Print Size Image Cropping: Why is it important?

The way in which a photo is cropped results in how it is presented, meaning that if an image is cropped in a way that leads you away from the story, it is no longer a good image, but rather the idea of one; ultimately silencing the story the image once revealed.

Have you ever looked at a photograph and wondered, what if ‘that’ specific element wasn’t in the picture? What if you added a bit more detail to your image? What if it was only the centre part of the image being showcased?

It is safe to say that these essential components change the look and feel of the image exceptionally, be it in a good or bad way.

Model Photography
Model Photography
Model Photography
Model Photography

Model: Nikki van Deventer

The adjustments in the images above were all made by cropping the same image in different aspects and sizes while moving the focal point around, resulting in each picture telling a different story.

But wait, we have to start at the beginning…

Now, where do you want to use the image? Is it for print material, social media purposes, online use, or to simply share with your friends?

All of these come with their own pre-requisites that you need to look at to help lead you into your final image crop size.

If you would like to know more about resizing your images according to best social media standards, here is our FREE Guide to Image Sizing for Social Media.

So let’s start with the standard print sizes: Oh I wish it was that easy, but there are two standards that are mostly used, namely ISO Standards and Print Lab Standards.

The primary difference being that most modern ink-jet printers use the ISO Standards, and most Photo Printing companies make use of the Print Lab Standards.

However, here’s a basic breakdown of the various dimensions of sizes:

By now you are surely asking, well what does all this mean?

Basically, it helps to use the above as a guideline to finally reach your desired end-result.

So, which parts of the image are kept, and which parts are cropped off?

Well, you as an artist need to ask yourself: “What story do I want to tell?” Then, take this answer and use it to decide what your crop will be.

Does the parts that are included help tell your story, or does it take away from it?

Taking the above into consideration, you can now crop your image into the correct dimensions before sending it off to be viewed, printed, or used; ensuring your story remains vocal!

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