Why Are My Pictures Being Cropped By My Photo Lab?

Here’s a post I recently did that shows an example of how most sizes will print and be cropped from your photo lab.

Click Here To Read – Understanding Cropping

Understanding Photo Crops and Cropping



Well, hey everyone. It’s Scott again with NewPortraitBiz.com and we have another Quick Tips video for you. And I’m gonna try to get through this again relatively quickly and today we’re gonna be talking about cropping.

Now, I know cropping, you usually want to show and be visual about it, but I can explain what I need to explain here in this short video. The question comes in from Dave. And Dave said—well, he’s been a member for a very long time and he said that he loves everything, which is awesome. Thank you, Dave. And he said, “I’m wondering if you could post a video on how to crop an image to a specific aspect ratio without cropping off the image.”

This is a very, very common question and it’s something that it took me a while to even understand because most people don’t understand it ’cause they just think you shoot something with a camera and then you print it out and you should be able to make it any size you want. Well, you can, but you’re gonna lost some of the image and I’ll talk about that. He just says that he shoots with a Canon 5D. Doesn’t really matter in this case. “And when I try to get the image cropped to a certain aspect ratio, say an 8 x 10 in a horizontal or a vertical, parts of the image is chopped off.” And that’s another thing. A lot of customers or clients, they’ll say, “My image is chopped off. Where did that go?”

Here’s a couple things. Let’s just say that your camera, the aspect ratio is like a 4 x 6 print size. So, when you get an image printed from your camera, it’s going to print a 4 x 6 and you’re gonna see everything on there. That’s kinda like full frame, let’s call that. Now, I know there’s gonna be some tech guys out there and some women that’ll be trying to get all technical on me here, but just go with me on this. Let’s just say it’s a 4 x 6, 4 inches by 6 inches.

Now, let’s say you go to get an 8 x 10. What people don’t realize is an 8 x 10 is not the same constraints as a 4 x 6. So, here’s a quick little tip for you. A 4 x 6 is technically an 8 x 12. So, labs will print that on an 8 x 12 piece of paper most of the time and then they’ll chop off the either—you know, on a vertical, it’ll be on either end. And on horizontal, it’ll be again on either end. It’s never really on the width. It’s technically on the height. It’s kinda hard to explain that part. But anyway, you get the idea.

So, for example, if you want all of that image printed, you can have an 8 x 12 printed. Most people do. And you can find frames like that. But if you want to go up even higher than that, you can go to a 12 x 18. That would be another one. And then you can go a 20 x 30. So, all of those, you would get everything that you shot on that particular image.

Now, here’s the deal. I have learned, Lisa has learned, we’ve all learned that you always want to shoot wider. And what I mean by that is don’t take your camera and crop everything in so tight because what’s gonna happen is that if you did a full-length shot and you shot all the way down to their feet to their hair and then you want to get that thing into an 8 x 10, you’re gonna chop off feet or you’re gonna chop off heads.

So, you always want to give yourself some room and crop after the fact. With today’s cameras, you have so much resolution to work with, you’re not gonna see a difference in quality by cropping that. So, that’s what you need to do. Then you go right into Photoshop and you crop it at the size that you want and that way you’re gonna know exactly what you’re gonna have and you don’t let them decide what’s gonna get chopped.

So, there’s your Quick Tip for ya. A little lesson on cropping. So, I hope that makes sense. And again, if you have any other questions that you want answered in a Quick Tip video like this, just send them over to me at newportraitbiz@gmail.com or post a question below in the comments box.

So, that’s it. I’ll talk to you later. Happy shooting :-)

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