With endless graduation card design options and hopefully a ton of amazing graduation photos to choose from (you got an incredible photographer, didn’t you?!), it can be hard to know what pictures will go well on the graduation announcement your senior wants. There are plenty of things to consider when choosing pictures for your cards, but we’ll simplify it for you. There are really only 4 things you need to think about to make sure that your cards are going to be as beautiful in person as they are here in the digital world. Here is the simple guide to Choosing Photos for Graduation Announcements
1. YOUR PHOTOS MUST BE HIGH RESOLUTION
This is BY FAR the most common problem we see with graduation photo submissions. For a clear print, all of your photos need to be full resolution. Usually this means at least 1000 pixels wide and at least 1000 pixels tall, or, you can also usually tell by checking the size of the photo. If your graduation picture measures in KB (kilobytes), then it’s most likely too small and we bet someone has resized it somewhere along the road. You want your photos to measure in MB (megabytes). But beware! Sometimes people will take a small photos and artificially enlarge it to meet our size requirements. This causes the same pixelation problem we are trying to avoid – unless the look you’re going for is old school Nintendo :P
Search for the original digital high resolution file your photographer provided you with, and you will be happy with the beautiful prints that will result.
Something to think about: if you have photos on your phone, ipad, or want to get them from a website (facebook, blogs, etc.), BEWARE! 90% of the time, photos acquired from websites or taken with phones and ipads are too small to print clearly. Images usually need to be sized down to go on a website. Don’t copy/save images from the web – talk to your photographer to get the originals.
2. PHOTO ORIENTATION
Let’s say you absolutely fell in love with a card that has all vertical photo frames, but all you have are horizontal pictures. This might be no problem at all, but normally this is issue if your photos don’t have a lot of extra space to crop out. Consider how your photos will need to be cropped to fit the frames when choosing pictures for your photo cards. Sometimes we have cool photo frame shapes where any photo will need to be cropped, like a circle or fancy frame. Try to find photos you love that have ample headroom, side-room, and even foot-room to allow for cropping.
3. TO GO PRO OR NOT TO GO PRO
That, indeed, is the question that many parents of seniors ask every year. Is it really necessary to get a professional photographer for graduation? In short, the answer is no. You can grab a camera (or auntie or uncle Bob), and take your own senior portraits. …But the real question is, will it make a difference in your final graduation cards prints to hire a pro? Absolutely. Professionals should have the right camera equipment, editing software and skills, lighting equipment, and education to create photos for you that will print beautifully. To get results like what you see on our site here, we strongly recommend hiring a pro. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a model for a day for your high school senior. We think you’ll be happier with your printed cards if you use photos from a professional.
Something to ask your pro: Will you get the high resolution digital files that are released for personal use printing? Many pros do hang on to the printing rights, so it’s something to check if you want to order cards through Photo Card Chef. We can’t reproduce images taken professionally if they have not been released for printing by the photographer.
4. VARIETY IN PHOTOS
If your chosen graduation photo card has lots of pictures on it, find photos that are dynamic, independent, and still cohesive. For instance, if your card has 4 photos on the front, choose images that are close up, further back, and mid-crop. Photos that all look very similar give your card a flat look. Get opinions from friends if you aren’t sure! These cards are frame-worthy, and you (and grandma and even maybe great-grandma) will cherish them for years to come.
Find your perfect Photo Graduation Card. With hundreds of designs and the option to custom design your own card with one of our talented designers, we are confident you will find exactly what you are looking for.