Printing Tips

One of the benefits of choosing Sarah Myers Photography is that we give you the rights to print whatever you want from the edited pictures that you are given.  You will have the ability to order prints at a much cheaper rate from the company of your choosing.  Please keep in mind that not all print sizes are created equal and, because of this, there will be a certain amount of cropping depending on the size of photo print you choose.   Most cameras take a picture at a 3×2 ratio, which means that it will handle prints that are closest to a 3 x 2 multiple the best, such as a 4 x 6, 8 x 12 and so on.

So what does this mean for you and your pictures?  The good news is that you have control of the area(s) being cropped in your pictures as opposed to the photographer making those decisions for you.  Below are examples of the differences in size when you print your pictures. You can click on any of the pictures for a closer look.

First is our original picture.

Next, we will look at the size of a standard 4×6 picture.

Here you can see that the bottom part of the horse is cut off, but the width is correct.
Next, let’s see what a standard 5×7 looks like.

The bottom of the picture is cropped, as well as part of the horse’s head. You can see that the ear is almost completely cut off.
The 8×10 is a drastic change from the 5×7 and 4×6.

You gain more height from the picture, but lose more of the width. The horse’s head has been cropped all the way to the eye in this picture, but only the little girl’s foot is missing from the bottom of the picture.

And finally, the 11×14 picture.

The 11×14 has a very similar shape to the 8×10. You gain a slight amount of height, but lose a slight amount in width, though most people probably wouldn’t notice the difference if they weren’t put side by side.

So, as you can see from the  picture below, the red tint on the right side is the 4×6.
The green tint on the right side is the 5×7.
The yellow tint is the 11×14.
And the small blue line toward the bottom is what is left showing of the 8×10.

So, not all prints are created equal because the aspect ratio of each is slightly different and will change what shows up in the printed picture. So it is definitely better to crop the part of the picture you want to show up in the print instead of letting the printing studio decide for you.

The majority of online printing companies allow you to choose what portion of your picture gets cropped.  Pay close attention to the outline of your picture as you are ordering your prints.

Another option we recommend  is using Picasa  since it has predefined crop areas that make it very easy to crop to the right size, instead of cropping to an arbitrary size that could lose details you desire in your prints.  So, for example, if I knew that I wanted to print the above picture as an 8×10, I would do the following:

  • Open the picture in Picasa
  • Choose “crop”
  • Choose “8×10″ from the sizing drop down menu
  • Then, I can move the cropping window around to find the best position for my desired print out

And, as always, if you have any questions  please let us know.  We’ll be happy to help where we can!