Our memories are our most treasured asset.
We take photos and save objects to spark those memories. For years, collage has been a favorite way of displaying what we’ve saved. Not satisfied with mass-produced “cut and paste” collages created by a team of designers who use a template or a formula, I take a more personalized and artistic approach to collage. Each collage I create is distinctive and made to be a beautifully blended and unified composition. I take special care to place and blend the photos and other items so at first glance not everything is immediately visible. The collage invites you to spend time to really look at the detail.

Ready to get started on a custom collage?

Here’s the information how!
 

What does the $15 per photo include?

The price per photo includes the collage creation as well as the finishing. The finishing can be a mounted print, a canvas wrap, or matting and framing. For matting and framing, I will select a few choices that would compliment your collage best and you can choose which you like best from that selection. If you would like reprints of the collage for family and friends, the collage can be reprinted at a per print price. The price of the reprint depends on the size of the collage.

How many photos do I need?

It depends on the size of the print and how deep and layered you’d like your collage to look. The more photos there are, the more layered the collage looks and the smaller some of the photos have to be to fit in the collage. For a 12 x 18 print, the average number of photos/items used is around 30-40. You can certainly choose to include more or fewer. If a lot of your photos have 3 or more people in them, consider fewer pictures. The collage tends to get crowded looking quite quickly if 10 or more of your photos contain more than 3 people. If you can, DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF TO JUST PHOTOGRAPHS! A collage has much more interest if you’re able to include other memorabilia like buttons, tickets, newspaper clippings, certificates, invitations, etc. Anything that can be put on a flatbed scanner I can include in your collage. If you can’t decide on what to include, feel free to send me everything and I’ll help sort through and select what would look best.  

What photos should I choose?

Think of your collage as a story or a timeline. How would you tell the story with photos? For example, for a 50th anniversary, you might want to start with photos of them when they were dating, then move on to photos of the wedding. Do you have the invitation? Maybe the program or the newspaper annoucement? After they got married, did they have kids? Maybe include a few family photos throughout the years and one or two photos of each child individually. Grandkids? Include one or two photos of them as well. Did they go on any big vacations? How about pictures from the anniversaries leading up to their 50th? Think about the story, then start telling that story with your photos and memorabilia.

How can I make sure you include the photos that I want?

Notes definitely help me with the creation process. Feel free to include a list, post-it notes, a scribble on the back of a napkin, anything that lets me know which pictures you absolutely want me to include and which are okay for me to leave out if things start getting too crowded. Also, let me know which photo you’d like me to use as the focus of the collage. If you forget, don’t worry, I’ll send you an email asking you which photo you’d like to use when I receive your pictures.  

Would you be able to take photos of places or other things I’d like to include in the collage?

Absolutely! If you live in Minnesota and want to include something in the collage that you don’t have a picture of, I’d be happy to go out and photograph it for you. My rates for photography are $45/hr plus mileage. Because I have photographed a lot in the Twin Cities area for my other collage work there’s probably a chance that if it’s a building or sign I already have a photo of it, so please feel free to ask if there’s something you’d like to add!  

Can you add words to the collage?

If you’d like to add a saying, bible verse, date, song lyrics, etc. to the collage, I can happily include it. Adding text is a great way to create more interest in your collage if you don’t have any other memorabilia.  

All my pictures are digital, should I email them to you?

I use a file sharing website called Dropbox that is much more reliable than email. I will email you a link to a folder where you can upload your pictures.  

I have some pictures that are prints and some that are digital, will that work?

Prints can be sent to the address listed on the contact page and I will email you a link to Dropbox (a file sharing website) where you can upload your digital files. Upon completion of the collage, your prints will be returned to you in the condition that I received them in. If your digital images are already on a CD, you can certainly send that to me along with the prints.  

Can I give you pictures off of Facebook?

Facebook photos are generally low-resolution because they are optimized to be viewed on the web. While I can certainly use them if that is your only option for a particular photo, understand that at best most Facebook photos are around 2″ x 3″ unless the user uploaded a high quality photo. Facebook photos or any photos off of the web cannot be used for focal point photos because of the low quality.  

Do you need the rights from my photographer?

If you have portraits or wedding/engagement photos that were taken by a professional photographer, I do need the rights release from the photographer before I use the photos in your collage. If you were given a CD of images, you should have also gotten a rights release along with it. You can email that to me before we begin. If you purchased prints from your photographer and you know they are still in business, please ask permission before using them in your collage. If your portraits were taken before 1976, no permission is necessary. If you have any questions or are having a difficult time contacting your photographer, please contact me.  

Can I scan my prints myself?

If you’d like to scan your pictures yourself, you’re more than welcome to. However I do have high standards for the images that I receive. PLEASE NOTE: I require that the images be AT LEAST 300 DPI (dots per inch) with no color correction or cropping and be as dust free as possible. (600 DPI is preferred for photos that you would like used as focal points) High quality scans means a high quality collage! If I receive scans that are a low resolution or have a considerable amount of dust and scratches, I will use those pictures AS IS. If you’re not sure how to scan, I will happily scan the prints for you. Also, I can provide you with a CD/DVD (format depends on the number of images) of your scanned photos for NO ADDITIONAL COST. You will have all of your memories archived digitally forever! It will be sent to you with your pictures when they are returned with
your collage.  

Here’s an example of the type of correction that’s included with the scanning fee:

Image Before and Corrected Image After

Some photos have a great charm to them with their discoloration or wear and tear and sometimes I choose to leave it. If it doesn’t add any interest to the collage, I will correct the image. If you have any questions or concerns about scanning, please contact me.  

How long does a collage take?

Collage creation takes about 2 weeks. While sometimes I’m able to complete a collage in under 2 weeks, my schedule varies and it’s not a guarantee. If you have to have your collage in your hands in less than 2 weeks, there is a $120 rush fee.

Will I get to see my collage before you send it to me? What if I want to make changes?

Part of the collage creation time includes a proofing process. I’ll email you a proof of the collage and you can make changes at that time. If you’d like a printed proof sent to you, I will happily send you one (shipping fee will be added to final invoice). We will continue with the proofing process until the collage meets your expectations. Should you require large changes to the collage that will require restructuring of the collage, such as replacing several pictures with others or shifting more than 5 pictures, there is a fee of $60/hr. Small changes such as lightening or darkening pictures or taking out/adding one or two pictures will not be billed. I will let you know if the changes you desire will constitute an additional fee before the changes are made.  

How do I pay you?

A down payment of half of the price of the collage is due with the submission of your photos. An invoice for the remainder, sales tax and shipping (if applicable) will be emailed to you upon completion of the collage. Payment can be made by check or credit card via PayPal.  

I can afford the down payment but may need to pay in installments on the remainder. Is that okay?

If you’d like to pay in installments, I’d be happy to work out an arrangement with you. Please let me know before the final invoice if this is something you’d like to do so we can arrange a timeline for payments.