Need help reducing and fitting your locket photographs?
Struggling with shrinking your photo and fitting it into your locket? We can help. We know a few things about miniature photos and we now sell a selection of lockets with professional photo installation included at no additional charge. We'll also list some suggestions here on different methods you can do yourself for those of you who bought your locket from someone else.
Recommended tips for taking photographs for lockets:
Remember that the smaller the locket, the less photo area available and thus less photo detail. Keep this in mind when taking your photos. You will likely want to emphasize only the face of one person per locket photo. Large lockets may be suitable for two faces provided that both faces are close together (try getting your subjects to pose "cheek to cheek" if you can). These suggestions generally apply to photos for both engraved photo charms and enameled photo charms too.
How to reduce or shrink your photograph to fit your locket:
There are many methods you can use to reduce your photo to the proper size. They vary in degree of difficulty, photo quality, required equipment, control, and cost. Here are a few methods to try:
Index prints from your local photo lab: These days, most photo labs have index prints available with each roll of film you have developed. Index prints are those single prints that have a tiny photo of each picture on your roll of film. The actual size of the individual index photo is set by the lab, and therefore you cannot adjust it. You can however take multiple photos on the same roll of film with different zoom levels (1x, 2x, 3x etc.) This will not adjust the size of the index photo, but it will affect the size of your subject within the index photo. This approach involves some luck and is usually better suited to small lockets. Most photo labs can make an index print from digital photos too. Just bring your CD-ROM or other digital media to the lab. You might also tell the lab technicians what you are trying to accomplish and they may be willing to scale and print your photo exactly as you need it. Be sure to bring your lockets and templates with you to the lab.
Kodak Picture Maker: Kodak provides a relatively simple and affordable method for reducing and printing good quality photos. You can bring a print or most types of digital media with you and reduce and print your photos completely on your own. You may have to reduce your photo, print it, and use that photo to reduce even further (expect a slight photo quality loss here). We have seen 4X6 prints for sale on these systems for as low as $0.48 each. To find a Kodak Picture Maker near you click here.
Find a company that will print locket sized photos for you. Run a search on your favorite search engine for "locket photos". There are now a few companies out there that will send you a 4x6 print of your image with lots of different sized heart and oval prints that might fit your locket. These companies do not trim these photos and therefore you will still need to do the trimming and installation yourself. For many reasons, we do not offer this service for lockets not purchased from us.
Print it at home: If you have a photo quality printer, high quality glossy photo paper, waterproof ink, digital camera (or scanner), and photo editing software, this can be a great way to do it yourself at home. It is likely that if you have all of these things you probably don't need our help and to explain all of the steps involved is beyond the scope of this help page.
Making a template for your lockets and trimming your photo:
Many high quality lockets come with clear plastic photo covers that also serve as templates for trimming your photographs (if you haven't selected your locket yet, you might want to ask about this). If you do not have one, you can make one yourself by taking a sheet of transparency paper, and using scissors or an Exacto knife (CAUTION!), and cutting a shape slightly larger than the size you think you will need. Try to fit the cut piece into your locket, noting where you need to trim further for a good fit. Be conservative as you trim as once you cut too much off, you will have to start over again with a new piece. Once you have a good template you will be able to place it over your desired photo to mark your desired cutout. Trim your photo on the marked lines with scissors or an Exacto knife.
Laminating your locket photos:
Now that you have your reduced-to-size photo and you have trimmed it to the proper shape, you may wish to laminate the photo before snapping it in place. You can often have this done at your local office supply store by inserting your photo into a business card sized plastic sleeve and sending it through a lamination press. You may wish to slightly undersize your trimmed photo so that the plastic retains a seal around the edges after you trim the laminated photo. Laminating your photo can be a good idea if you do not intend to change photos often and/or you have a habit of wearing your locket in the shower. Check your locket before deciding to laminate your photo to be sure that it will not make your photo too thick to properly snap in place.
Installing your locket photos:
Assuming everything has gone well for you up to this point, you should be able to snap your photo into your locket. It is generally important to have a good template and a well-trimmed photo for a good snug fit. Beware of using adhesives to glue your photo in place. Some adhesives may damage the photo, the locket, or both. Some adhesives may not give adequate adhesion (especially true if you laminate your photo).
Some final comments:
We hope you find the above tips and tricks for fitting your photos into your locket helpful. We, of course, hope you'll take another look at our Photo-Gems pendants too. Please remember that photos for lockets, engraved photo charms, and enameled photo charms, generally have a print resolution limitation of about 300 dpi (dots per inch). Sure, you can print your photo using a higher resolution photo, but neither you, or most printing methods, will be able to tell the difference. Therefore, with most of these types of pendants being less than an inch across, they are limited to a total image bearing less than 300 dots across the entire image. (Just compare those index print photos to your full size photos and see the results for yourself!) Our proprietary micro-photography process combined with our precision optical lens breaks this barrier by combining a much higher resolution capability with high magnification so that the image you see is much larger than photos in other types of pendants.
If you are interested having locket photos produced for you, please take a look at our selection of lockets to compliment our exclusive Photo-Gems pendants. Our new locket line, as do our Photo-Gems pendants, all include full service photo installation from your personal photographs. We will always provide a photo update service to all of the products we sell. Sorry, but we no longer offer our locket photograph services for jewelry that was not purchased from us.