We are not a “family portrait” kind of family. We weren’t an engagement photo shoot couple, and our wedding photographs are informal at best. When we were house-hunting in Calgary and found our dream home, I took pictures of exactly how the owners had it decorated. (Or staged. Let’s face it, they had kids—it was probably staged.) We were going to recreate their exact décor, including their classic, canvas-printed black and white family photos and meticulously tidy countertops. We’ve been living here for a year and half now, and we have printed and hung zero photographs. The counter is always a disaster, and there’s a wine stain on the wall that definitely wasn’t there when we moved in. Based on the framed photos that came with us from Montreal and are now propped up on top of our kitchen cupboards, you wouldn’t know my husband or Little Miss Cub even exist! (And you’d assume that the preschooler was still only a baby.)
When Canvas Factory asked me to try out their canvas printing service, I figured it was about time that I make it official that we are a family of four. I went through over a year of photos trying to find a picture of all four of us that was worthy of display. Realizing that we are not a “family portrait” kind of family, I decided it wasn’t important that we look perfect, or even that we all be looking at the camera.
I chose this picture of the four of us in front of Lake Louise because one of our favourite family activities is exploring the amazing natural attractions that are at our doorstep in the Rockies. I hope that it’s the stunning turquoise water and unbelievable mountain backdrop that draw the eye in rather than the fact that Cub isn’t looking at the camera! I wouldn’t trade this photo for an airbrushed family portrait in our Sunday best. If you look closely, there are all kind of fun things in this photo that will help us remember this summer moment when the kids were little.
Cub is wearing, on each wrist, those paper bracelets that are given to you to prove you’ve paid admission. He managed to keep the bracelet he got at Stampede on his wrist for almost two months. My husband is wearing Birkenstocks: a footwear choice he came to regret when we hiked up to the Lake Agnes Tea House. He failed to tell us that this would be a steep 3.5 km trek over rocky terrain, which I did with Little Miss on my back. I might have been exhausted and very annoyed that I had not been mentally prepared for the difficult terrain, but at least I didn’t have blisters. This photo was taken during my in-laws’ first visit to Calgary, and I love that this canvas will always bring back fond memories of our trip to Emerald Lake Lodge with Grand-maman and Jidu.
Making my canvas was extremely quick and painless. My photos are all taken with my iPhone 6+, so I was a bit concerned about resolution. For this 16″ x 20″ canvas, my Lake Louise iPhone photo was just fine! I specifically chose an outdoor photo for the best clarity. Once you’ve uploaded your picture, you position it, crop it and decide if you want the edges of your canvas to be a solid colour, mirrored or a continuation of your picture. I chose the last option, so my image simply wraps around the canvas. Once I submitted my order, I got an email from customer service as they had adjusted the alignment slightly for a perfect fit, and I needed to approve the change. I appreciated this concern! The canvas was at my door in a week and a half.
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Canvas Factory canvases are printed in China. The 16″ x 20″ canvas we received currently sells for $38.70, and shipping is $9.99. Shop now!