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Photo enlargements and lamination questions

Two questions:

1.  Does anyone use an online service to print photos and make enlargements?  I live in a very rural area and I have two choices, Walmart or CVS. I’d like to find a company that can produce high quality, large format enlargements. 

2.  If attempting to paint from a large photo does anyone have a source that you use to have a photo enlargement (say 11”x17”) laminated with a glossy finish? 

Thank you,


  • edited February 26
    Laminating your photos are expensive, especially the larger sizes - 20x30.  What I have found to work the same, and is much less expensive, is cellophane wrap.  It comes in 30" width and I just cut and tape it over the photograph and throw it away when I'm done.  It's about $15 on Amazon.

    As for enlarging and laminating your photos, there are no professional labs I know who do that.  If there is a photo that you would like me to enlarge for you, just let me know.  I worked as a professional photographer for 19 years and know how to do this.  Just know that your image should be full resolution.  Once it is up-sized to the size you want, with a glossy finish, I can send it to my lab and have it drop shipped to you. Just drop me a message.

  • Does the cellophane have a tint to it when you look at the edge of the roll.  Probably doesn't mater  being so thin.  But could one use thin lexan/plexy, some of that stuff is really clear, or glass?

    For people who are wanting to practice on the cheap...  I have my usual dumb ideas...  I was in Michaels the other day, for some reason looking at frames.  I noticed this one frame that had the usual full size photo in it, and the photo was really nice, and it was one I could have taken in my youth in Ireland.  I was just thinking, why not paint that?  You have the whole setup up for about 20 bucks.  I never will as I have a long list of projects, but purely for someone who wanted to learn the system... and there are a lot of courses that dictate what dog you have to paint.  Could work.
  • I realize this question relates to rural life, but...  Libraries are in a real pickle.  people mostly don't read books, or watch videos any more, it all comes over the internet.  The modern library is morphing in various directions:  A social meeting space, and Maker spaces being two of them.  My library which is in a town of nearly 100K has full size printers that do 36" widths.  They do not laminate as yet.

    Also, look up maker spaces.  Usually they seem to be on a rental basis, but quite of few of them run out of steam after a few years, so maybe they would do a one-off in downtime just to get some income.
  • It did occur to me that maybe DMP would like to sell some laminates, particularly of their still lives.  If there was interest.
  • What I do at times is a full scale pieced together B&W print that I can get all the scale and key points from, and I do an A4 color photo off my printer for the colors.  That allows one to practice using a perspect.  There are other ways of getting dimensions on canvas or boards, though.

    One can even do specific color swatches from software where one needs more detail.  Get the number key for all the points you will pre-mix for and print out A4 sheets of color swatches put those under a plexi surface and premix over them.

    The costly approach is to use one medium that gives both full size shapes, and full size colors.

  • It never occurred to me to use cellophane over the enlargement. I’m going to give it a try. Thank you. 
  • There are some affordable laminators on amazon. So if you doing it frequently it's more efficient to just buy the machine. Telling from my own experience. I have the Apache AL18P, it's out of stock now, but there are a lot of alternatives.
  • I’ll check into that.  Thank you for taking the time to let me know. 
  • Unfortunately my laminator chomped a few of the images I put in it, though it was a cheap one.

    I bought clear plastic sheets, you can order to size and I simply tape the image to that with masking tape.

    I can use it again and again, should last for years.
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