Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yes, bigger is better!

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Pin It Why does your portrait photographer try to steer you away from all those 8x10's you want to order? And what does "desk print" or "gift print" mean?
Well, read on.....I'm here to tell you!

Back in the day before digital (yes it's true, there was a time), the size format was different and 8x10's used to be standard. Now however, when you ask for an 8x10 and various other "standard" sizes, you can loose up to 2 inches of your image.

As your image is seen from the digital camera, the size ratio is 3:2.
To crop to an 8x10, you would need a ratio of 5:4

There are a few sizes of prints that you can have made to maintain the native 3:2 ratio. Those sizes are 4x6, 8x12, 12x18, 16x24 and 20x30. This would be important if you have an image with a "tight crop" or not very much free space left around the subject. Generally heads and limbs are important to keep in the picture!

I did a few crop examples to show you what the same image looks like with different crops.

Here's the original image coming from the camera. If you want to maintain EVERYTHING in your print, this needs to be printed as a  4x6, 8x12, 12x18, 16x24 or 20x30.
If you were to ask for this printed as a 5x7, this is what you would get....a little loss but not too much:
Now for an 8x10 crop (my least favorite, you loose 2 inches from the long side):
Here's the 11x14 crop:
And finally a 16x20 crop:
And here they are all together:

 One other thing I wanted to point out to all the 8x10 lovers out there....is that it is best used as a desk print (or gift print as they are sometimes called). When hung on the wall, it will look pretty pathetic and lost. You might be able to get away with it say in a bathroom, or as part of a grouping, but not alone on a large wall. Have a look:
Poor Charlotte looks absolutely lost here on the wall as an 8x10. A beautiful portrait of a beautiful girl needs to be showcased, not lost on the wall. Doesn't she look better here:

 I do get a fair amount of client orders that come in for an image in an 8x10, and I email back to show them the potential crop and just how that picture will look. If you are wanting that size, please consider an 8x12 if you could potentially loose an important part of the image. There are many more places that you can get 8x12 frames now, including ordering online. But really....go BIGGER!

I hope this was useful information for you. If so, please feel free to share this post on facebook (there's a little like button at the top) or link to your own blog.

9 comments:

get an eyefull of this... said...

over here from FB blog page and I love this. very pratical and a good way to show what different crops do to a photo. Thanks!

Deborah Chetwood said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing this. I will definitely be passing this on to my clients. And btw: beautiful photo for the comparing the sizes.

StudioKate said...

I love this post! What a great visual demonstration of how important sizing is in portraiture... or any art, for that matter!

Zoe said...

What a fabulous post and a GORGEOUS image to illustrate it with!

Steve Lewis Photography said...

This is a great post, maybe you would consider guest writing a similar piece on my new blog (I'm switching to WordPress) about the joys of printing in a 3:2 ratio - the ratio our cameras are in? 4x6, 6x9, 8x12, and so on. Think about it!

myla said...

Love the illustration! Very informative post!

Vince Murdock said...

Great post and beautiful pictures. Nicely done.

Mary Peterson said...

great idea for a post and I'm pinning this now so when I do my own I can link back here!

Chris Kleidon said...

Great idea! You show this so well, and it's so true. Something no one ever thinks of at the time, but it becomes so important.

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