When the folks at CanvasPop emailed to tell me they wanted to print one of my Instagram photos onto a canvas and mail it to me, I felt a little like I was being stalked. They’d even picked out the photo ahead of time – one I took while I was testing out the excellent TIFF-shooting 645 Pro app.
Still, I wasn’t so creeped out that I wouldn’t send my address, so a week or so later a huge package arrived with the picture inside. And it’s pretty neat.
It’s my photo, blown up huge on a canvas. What’s not to like? The color fidelity is hard to gauge as, well, it’s an Instagram photo with a bunch of weird effects applied, but it certainly looks good. The image has been enlarged without any blurriness or pixelation creeping in, which — as a former designer — I know is a tricky thing to pull off.
The CanvasPop canvases come in various sizes and thicknesses, and this is one of the thicker ones. I’d recommend the deeper frames as they feel a lot more like a cool object than thinner ones, which are more like plain pictures.
Thanks to the need to print a photo onto its surface, the canvas has a thick layer over it, so you don’t really see the canvas texture very well. This could be good or bad depending on your preferences, I guess, but I prefer something a little more raw. And while the canvas is very competently stretched onto the frame (and comes complete with a signed sticker telling you who made it), mine wasn’t as tight or neat as I’d like it.
Then again, I used to stretch my own canvases, and I was very particular about getting them super tight and with perfectly folded corners, so perhaps I’m just being fussy here.
If you want a cool, personalized gift for somebody, then you should totally take a look at CanvasPop. You can use any picture you like, not just those from Instagram, and you can pick from a whole lot of shapes, sizes and styles. They’re not cheap, but then it’s unlikely you’ll be buying many of them anyway. And if you are a terrible photographer but are giving a canvas as a gift to a good photographer, you can even just send them a gift card.