How to Get the Most Out of Your Parallax Custom Wall Art: Best Practices for Uploading Images

 Welcome to Parallax!

Now that you are considering getting a piece of personalized wall art, here are some helpful tips and how to's for getting the most out of your unique piece.

What is a Parallax personalized wall art?

It's a framed piece of lenticular art, specifically an agamograph.

In others words, we take two of your personal pictures, print, and frame them in such a way that they create a single piece of art.


When you look at the art from one direction, it shows the first photo; look at it from the other direction, and you will see the second.

Parallax is currently available in a 12"x 12" size and comes with a handmade wood frame in onyx black or farmhouse white.

All Parallax orders are handcrafted and made in the US.

woodshop

How to order a Parallax piece

  1. Go to the Start Creating page on the Parallax website
  2. Upload the image you would like when you look at the print from the left and in the section below the image you would like when you look at the print from the right.
  3. Use the slider feature underneath the preview to see what your photos will look like in the frame.
  4. If you like it, add it to cart! If not, try different photos and use the preview to find your perfect decor.
  5. Check out... no need to walk you through this part. It's 2021. Let's be honest, its harder for me to remember the last time I purchased something in person than it is for me to remember when I was shopping online.

Bonus: Free shipping for customers in the US... always amazing.

Tips for the selecting your photos

For an in-depth look at ideas for what to get with your custom wall art, check out this great guide on art ideas.

What does a Parallax image best capture?

In general, Parallax is the most impressive with a transformation between the two images.

Think of the glory of that awkward, all-denim family photo from 1998 paired with the same awkward, all-denim, family photo retaken in 2021 (everyone all grown up but in the exact same positions).

Or for those out there looking for the classier options, the tree you used to climb as a kid in the winter and in the spring.

Parallax is perfect for showing the passage of time, a renovation, or in memorial. It can be nostalgic, funny, or highlight two beautiful moments.

What to avoid when selecting your photos

As mentioned before, transformation is key to an impressive Parallax wall art.

Avoid minute changes or subtlety. You will really want to be able to see the change from one picture to the other.

Some examples of potential don'ts:

  • A photo of a child as a six year old and a photo of the child as a seven year old. Opt instead for a photo of the child as a newborn or a five year old paired with them as an eighteen year old.
  • A minor renovation like painting the shutters on your house a different color. Opt instead for the home in the summer and the home completely decorated at Christmas or a before and after of a Chip-and-Jojo-style fixer upper.
  • A minimal style update like getting glasses. Opt instead for a before and after photo America's-Next-Top-Model-style where all your hair is chopped off and dyed a different color.

Choose your favorite photos of the same subject with a large change like a great passage of time, a restoration, or a dramatic make over.

Orientation in the photo

Avoid photos with completely different orientations ie: a portrait photo of a person paired with a candid.

It's more than a little disorienting to have the two photos look like the positioning is just slightly off.

If you are using photos of a person, they should both be either looking directly at the camera or both candid. (Note for candid photos: they should still be in the same orientation so candids where they are looking left in both would be key).

This would apply to photos of objects as well. A picture of a house in two seasons should be taken from the same position on the street instead of one approaching from the left and one from the right.

Portrait not Landscape

You will want to select photos taken in a portrait, not a landscape, orientation. In other words, images that are taller than they are wide.

Since Parallax fits two pictures in a square frame, the aspect ratio of a portrait is significantly better with less cropping than with a landscape.

Ultimately, the less the image has to be cropped, the better the final results.

portrait not landscape

Sizing matters

You will want the subject of both pictures to be the same size.

Avoid having one photo with the subject super close and large in frame and the second image with the subject farther back in frame and small.

Again this goes back to the wall art being disorienting when you see the two images since the change will be drastic in the ways that makes you visually go...wait...what...


You can always use the Adjust & Edit feature to crop and size the images to be more precise.

Best Practices to get the most out of your Parallax custom wall art

Now that the don'ts are out of the way, I have some tips for ways to get the best out of your new wall décor!

Mobile phone photo quality is great!

Don't worry about using images you took with your cellphone. Nowadays, those cameras are so fancy that there's no concern about rendering your favorite selfie.

The minimum requirements for an uploaded image are 628px x 864px. Most cellphone photos are well above that.

The only thing to be concerned about is if the image has been dramatically cropped in which case the resolution may have changed significantly.

JPG (or JPEG same difference) Format for the win

In order the upload a photo for Parallax, it will need to be in the JPG format.

Fortunately, this is the most widely used image format. Huzzah!

Depending on settings, the iPhone saves images on device as HEIC; however, as soon as the photo leaves the device it is converted to a JPG.

If you need to convert your file to a JPG, here's how you can on a MAC or Microsoft Windows device:

For a Mac:

  • Open the Preview app on Mac, open the file you would like to convert, then choose File > Export
  • Click the Format button and select JPEG
  • Type in the new name for the image and select where the image will be saved ie: desktop, documents file, etc. and click Export

For a Microsoft Windows:

  • Open the image on your computer, click the File button at the top left of the screen, and select Save As...
  • Choose the JPG format under Save-as-type, rename your file, select the location your JPG will be saved to
  • Click Save.
  • Leave a little margin

Parallax wants to make sure you get as much out of the subject of your image as possible so when you upload your photo, leave a little margin around the subject that you don't mind getting cut.

If the subject runs right up to the edge of the image, there is a chance the image may be cut off when you receive it.

Line up the eyes for the prize

As people, we make connections through the eyes. This is true even in pictures!

When selecting the photos for your custom wall art, try to place the eyes in the same location on the image.

If the eyes are too far off, the wall art starts to slight into that uncomfortable uncanny valley thing that's always best to avoid.

It doesn’t really matter if the subject is the exact same size, as long as the eyes are aligned.

For Portraits, look that camera in the eye and say cheese

Generally, people make less of a connection with a photo if the person is looking off camera.

Parallax is meant to evoke emotions—whether that's nostalgia, love, or surprise—so it is even more important to see eyes in your photograph to get the greatest effect.

Put that subject front and center

Whatever the subject of your Parallax design, really highlight the subject matters by making them as large as possible.

If the subject of your Parallax are family members, use photos of just the family, not necessarily the family in front of the house.

If your subject is your beloved pup, maybe don't use a photo of him or her running in a distant field.

If your subject is your Chick-Fil-A sandwich before and after... good on you.

Find an old photo and break out the camera!

Do you have an older photo of a loved one that you absolutely love? This is the perfect opportunity to stage a similar photo of the person today!

One of the great joys of Parallax art is just how creative it can be. Use this as an excuse to put that old letterman back on or get the family back together for a BBQ. 

Conclusion

With these tips in mind Parallax custom wall art can be a unique way to share your favorite memories, touch the people you love, and save a little wall space.

Be sure to read more about Parallax image ideas and and best practices for hanging your wall art.