Selling prints-- do you stick to standard sizes / aspect ratios?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by PhotoJoeC, May 16, 2020.

  1. PhotoJoeC

    PhotoJoeC TPF Noob!

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    Hello all-- first time poster here. Thanks in advance for the help.

    I want to set up an online gallery and offer some of my work for sale-- prints, canvas, metal, maybe other products. I've found a number of shots I really like fall between standard sizes like 8x12, and true panoramas. 1 to 2.2 - 2.4 seem to appeal to me.

    My first approach was adding borders in photoshop so I could do some inexpensive "proof" prints at 12x18, 16x20. However I can already see some challenges trying to scale this-- from needing to buy custom mats and/or frames, to difficulty getting certain products made in custom sizes.

    I'm curious how the more experienced of you have approached this? Do you compose and crop with "standard" sizes in mind-- or make the picture however you see it, and just bite the bullet on the effort and cost of creating something physical?

    Related question-- how do you deal with differences in the aspect ratios of standard sizes? Do you capture multiple images when shooting-- longer for 12x24, more square for 8x10 or 11x14? Or do you frame shot the way they look best in the field, and accept that the composition may be suboptimal in certain print sizes?

    Thanks again!


     
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I always 'shoot wide' to accommodate various aspect ratios. If need be, I'll resize the image in one direction to 'make it fit' if it's not much of a change and I can make it work.
     
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  3. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Being a film photographer I seem to think about that when I'm framing shots. If I'm shooting 35mm film an enlargement would be 8x12 so I'd have to think about how to frame so it will also work as an 8x10. Using a rangefinder I often frame so a photo will work in and outside frame lines.

    If prints are offered in standard sizes people could more easily find frames for them. If you were going to set up at an art show or craft fair and offer framed prints then it'd probably be more workable to do non-standard sizes.
     
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  4. vStiles

    vStiles TPF Noob!

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    I sell quite a few images regularly, so I can offer some experience.
    I pretty much shoot portrait style, all the way around. So that forces me to put the extra time framing / composing as I don't like to crop images ( minus bird images ). Unless...

    If I come up to a scene I would like to see or print in landscape style - I will still shoot portrait style + stitch + crop to actual ratio of the sensor = 2/3. Then I can print it whatever standard size and not have to worry about it.

    I basically try to keep as many pixels as I can if I'm going to stitch a photo.

    I've only printed a few panos over the years, and it can be a chore figuring out sizes / pixels / dpi for a nice size print. To ease this, I ( again ) will shoot a wide scene in portrait style to maximize the overall pixels available. You'll have to take quite a few more images than if you shot landscape style.
    Fitting that into a print is a little easier = gives you more up / down crop room.


    I don't do borders / watermarks or even put matts on prints. I like the image to fill the frame, literally. Prints are signed and signed on the back / dated.

    You will find, however, frames for non standard sizes will have to be custom made.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
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  5. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I shoot with the camera in vertical and horizontal positions both, depends on what the subject is. I've framed both ways, it just depends if I want maybe two vertical prints that could be displayed on a wall together, or that can fit in frames vertically. For larger prints it seems like you often see them done horizontally, depends on the wall space people have at home so I'd imagine you'd want to offer both. Try looking at home decor magazines.

    The advantage to mats has always been to keep a print away from the glass. I usually mat prints, but not always.

    I've seen photographers put their name and info. on a separate small piece of cardstock and attach it to the back of the frame.

    I'd suggest you go to some art & craft shows and fairs (when those get going again) and see how artists and photographers frame/display their art and what's standard/best practice.
     
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  6. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When I sell at a art/craft the sizes I sell are fairly common sizes. 95% are from 35mm film. Everything I sell if matted and has a 4x6 of my bio/contact info mounted on back.

    16x24 size prints matted on 20x28 (some framed). (16x20 on 20x24).
    11x17/12x18 size prints matted on 16x20.
    8x10/8x12 size prints matted on 11x14.

    I don't sell canvas wraps unless the customer orders one, I just give the sizes from work.

    I do want to start selling metal prints as I can do those at work also.....16x24 will be the only size I would sell. Great thing about metal prints you can just use a back hanger or buy frame sides, add a gator board backing and frame it with no glass.

    If I need a crazy size I just go to Hobby Lobby and have a matte cut and buy the frame sides to make my own frame.
     
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  7. paigew

    paigew Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I sell any size product/print, but I try to stick to the standard sizes. Personally, I prefer for my work to be printed at the original 4:6 ratio, but that is just not what people like to buy LOL! My biggest seller is 8x10. Occasionally, if I have an image that my client wants printed that just will not look okay, I discuss with the client and usually convince them to buy a different size/ratio.
     
  8. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have a specific personal desire to the square format, but it creates a challenge if I frame an image.

    In all honesty its really up to you as to the process.

    But I would say let the composure of the shot itself drive the end product.
     
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  9. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Depends on if this is for your own use, and you could do your own thing, or if you plan to sell prints. If you do, I don't know how much market there would be for sizes that aren't standard. I think you'd need to shoot in a way that the photos you take would work as 8x10s, 11x14s, etc. so whoever buys them can easily find frames to fit.
     
  10. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I agree 80%...

    There is something to be said about an unusual photo in an unusual format...

    Nothing on you... Just an observation.
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Shoot to a format in-camera...try for camera- native aspect ratio prints...11x14 wastes a lot of image-area from a 2x3 aspect original.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  12. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    How many prospective customers would want oddball sizes? How many are going to want to go track down a frame to fit?

    Depends on your purpose I suppose. When I've done submissions to juried exhibits and have one accepted, there are usually specific guidelines like black frames. For another purpose I could do whatever, it's possible to find a large variety of precut mats and frames that aren't standard.

    But if we're talking for clients, how many would want that? especially if they're buying a print, unframed.
     

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