The Design Confidentials Styling Secret // Easy + Inexpensive DIY Over-Sized Art

I frequently find myself in an art quandry when I am styling a space or decorating a room in my home. I happen to like (actually love) big huge pieces of art so much more than I like several smaller pieces. For those of you who might have searched for affordable art options, you know how hard it is to find great original things in large sizes. There are meellions of gorgeous, nay amazing, works by fantastic artists out there for affordable prices, but my gawd every time I stumble upon one of these beauties it turns out to be no larger than a 5x7 or 8x10 print at the very most! Gah. What gives, I say?

So while I prep and finish wrapping up a meellion projects coming down the line (including a room makeover!) I thought I would share my styling secret for amazing art, in large sizes, at dirt cheap prices, and with super duper fast turn around time (crucial for the type of projects I typically work on!).

Ps. This is NOT a sponsored post. This is simply a real deal tip / trick I use when I am in need of something fabulous and fast for an art fix. 

Tulum Art Print and Sand and Sea Beach Image for Styling Secret // Easy + Inexpensive DIY Over-Sized Art Solution

Here are the deets //

  • // I find my images on sites like Shutterstock (there are many, this just happens to be the one I use). I essentially signed myself up for a revolving account there, that renews whenever I reach 5 downloads and I pay a slightly discounted rate of $49 for all 5 downloads combined. Each image ends up being around $9-$10 for the large size, which works perfectly for high quality prints in the size I generally need.
  • // Once I download the image, I alter the size, crop things out, adjust color, or altogether make the image my own, in photoshop. I tend to work with a 20" x 30" size most often since this is the largest most economical size for me when it comes to both the frame and the printing.
  • // I send my images over to Sam's Club (again there are many other sites that offer this, I just happen to use this one) and upload them to their photo printing department and set to print in a 20" x 30" poster size for $8. This size works beautifully with the 24"x30" IKEA Ribba frame which is in the neighborhood of $20-$25, I think. Many printing sites will print poster sizes for dirt cheap and at least at Sam's Club (my only experience with this), the print quality is pretty amazing and printed on extra large photo paper (not thin poster paper). You can also print an Engineering Print in an even larger size for around three dollars, but these are generally best for black and white types of images that will benefit from a retro copier kind of look. They have my prints ready in an hour and that makes me ridiculously happy when I am working on a tight schedule (so always).
Pink Blue Peach Macro Agate and Cool White Neutral Adriatic Sea Images for Styling Secret // Easy + Inexpensive DIY Over-Sized Art Solution

Prints in Order of Appearance //

There are soooo many amazing images and I have meellions saved to lightboxes for easy pulling when I need them. So basically I have Shutterstock and Sam's Club on speed dial and I call them at least every other week, sometimes more! Eek. 

Project Image

As bloggers, parents, or just average air breathing humans, most of us want to know how to take amazing pictures and record our lives in a beautiful way. Many of us even have nice DSLR cameras and decent equiptment that should help us do this... but do we actually know what to do with this expensive stuff once we have it? The short answer is no. The long answer is also no...just in case you were wondering. But where do we begin? There are hundreds of books on the market, and dozens of costly classes we can sign up for, and if one were so inclined there are quite literally hours upon hours we could dedicate to 'figuring' out how to apply those lessons 'in real life'. Who actually has the time for this? Not I said the baby bump rockin mama, who is already mentally planning out the most glorious newborn photos to be found. Definitely not I said the mama to a preschooler who won't sit still for half a second to even let me consider fabulous holiday photographs to send to family and friends (for those of you still waiting for my first baby's birth announcements to arrive, you can pretty much assume it's not happening...lack of free time and proper restraints for my child and all that).  

So, I thought I might help us all out by rounding up some of the fab freebies available on the interwebs that teach us the basics in a simple and easy to understand manner. 

Once we tackle some of these begginer tutorials, I will round up some more advanced (but still beginner) projects for us to try! Can I get a yahoo? yahoo...

First things first, we need to get a good handle on all of the pretty buttons our cameras have and what they do. The tutorial below is a great place to begin and will give you the lowdown on the most important features you need to pay attention to. 

A Quick Guide To Understanding Your DSLR Camera 

Once you have read through the article above, I recommend a quick read through the article below for some basic reminders and things to consider before you begin and while you are shooting. Some of these won't make a lick of sense to you yet (not to worry, we will get there) and others are so basic they bring about that sense of 'inner duh' that you might have overlooked otherwise (like the camera level for example). 

44 Essential Digital Camera Tips and Tricks

The article below is a fabulous list of things to keep in mind while getting to know your camera and learning to shoot. The perfect list of tips to help you cut through the crap and find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

20 Things I Wish I knew About Photographing in Manual Mode

Once we have covered those few important key ingredients above we can dive into several of the topics with a bit more depth. Below I have outlined a number tutorials by subject matter. I hate to break it to you, but for this roundup most of the info is technical in nature. That's just the way it is while we are attempting to figure out how to use those fancy buttons. The next roundup will be a bit more fun, promise... But first let's get to know our cameras a bit more, shall we?

Handling and Caring for a DSLR Camera

The Basics of Exposure

Learning to Use Digital Camera Settings and Features

Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Big News Friends... We are expecting Baby #2 here at the House of TDC! We couldn't be more excited.... and sick (literally). So while I wish I was presenting this news with my own fabulous photo montage or clever visual announcement, I fear you will have to make due with some amazing ideas from around the web from other folks! But seriously these are some amazing ideas and I hope to feel well enough soon to attempt a couple of them before it's too late! If you have been wondering why I have been posting intermittently or issuing a bit of radio silence, well the cat is out of the bag! Yahoo...

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