A short while ago I wanted to print some photos for a little frame (4x4cm). I don’t own a printer and so I wanted to get it printed online. However, the smallest size offered by most online labs is 4×6″. I’m a programmer and amateur photographer, if anyone should find this easy it should be me. How hard can it be?
Somehow, I needed to resize and re-save my photo so that it had just the right border around the edge so that when the new image was printed at 4×6″ my picture would be in the middle at exactly 4x4cm ready for me to cut out. I scratched my head, searched around and even asked some experts for advice. I ended up installing a command-line image resizing tool and calculated just the right command to convert my photo:
“C:\Program Files\ImageMagick-6.6.0-Q16\convert.exe” input.jpg -border 137.5%x75% output.jpg
The values 137.5 and 75 are the magic here that I had to work out myself using a bit of maths. This is clearly too complicated and enough of an effort to make it one of those jobs that never gets done.
OddPrints was born
Although I spend my days working on and improving StolenCameraFinder (my baby!) I made time to knock up a basic website that solved this problem online in a simple way: OddPrints.com. Now anyone can just upload a photo, type in the size of their frame, and re-download the image ready for printing. We run the site for free with no watermarks or adverts or any other nonsense. There are too many crappy websites on the internet and we’re doing our best not to contribute to that!
Since then we now allow people to just order prints directly from the site. We don’t force people into doing that, we just offer people a simple honest service that they are welcome to use. If you want to use the site for free then print the images at home or in the local chemist that’s fine with us. We’re not going to slap watermarks over it or spam you or anything else that’s evil. Why do companies do that?! In fact, when you order prints from OddPrints you don’t even have to register and log in or any of that BS. Just pay with PayPal and we’ll get the prints posted to you. Done.
1000 Customers! (almost)
Anyway, now comes the reason I’m writing this post. I just looked at my logs and somehow there has been over 900 customers so far. Now I know this is absolute chicken-feed for big companies, I’m sure photobox get that daily, but for me it feels fantastic. I have a folder full of emails from customers saying how happy they are with their prints. When I get one of these I reply personally with a big smile on my face thanking them. There are photos of babies, weddings and happy holiday moments hanging on your walls and being given as presents thanks to this little site.
That’s why I’ve decided that our 1000th customer will get their order for free and a £50 voucher to use on the site 🙂
I hope that doesn’t sound like a cheap marketing gimmick, I genuinely want to thank every customer and everyone else that’s helped support the site and this is my way of showing that. Who knows, maybe I’ll be writing a similar post marking the 10,000th customer soon 😉