Let's talk about aspect ratio and cropping photos

April 29, 2019  •  Leave a Comment
 

You all know that I pretty often get excited about beautiful light or a gorgeous sunset, but I have to say that this is the first time that a rainbow has shown up for a photo session, and it couldn't have happened to a more beautiful family. My friend Christy and I had planned a combination family session with Hannah's First Communion Photos, which I blogged yesterday. We had just finished up inside the church and let Hannah change out of her Communion dress when it started to sprinkle. I was a bit concerned at first, afraid it would start to rain hard and ruin our family portraits.  But it only rained for a few minutes and then suddenly the girls noticed a rainbow nearby.  How lucky can we get?  It was only there for about 45 seconds, but that was enough time to get a few pictures.  🌈

 

I thought I would take Christy's session preview as a chance to talk about a slight change I think I'm making in my photography, and why I'm making it.  

 

Christy has been one of my closest friends for like eight or nine years now, and I'm in her house fairly often. Her home (which is gorgeous, btw) is filled with many photos I've taken. One thing I really love about her is that she appreciates photos and she does a fantastic job of getting them printed.  However, my one complaint (and I can say this cause she already knows it and loves me anyway) is that in several of the photos she's printed there are feet cut off in the print.  And it's not just her.  Most of my friends have sad, chopped off limbs in their printed photos that I've taken.  *cue sad music here*

 

Many of you are probably thinking 'so what?'.  Well, as a photographer, one of the cardinal sins is to chop off limbs in a weird way. Photographers put a lot of thought into composing photos in a pleasing way, and none of those ways includes people floating on stumps without feet.   

 

But I don't blame Christy or my other friends for the floating people. I blame whoever decided that standard print sizes would be a different aspect ratio than most camera's shoot in. 

 

You see, my camera (and most others) takes photos in a 2 x 3-inch ratio (same as a 4 x 6 ratio).  That means if you take the image as it was shot, and print it as a 4x6 inch print, you get the entire picture as it was taken in the camera. But 4x6 prints are where it ends as far as getting exactly what you see in a print. 

 

It seems that the most common size photo that people print and frame is an 8x10 (4x5 ratio).  That is significantly more square than a 4 x 6.  So if you can imagine trying to make a very rectangular image into more of a square, you definitely end up chopping off a decent portion of the image on each end. And that's how the prints end up missing feet...because it did not crop well as an 8x10.

 

So I've been thinking, perhaps it's just easier on clients (and on myself since I'm admittedly a bit of a control freak) if I just go ahead and make them 8x10s myself before delivering the gallery to you.  That way, you don't have to worry about having to crop the images for the sizes you print most often. This means that if you print an 8x10, a 16 x 20 or a 20 x 24, there will be no cropping required.  5x7's and 11x14's will still need to be cropped a bit, but much less so and I believe you are less likely to destroy feet in the process.  

 

If you wanted 4x6 prints, that will require more cropping, which it did not originally. But you know what?   You can get 4 x 5 prints that I think are really cute and won't require cropping from this new aspect ratio.  

 

So what do you think? Will this be helpful to you or do you prefer the original aspect ratio of 4x6 in your galleries? I'd love to hear your feedback.

 

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Crystal Freemon Photography, Spring Hill TN Family Portrait PhotographerCrystal Freemon Photography, Spring Hill TN Family Portrait Photographer


Hi, friends!  Welcome to my blog! I’m an engineer turned family photographer, obsessed with chasing light and capturing real moments. I believe family portrait sessions should be fun! I’m a hockey mom, Predators fan & retired PTO president.  I picked up the camera when my youngest was a baby and fell in love with documenting our life as a family. Don't wait to book a session to capture your family's special memories today! 

 

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