Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: PicStick Photo Magnets

Today's review is of, a company that makes magnets out of your pictures. PicStick sells magnets by the sheet, and each sheet is made up of 9 magnets and costs $14.99. They are based in the UK, but ship worldwide (for FREE!).  I recently received a sample of 1 sheet (9 magnets)  for free in return for my honest review.

To start, I was very pleased with how easy it was to create my sheet of 9 magnets.  PicStick offers the options of uploading photos from your computer, or connecting to Facebook  and Dropbox and choosing photos from your online albums.  I chose to connect to my Facebook account and choose 9 pictures that I thought would make nice mementos from the past several years.  I chose to use a few photos of my parents' cats as well as some pretty pictures from my wedding. It was very easy to upload and resize my pictures, almost completely foolproof.  The only problem I encountered in this step was that a few of the pictures I wanted to use were automatically changed to a weird crop/orientation/size that didn't look all that great. I couldn't figure out how to fix this so I simply chose other photos.

After I uploaded my pictures all I had to do was check out and enter my shipping information.  I promptly received an email receipt and confirmation that my order had been received.  It took considerably less time for me to receive my magnets than I expected; only about a week from the day I placed my order.  I was very impressed by the speed I received my order and by how well informed the company kept me of my order status. I received emails when my order had been processed, produced, and shipped.

Once I received my sheet of magnets, it was just a matter of folding along the perforated lines and snapping the individual magnets apart before they were ready to hang on my refrigerator.  This was super easy and convenient, but I do have some mixed feelings about the quality of the magnets themselves.  To start with, I was pleasantly surprised with the picture quality of the magnets, especially considering that I used pictures from Facebook.  With other photo printing services, the pictures I had printed from Facebook albums always turned out grainy and looked very bad.  Nearly all of my PicStick magnets looked great, with the exception of one photo that wasn't very high quality anyways.  My biggest complaint is that the magnets themselves aren't very strong.  They stick to my refrigerator just fine, but they are a little bit too weak to hold much. They are too weak to hold more than a few thin sheets of paper up.

My 9 magnets

Overall, I think the best use for these would be as a space-saving way to decorate your office space, dorm, or kitchen with your personal photos, but I wouldn't expect them to be highly functional.  I like the way they look and it's nice to be able to add some personal touches to my otherwise boring refrigerator.  They work just fine to post my shopping list or a note, but I will have to look elsewhere for a stronger magnet to hold cards and coupons.

As a special offer to my readers, PicStick is offering a 25% discount with the code FAUX25

*I received this product for free in exhange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own*

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Budget Wedding Photography

 I have to say that photography is pretty essential to wedding planning because you are going to want to have amazing pictures to capture your big day and remember it for years to come.

Since photography is so important, I'll start with some tips to to help you find an amazing photographer at a great price.  This is one area that you really don't want to skimp on and just have a family member or friend do (unless they are a professional photographer).  I'm not saying you can't get good photos done by a hobbyist or amateur, but for your wedding you really don't want to take any chances with the quality of your photography.  If you are lucky enough to live in a metropolitan area or somewhere with a local university, my first recommendation is to try and find a "young professional" photographer.  This is going to be someone that is either still a student, or very new in the field, but still has had proper training and education in photography.  You can usually get a good price from these young professionals because they don't have years of experience and are often are still trying to build their portfolios. Try using social media or online advertising to search for photographers, or post a notice in the art building of your local university.

"Experienced" professional photographers often charge $1000+ for wedding packages, but if you go with a young professional you will probably pay around half that depending on how many hours they will be photographing.  Similarly, you can use social media or other platforms to find an experienced "hobbyist" to act as photographer.  Ideally, this person will have been photographing weddings and events as a hobby for many years, but usually doesn't have the classroom training of a professional.  If you choose either a young professional or an experienced hobbyist, make sure you check out their portfolio and previous work to ensure that you will be getting a good end product.  Also, talk to them at length to get a good idea of their style and what ideas they have/will they work with your ideas.  You might find a good, low cost photographer who has a lot of technical skill but can only shoot dated and cliched poses.

For some examples of what to look for in a good young professional, check out the following links:
Elysian Fields Photography- NW OHIO
Polyrhythm Photography- Dayton/Cinci Area

Additionally, you may want to look into hiring a videographer to cover the ceremony and/or the early parts of the reception, ie: first dance, cake cutting, father daughter dance, bouquet toss, etc...
I only suggest this because I do regret not hiring a videographer because honestly, I don't remember a lot of my wedding day.  I was nervous and the whole day went by so fast that it is a blur in my mind.

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post, but check out the links for some awesome wedding photography and ideas. I promise I'll post more in my next posts!