The bigger your original photo, the better the quality your printing will be. Try to use the highest quality setting available on your camera when taking your photos.
Most products such as greeting cards & postcards will print very well using a 4 mega pixel or better camera. For products that have larger photos (such as our large pictorial calendars & posters) it is recommended that you use a camera that is a least 6 mega pixels or better.
It is important your photos are the correct shape for the product you are ordering. If you are ordering cards in portrait (tall) your photo should also be supplied in portrait (tall). If your photos are a different size to the product you have ordered, we can only do our best to make it fit the design you have chosen.
Try to keep cropping your photos to a minimum. The more you crop off, the lower quality your photo will become!
One way to avoid bad composition is by using the 'Rule of Thirds'. By splitting the picture in your viewfinder into a 3 x 3 grid and then placing the points of interest where the imaginary grid intersects you can make sure your photos will look well balanced. This is a great method to keep in mind if you are starting out, but don't be afraid to experiment as this is just a general guide.
There are a few things that cause blurry photos. Sometimes the camera's auto-focus will pick the wrong part of the image. Your photo can look blurry if the subject moves while taking the photo, especially when there is not enough light and the camera uses a slow shutter speed to compensate, or maybe you are taking a photo of something that is very fast moving.
To help your camera's auto-focus get the correct part of the scene in focus, make sure your target is centered in the frame. You can then press the shutter release half way down to lock in the focus and then re-frame the picture before pushing the shutter all the way. By far the best way to avoid blurry photos caused by camera movement or low light is to use a tripod to keep your camera as stable as possible. This is not always possible but you can often improvise by holding your camera against a tree or other solid object. You can also compensate for low light by using a higher ISO setting, which increases the sensitivity of your camera and allows for a faster shutter speed. Be careful, as setting the ISO too high can increase the digital noise or 'graininess' of your photo.
To keep a fast moving subject in focus can require a bit of practice. If there is enough light, you can use a high shutter speed, or for a more interesting effect where the subject is sharp but the background is blurry, you can use a technique called panning. Follow the subject in the viewfinder as they are moving past and click the shutter while the camera is still moving or 'panning' with the subject. This can take some practice to perfect, but the results can make an otherwise average photo much more dramatic.
Red eye is caused when the flash on your camera bounces off the retina of the subject's eye. You can do a couple of things to reduce this effect. Most cameras have a red-eye reduction mode which fires a series of flashes before the photo is taken to reduce the size of the subjects pupil and then fires the main flash to take the actual photo.
Another method of reducing the effect of red-eye is to move the flash away from the camera lens so the reflection on the retina is not in line with the camera's sensor. This, of course, is not possible with most compact cameras and is only available if you have a camera with a flash 'hot-shoe' to which you can attach an external flash.
Most photo-editing software has a 'red-eye' removal tool which replaces the red with black to reduce the visible effect of red-eye.