If there's one invaluable benefit of the digital camera, it's the ability to indiscriminately photograph anything and everything. Unfortunately the consequence of no longer worrying about film costs is a hard drive overflowing with forgotten images.
I personally have an obsession with snapping photos of my pets. Luckily, since I co-run the pet blog Pawesome, I'm able to use a few gems within posts, but otherwise, the majority of my adorable snapshots sit gathering dust in a virtual shoe box. I like to show off a few of my fave portraits around the house, but I've refrained from printing them on my home printer. Looking at a standard 4-by-5 or 8-by-10 doesn't excite me. It's the same size and quality that I see on my computer monitor. If I'm going to hang something on the wall, I want my images to look spectacular, not like I simply hit command-P and called it a day.
Wanting to upload my images to the real world led me to research services that cater to oversized prints. I wrote about six options for the New York Times, and then posted full reviews for five of the services on Unplggd.
One of my favorites was Wizard Prints. Despite its outdated website, this company can realize almost any scenario you can dream up—adhesives you can walk on, super-sized canvases, beautiful matte prints, and textured fabrics that turn into wall murals. I had the last three options made for me and my only gripe was not having enough room in my apartment to properly hang them all.
The most surprising service was Wallhogs. The company creates vinyl decals from your images, and will go so far as to print and cut specific areas of a photo in order to create a unique cutaway. When I first looked into the service I thought adhesive decals were pretty juvenile, but once I figured out where the material works best, I discovered the limitless possibilities. Now we have a standard fridge that looks totally customized and next I'm looking to spruce up our plain Jane bathtub.
When Sonia Zjawinski isn't working as a freelance writer for Wired magazine, the New York Times, ReadyMade, and Unplggd, she sells rad shirts to help pay for her and other rescuers' efforts helping stranded kitties. She hopes to move to a farm in the near future, where she can live out her fantasy of helping abandoned and neglected animals.