Best aspect ratio for selling online prints?

flyingpylonflyingpylon Major grinsPosts: 260Registered Users Major grins
edited May 31, 2004 in SmugMug Support
I have images I'd like to upload to smugmug so that I can sell prints. One thing I'm a little concerned about is the variation in print aspect ratios. Is there one "middle" aspect ratio I could use that would cause customers the least amount of trouble when buying prints?

My suspicion is that most people won't take the time to truly understand why a photo would be cropped slightly differently when going from 4x6 to 5x7 to 8x10. I'd like to avoid complaints from people due to heads being cut off, etc. Since I post-process my images anyway, I don't mind creating a version specifically for online print sales.

Any tips or advice would be appreciated.

Comments

  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkPosts: 50,151Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 31, 2004
    I have images I'd like to upload to smugmug so that I can sell prints. One thing I'm a little concerned about is the variation in print aspect ratios. Is there one "middle" aspect ratio I could use that would cause customers the least amount of trouble when buying prints?

    My suspicion is that most people won't take the time to truly understand why a photo would be cropped slightly differently when going from 4x6 to 5x7 to 8x10. I'd like to avoid complaints from people due to heads being cut off, etc. Since I post-process my images anyway, I don't mind creating a version specifically for online print sales.

    Any tips or advice would be appreciated.

    i presize my prints for selling on line, and only offer them in certain sizes that are appropriate. so, for my prints, customers can order 8x10 or 16x20 ...

    http://www.moonriverphotography.com

    cheers,
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Posts: 2,853Administrators moderator
    edited May 31, 2004
    One thing I'm a little concerned about is the variation in print aspect ratios. Is there one "middle" aspect ratio I could use that would cause customers the least amount of trouble when buying prints?
    Bless you for asking this question. It is by far the most common and difficult problem with selling prints.

    The ultimate irony is that pro cameras (dSLRs) have 2:3 aspect ratios so they fit 4x6 well, but cropping for 8x10 is severe (it's one reason we offer an 8x12 print size). Consumer cameras are 4:3 so they do poorly with 4x6s, but not as badly with 8x10s.

    But the prints people order from pro dSLRs are 8x10s and 5x7s, whereas the prints they order from consumer cameras are 4x6 — it's just the opposite of the way everyone would like it to be.

    I think the compromise ratio would be .75 (same as 4:3 cameras) because 5x7s are .71 and 8x10s are .80. So on an 8x10 you'd lose .6 inches from the short ends, on a 5x7 you lose .25" from the long ends, and on a 4x6 you lose .5" from the long ends.

    We do have a popular print size to solve the .75 aspect ratio problem for 4x6s, which is 4xD. (In fact we have 5xD and 8xD sizes too, which also fit .75 ratio perfectly.)

    The downside of the xD print sizes is fitting store-bought frames. 11doh.gif

    I hope this helps.

    Thanks!
    Baldy

    4706148-M.jpg

    4706149-M.jpg
  • Erik OlsenErik Olsen maneman Posts: 65Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 31, 2004
    Baldy wrote:
    Bless you for asking this question. It is by far the most common and difficult problem with selling prints.

    The ultimate irony is that pro cameras (dSLRs) have 2:3 aspect ratios so they fit 4x6 well, but cropping for 8x10 is severe (it's one reason we offer an 8x12 print size). Consumer cameras are 4:3 so they do poorly with 4x6s, but not as badly with 8x10s.

    But the prints people order from pro dSLRs are 8x10s and 5x7s, whereas the prints they order from consumer cameras are 4x6 — it's just the opposite of the way everyone would like it to be.

    I think the compromise ratio would be .75 (same as 4:3 cameras) because 5x7s are .71 and 8x10s are .80. So on an 8x10 you'd lose .6 inches from the short ends, on a 5x7 you lose .25" from the long ends, and on a 4x6 you lose .5" from the long ends.

    We do have a popular print size to solve the .75 aspect ratio problem for 4x6s, which is 4xD. (In fact we have 5xD and 8xD sizes too, which also fit .75 ratio perfectly.)

    The downside of the xD print sizes is fitting store-bought frames. 11doh.gif

    I hope this helps.

    Thanks!
    Baldy

    4706148-M.jpg

    4706149-M.jpg
    I found by leaving just enough room on top for your vertical head shots, and allowing a bit of extra room on short sides of horizontal group pictures from dSLRs is a safe way. Cropping them too close will get you in trouble. So imagine a safe zone in your viewfinder when shooting.

    Erik Olsen
    www.manevideo.com
    Thank you,


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