Lionel Image Guidelines
To help us ensure the best quality of output for your photos, please follow the below guidelines when submitting your photo. Currently we support photos that are between 200KB and 5MB in the following photo formats: .jpg and png.
Avoid submitting photos pulled from an online photo service (e.g., Kodak Gallery, Snapfish). Such services store the original, high resolution ("high-res") photo on their servers to use for printing, but only show a low resolution ("low-res") version on the web. This is fine for viewing on a computer monitor, but these images will not print clearly.
Similarly, sites like Facebook and Instagram automatically save their images at a lower resolution so they can load faster online. Photos taken from these sites can potentially be used on smaller items, but are not recommended for larger printed images.
Good to know: Image resolution is measured in what's known as PPI (pixels per inch). A 100 PPI image will contain 100 pixels of image data per square inch. A 300 PPI image will have three times as many pixels within the same amount of space. The 300 PPI image has more available image data, which translates into increased photo clarity. While you may not notice a visible difference on a computer screen, a printer needs those extra pixels to reproduce your photo properly. As a low-res image has less information to work with, the printed result will be noticeably poorer than with a high-res image.
When shooting your photo, make sure all subjects are well-lit. Natural light is your best option if it's available. You can use the natural light that comes in through windows and doorways onto your subject(s) for photos taken indoors. When outside, try to avoid direct sunlight on your subject(s), as it tends to cause harsh bright spots and shadows, which print poorly. If at all possible, wait for some cloud cover.
When using a flash, be sure to keep some distance between you and your subject(s). A good rule to keep in mind is about 3 feet apart.
Always check your camera settings before you shoot a photo you intend to print. If your camera offers settings for white balance, be sure to select the appropriate conditions. Typically, there are settings for indoors/tungsten versus outdoors/sun. The correct setting can greatly affect the color tone and produce a much better final product.
Watch for movement, particularly with small children. It can be hard to notice motion while shooting because it may only be a hand or a foot that is moving. Motion captured on camera typically appears as a blur. Since it can be difficult to get an animal or a child to stay still for the perfect shot, try to make sure you have a strong lighting source. This will allow the camera to capture the image at a faster speed, which will reduce the chances of having motion blur in your photo. If you're shooting indoors with no natural light, try using a flash about 3 feet away from your subject(s).
*Please note: The above are general guidelines only and may not work in all cases.