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:
And this next image shows what it might look like if we ordered it as an 8x10:
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
Option 2 - 8x12 Print with matboard or styrene backing sitting on an easel
Option 3 - 16x24 Canvas gallery wrap that comes ready to hang on your wall
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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