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How To Make Great Engineer Photos for Cheap

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Learn how to create large, beautiful portraits for your home with engineer photos. It’s so easy and affordable!

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Last Fall my family had portraits taken in the beautiful Colorado foliage. I loved all the pictures and I still want to create an amazing gallery wall for all of my favorites (the never ending to-do list!). But there were two particular pictures that really stood out in that photo shoot for me and I wanted to give them their own place to shine. Our family basement had an empty wall that was screaming for some huge, blown up size prints. I knew that a couple of engineer photos was exactly what I needed for this space and I was right! They’re such an easy decorating project for the home– and only cost a few dollars to create!

Create beautiful portraits for your home (for cheap) with engineer photos!

I really loved the gorgeous Fall colors in the original pictures but for the playroom I wanted more of a black and white look. So I did a little bit of editing on my own before sending them to be printed.

Create beautiful portraits for your home (for cheap) with engineer photos!

You may think that blowing up a photo to a size of 24 x 36 would cause the finished picture to be extremely pixelated and expensive. Well, actually if you do some quick editing first and know where to get it developed, the results can be quite impressive! I have some great tips that can help you get the best quality and price for such large prints.

I started by editing both of my photos using Lightroom. Once I had them open in Develop, I adjusted them from the original color photo to black and white. I think it’s important to do that in the editing process here before it’s sent to print.  

Create beautiful portraits for your home (for cheap) with engineer photos!

As you know, engineering prints are not the best quality when printing images, and that’s why they’re so cheap. So to counter that, I also adjust the contrast, whites and clarity— just to help keep the pictures as sharp as possible when it prints.

I did the same edits for the other picture. But there were two additional problems with this original photo, it was in landscape and included more of the lake. I wanted to focus a little more on my son. Go figure, right? 😉 So I had to crop it as well. 

Create beautiful portraits for your home (for cheap) with engineer photos!

Create beautiful portraits for your home (for cheap) with engineer photos!

The last step I do when editing is adjust the resolution. Most photos are usually around a 72 ppi (pixels per inch) resolution but if I up to around 200 it will help reduce that pixelated look, which I’m trying to avoid.


Create beautiful portraits for your home (for cheap) with engineer photos!

Now that the images are completed in editing, it’s time to send them to print. I use Staples for all my engineer prints. The cost for an engineer print sized 24 x 36 is under $4. You can go smaller (18 x 24) and you can go bigger (36 x 48). Even at the biggest size, the most you will spend is a little over $7 per print. You can’t bet that!

I simply select Shop Services at the top of Staples home page then Engineering Prints from there. I select the size that I want and click Design Now. Once I loaded up my picture, I made sure to select black and white print. That’s pretty much it. I sent it in and in about 20 minutes I had an email telling me the print was ready for pickup. 

After I picked them up, I grabbed a couple of black IKEA frames to put them in. I just love how the whole project turned out. They fill that wall beautifully and for only like $8 bucks! Here they are in 24 x 36 frames already on the wall.

Create beautiful portraits for your home (for cheap) with engineer photos!

Create beautiful portraits for your home (for cheap) with engineer photos!

I loved them centered between my two lovely wall sconces. I found those at Lamps Plus and they add just the right ambiance to this room. The side of the room has no overhead lighting…so wall sconces was the perfect solution! 

So if you’re looking for a creative and inexpensive way to add big beautiful portraits to your home, I hope you will think of engineer photos and give this easy (and cheap) DIY project a try. 

Create beautiful portraits for your home (for cheap) with engineer prints!

If you plan on taking Fall portraits this year, be sure to check out this post on what to wear HERE

Great tips on what to wear for Fall family portraits!

Have you made engineer photos before?

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