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My name is Susan, and Designs by Prater is what you could call my creative outlet that pulls together my photography, art and graphic design endeavors! The most important thing you should know about me is that my life revolves around my God and my Savior Jesus Christ, my family (especially my husband Todd, son JD, and puppy Lexie), family and friends. Other than that, I am pretty much obsessed with photography, Coca-Cola, and the color green (and all shades of green for that matter, especially teal). I love sports but cannot play them worth a lick. I would not trade my time as a college student at Mississippi State for anything in the world. The friendships and memories made there will stick with me forever...Hail State and Go Dogs! And I am very picky about my chocolate chip cookies, grilled cheeses, and shaved ice (gotta be SnoBiz watermelon flavor).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

faq : cropping ratios and presentation ideas

A few times I have had a client who has ordered an 8x10 print ask why not all of their image printed out as they saw it in their proofing gallery...and the short answer is cropping ratios. I'm no expert on this, but I am going to try my best at explaining it, as well as offering up some suggestions for when cropping a particular image (say to an 8x10) is less than preferable. So let's get on with it!

Courtesy of About.com:
Aspect ratio is the relationship of an image's width to height, or its proportions. Digital cameras produce files with an aspect ratio of 4:3. But many common photo print sizes have a different aspect ratio. For example, a 4 by 6 print has an aspect ratio of 3:2; an 8 by 10 has an aspect ratio of 5:4.

So...that may not make much sense at all, but hopefully it will once we look at it visually. The below picture shows an image exactly as it comes from my camera:

full frame ex

And this next image shows what it might look like if we ordered it as an 8x10:

crop frame ex

The faded top and bottom portions would be cropped out, and we would be left with an image that really just doesn't do the pose and setting of this particular image any justice. Now, I could move that shaded area up and down to try to get a different portion of the image in my frame, but I'd either lose his feet and the ladder or the window above the door. It just comes down to personal preference sometimes!

So, before I get to what you can do if a regular portrait size (i.e. 8x10) won't work for your image, let me give a disclaimer first! Please don't think I am saying not to order 8x10s. Many images work just fine and do not lose any of the pose or setting when cropped. But if you are worried that a particular image might, just ask me to send you a quick mock-up of what it might look like in a certain size, and I'd be happy to show you!

But if we do find that a common size won't work for your favorite image, think outside of the box! Don't be afraid to order an 8x12, 9x13...or dare I even say it, a 16x24. :) There are several options for you when you can't find those odd-size frames at Target or Hobby Lobby...and they don't have to be as expensive as custom framing.

Option 1 - 11x14 Print with matboard or styrene backing sitting on a floating wall shelf

wall shelf 01

Option 2 - 8x12 Print with matboard or styrene backing sitting on an easel

easel 01

Option 3 - 16x24 Canvas gallery wrap that comes ready to hang on your wall

canv gall wrap 01

And those are just a few options. We could get creative and come up with many more, I'm sure! Anyways, I hope that was helpful :)

And I must say special thanks to ANabs Photography for letting me tag along on a recent engagement shoot to grab that precious photo I used as my cropping example. Can't wait to share the rest of my images from that session...stay tuned!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Newsletter Sign-Up {memphis photographer}

We are excited to announce that we will be launching a Designs by Prater electronic newsletter next month! Not only will it be super informative (full of tips and photo before & afters) but it will also give you the latest news on any specials and contests we will be running for clients and Facebook fans/likers.

Here is what you can expect to see in each edition of our monthly newsletter:
- Spotlights from our latest sessions
- Before and After photos showing you some of the basic edits we use
- Session/Product Specials (aka discounts and freebies for sessions booked that month)
- Contests (a chance for you to submit a photo for a particular theme to earn DBP prizes such as free MINI sessions and print credit)
- An FAQ answered (highlighted from recent blog entries)

SO...if this sounds good to you, sign up now! Just fill out this little form and you'll be on our list. :)

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And if for some reason this form isn't working, just click HERE!

Also, because no post is good without a photo, here are a few from a cupcake swap I hosted at my house a couple of weeks ago! We had a blast :)

cupcake swap 02

cupcake swap 05

cupcake swap 06

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