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Formatting or Not to Standard Sizes (8 x 10)

Can I have some opinions on what others are doing when they make prints? I might be able to make a few bucks coming up taking some family shots. I prefer the out of camera formats which is 12 x 16, but would you allow some space to allow cropping later for standard print sizes such as 8 x 10, 11 x 14, etc? I feel like I'm not being totally honest if i print out-of-camera knowing well that it will cost ALOT more to have them custom framed by those I'm taking the photos of.  What do you do?


  • Yes, you have to leave a little room around your subjects anticipating that they may want 8x10 prints. I don't like to have a lot of empty space and often made the mistake of shooting too tight. They look great if it's for an 8x12 or even 5x7 but invariably have to crop too much to get an 8x10. What I do is crop to 8x10 (if one is ordered) and if it changes the look of the photo I send a proof to client for their approval. I always say that if they want the whole photo they could get an 8x12 at no extra cost. But yes it's more of a pain to frame and 8x12 and many simply prefer 8x10. It is getting easier to get 8x12 frames, especially online so that's less of an issue. But you'd be wise (me too) to avoid the whole problem by shooting wide enough to accommodate an 8x10, if the subject matter is such that such a print order is likely. Ditto on the 11x14s. 
  • I am sure that most people don't realize it, even if i were to sell them a 8 x 12. They wouldn't even know it, till the time came that they are having a hard time finding a frame.
    I suppose it would be a "courtesy" on my part just to go ahead and plan extra compositional space to accomodate them for the standard prints.
    I hope I don't forget some when the time comes to remember to allow for that.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited November 2015

    The thing to remember also is that 90% of people are new to photography, not just photographers but clients/people in general and they are so used to seeing those 6x4, 8x12, 12x18, etc. 'full size' formats; however, those ratios of 10x8, 5x7, 11x14, 16x20 are more 'pleasing' to the eye in general, not so 'something is not quite right' feeling when viewing images.

    So, what to do. I, like Skip says, always shoot with negative space, generally at top if portrait, or sides if landscape, then I do something different to the vast majority of people. I do not crop in the RAW converter, I edit Exposure and WB in RAW, export out as PSD, then full edit in Photoshop.

    If you crop in RAW, unless you do a 'variant/duplicate' of the image then crop one of them, you are stuck with that size photo, and not only that, you also lose 'pixel dimension'.

    Once I've exported out of RAW, and I have done the editing on the full original image, I keep it the same size, so it can be cropped, then I do a Save As and add a '-2' to the file name, and on that version I duplicate the layer, do a Ctrl (or Cmd) T to get the Transform bounding box, Shift/Click/Hold on a corner and drag it out until it fills the frame where I want it to be, and move layer around for a 'full frame' image, commit the transform, flatten and save.

    Obviously I only need to do this to images that I know I will be needing for cropping/full frame versions.

    Now as to the cost frame, etc. well these days, it's almost easier here (Australia) to get those 8x12/12x18/16x24 frames off the shelf anyway, and if you are going to a Framer to get a custom frame, it may cost like an extra $5 to $40, but compared to a custom frame anywhere from $45 to $500 it's not a big price to pay in the scheme of things.

    Canvas prints, well I just checked my supplier's price, an 8x10 Canvas Print is $38.00 and an 8x12 (full frame) is $41.50, $3.50 more; a 16x20 is $92.75 & a 16x24 (full frame) is $109.90, $17.25 more (these are high end prints on Canadian Torino Photographic Canvas with Giclee Inks that never fade, not your general in shopping store mall where I can get an 8x12 for $19.99, quality is total rubbish)

    I would allow that bit of space on the 'hero' shots, but during a wedding, 99 times out of a 100 I would not really worry say during the ceremony, most of those can be allowed for small sizes in an album anyway.


  • I also have a tough time with this, and I look at it from the "customer" viewpoint, with me being the customer of my own work. I have difficulty finding 8x12 frames. When I look at vacation photos, there are many I do not want to crop. But, getting an 8x12 print conveniently is tough, especially at the "quickie" places like CVS or Walgreen, etc. I guess it's time for me to start ordering on line maybe at Shootproof or the like. But finding a frame is tough.

  • Frames are VERY expensive, especially a custom. I feel kind of bad to not mention it to someone I'm planning to take a few photos of ahead of time, so I think it's better to just allow for cropping. I wouldn't do that for my own photos though such as nature and landscapes. I don't frame anything anyway, but I've ordered some 8 x 12 prints just because I want to save some of my best photos.
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