there were a few compromises you may like to know, so let's run through it.
For the canvas, I picked a photograph of my son I took in the studio with an old Victorian chair.
I was pleased to see that the canvas frame was made of nice clean timber and the corners were neatly folded and stapled on the reverse. However, it is very noticeable that on the dark image the material is pulled tight causing marks down the sides in line with the frame. On lighter canvases, I don’t see this as much, either it’s a side effect of the darkness or the actual framing process. Either way, it does not seem to improve with any amount of effort to remove them.
While we are talking about the darkness/brightness of this image I will add that this is a reprint from the company. The canvas was so dark (unlike the supplied photo) that I had to contact the customer services and ask for it to be fixed. They were brilliant at resolving this but be aware that any communication to their email will take 24 hours to have a reply.
As a photographer, I spend a lot of time and money ensuring that my equipment is calibrated for colour tones, brightness and cropping areas I want. I have noticed that while the colours are vivid on the canvas the colours don't match my original tones.
Having said this I will probably be looking at the small things in far greater detail than most people due to my profession. For most people wanting a cheap option to put an image on the wall it’s a great service and a fab price for the size of the items. I would just suggest that especially if they are for gifts you wont go wrong as long as you bear this in mind.
- Keep the image light
- Expect some colour shift may occur
- Any issues will be resolved but it will take time (the company has good customer service if any issues should occur)
The next product I picked was an image from one of the weddings I photographed last year and rather than print on a canvas an option to print onto metal was curious.
It’s amazing to print on metal and I have no idea how they do it. The product feels weighty and solid and arrives with a bright blue film adhered to the image which you have to peel off to reveal your image.
It is very reflective, just getting this image for you without lights, windows or any of the studio reflecting in it took me longer than I ever imaged it could take. It’s worth considering this when placing on a wall, while it looks great it’s not going to be for everyone.
This product needs to have the fixing added at the checkout. Without it, you are going to have a real issue finding a way to hang it on a wall. The wall bracket is metal with a sticky back and comes with 2 rubber feet for the bottom corners.
Yet again with this product the colours have been altered at printing stage to give more bold, vibrant tones. For most this would be fine but I know that my original was edited as a matte styled image so I know the image is nowhere near what I ordered despite looking amazing.
Importantly the website often runs offers that either help or mess up the pricing when you try to apply a coupon code at the checkout. Sometimes I had to wait 24 hours before purchasing as I needed a timer banner to run out at the top of the site so I could apply my coupon code. A bit frustrating if you are on the clock to buy a present for someone and your discount beats the current website offer.
The website is super easy to add items and step through the stages to pick your product and options. I don't fully understand, but the company is also linked with “Trusted Shops”. After the checkout stage, you can opt to protect your order for free for up to a value of £2500. But understand or not it adds an additional piece of mind especially when using the company for the first time.
At these prices, it’s purely a wonderful service with some really nice products. They are nicely made and feel solid and durable. (Most people wouldn’t notice the difference between the print and the original digital image unless it’s really scrutinised). These products I ordered look fab on my wall for visitors and friends to see. I know they are not quite as I had intended in colour, contrast and tone but you have to weigh up if you would be personally be bothered by that or not.
You can check out MyPicture.co.uk online, where you can view the different types of wall art they offer.
Does MyPicture.co.uk sound like a website you could utilise at all?