Finding And Buying Museum Quality Art and Photography Prints Online
Finding and buying art and photography prints online today can be as easy as picking a few quick buttons. But with the growing number of online “Print On Demand” (POD) sites offering every kind of art and photography you can imagine, it can be a daunting task just to get to those few quick buttons. This blog will hope to cut through all the glut out there and help you find and purchase your next perfect museum quality art and photography print online that’s available in a variety of media including photographic paper, canvas, and metal, along with a number of framing options to enhance that perfect space in your home, office, or retail space.
First and foremost, you must be able to find the art and photography you are looking for. The most common choice would be to use the various public search engines like google, bing, webcrawler, etc. But they can be hit and miss. A better way is to find a reliable online outfit that specializes in selling quality art and photography prints and that has done it successfully for a long period of time. And to help you along with that, I’ve narrowed it down to one established online site that will have everything you can imagine. And that site is fineartamerica. I’ve belonged to and purchased from a number of other online art and photography sites for years and have concluded that fineartamerica has what it takes to provide the buyer with quality, consistency, creativity, and diversity.
The buying process at fineartamerica is very easy, I will use my own site hosted at fineartamerica under their artistwebsites label throughout this blog as the example. You can follow along if you want, just go to http://artistwebsites.wingsdomain.com or pick on any of the images throughout this blog. When you get to http://artistwebsites.wingsdomain.com, you will be presented with the main galleries page with very well organized sets of galleries shown as thumbnails:
You can explore the entire site, but there are two main areas of interest on this page. The first area is the gallery thumbnail icon images themselves. Each gallery is intuitively titled and associated with a visual icon thumbnail image of what you will see in that gallery. The other area of interest is the Search button located at the upper right corner, we will return to this search button a little later. My recommendation is to go ahead and pick the gallery labeled “Featured”. There you will find a wide range of art and photography that best represent Wingsdomain Art and Photography as shown below:
You can scrolled through the entire page and when you find what you like, pick on that thumbnail picture or it’s title and the larger single image page will show up. For this example, I will pick the one with the San Francisco Streetcar. Note, the title will oftentimes only show the first few words since space is a premium on this page, so going by the thumbnail on this page will probably be your best option. Below is what shows up when picking on that San Francisco Streetcar thumbnail:
You should take a look at the entire page and read all the pertinent information. A lot of it is standard stuff, but there are 2 areas of interest which I have added the numbers 1 and 2 to on the image page above which corresponds with the below description:
1. If you place your mouse on top of the large image, a green digital “loupe” box will appear, and if you go ahead and pick on it, an enlarged image will appear giving you a 100% view of that area. This is useful to determine the quality of the image. Some artist/photographers will have that option turned off, but I like my buyers to be well informed and see the full size quality of the image at 100% to allow the buyer to be informed in making their decision to buy the art/photography print. You can move the green digital loupe around and see all the various areas, especially the point of focus.
2. In this area, you will find all the products available for purchase for this image, and that usually includes photo prints, framed prints, canvas prints, metal prints, and more, and their corresponding base price. If you pick on any one of those thumbnail icons, you will be able to further customize the art/photography print you want to buy. For this example, I will pick the “Framed Print” option, and the below page will appear:
As with all pages, you should take time to look around and read the information before continuing. For the image print purchase page above, I’ve identified 3 areas of interest and have added numbers on the image that corresponds with the below description:
1. Select the print size, along with other pertinent configurations for your print which depending on the type of print you are purchasing will have different options. In this example, we are purchasing a framed image so along with the size options, we also have options for “frame”, “mat”, “paper”, “finish”. Take a look at each of those options and make the appropriate choice for your print. Note, a nice thing about this image print configuration page is that as you make any of the option changes, you get a visual image of what your print will look like (see no. 2 below and on the image above).
2. As mentioned, as you make changes and set your options in no.1 above, the image on the left will change in real time to show you exactly what your print will look like with the options you have selected. Try it for yourself, change the frame and the image on the left will reflect the frame you select. In addition, the price of the print will also update in real time! Pretty cool, right?
3. Once you are satisfied with the print you have set up, go ahead and pick the “Add to Cart” button. You will then be taken to your “Shopping Cart” page below:
In the “Shopping Cart” page above, you can either “Continue Shopping” by picking on the “Gallery” tab on the top of the page or pick the “Continue Shopping” link at the bottom left. But if you are done shopping and just want to go ahead and purchase the print(s) you have in your shopping cart, pick the “Check out” link at the top right and you will be presented with the below “Check out” page:
If you are a returning customer, go ahead and log in to your account for purchase, or if you are a new customer, pick the “Continue as Guest” option and you will be taken to a “Secure Checkout” page like the one below:
Make sure you fill out your “Billing Address” correctly, and if the “Shipping Address” is the same as your “Billing Address”, simply pick the “same as billing” label in the “Shipping Address” sub-window. Also, remember to select the “Shipping Method” in the same “Shipping Address” sub-window. The “Order Summary” on the right will show the price of the print along with tax and shipping based on your “Shipping Address”. If you have a gift certificate ID or discount code, make sure you apply those on this page, and if valid, the prices will change accordingly. When you are ready to submit your order, pick the “Continue” button and you are on your way!
The Search Button
Now getting back to the other very useful way of finding your perfect art and photography image print is to use the search button as shown below in the upper right:
The nice thing about the search button is that you can search for the subjects you are looking for instead of using the galleries which is useful but still may give you a wider selection of images to choose from than you want. For example, you might want to search for “convertible cars”, go ahead and type that in the search box and then hit enter. The resultant page (below) will show all the “convertible cars” on the site instead of you having to go to the cars gallery and go through thousands of images yourself.
Well that’s it for now. Hope this blog has made it a little easier for you to find your perfect museum quality art and photography print to enhance your home, office, or retail space. Once you’ve made a few purchases, you can be confident that buying art and photography prints online can truly be as easy as picking a few quick buttons!
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