When deciding what print size to order from your digital photos it’s good to have a little understanding about photography aspect ratio. Here’s a breakdown into digestible terms to make this a little more smooth.

What’s an aspect ratio?

An aspect ratio is the relationship between the height and width of an image and the most common representation is a number followed by a colon and a number, example: 4:3, 4:5, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1.

The 3:2 aspect ratio correlates to full frame and DSLR cameras, 4:3 is the most common aspect ratio for mobile and Micro Four Thirds cameras; whereas 16:9 is more of a wide angle shot, or more commonly seen as a mobile video format. Last but not least there’s the 1:1 aspect ratio, the beloved square image, which is used mostly for social media and has become a popular print size when updating frames and home decor from mobile photos shared on social media (they look really fun in modern square frames, as metal prints or small square canvas prints!).

Picking the right size print

How do you go about picking the right size to print from your images according to the phototype (mobile vs. camera)?  When a phone photographs in 4:3 (4×5.4” print size) and a full-frame DSLR camera shoots in 3:2 (4×6 print size), it can be challenging to make sure you pick the right crop and print size for your image. The example below shows aspect ratio crop lines and offers a helpful visual to give an idea of what you can expect when ordering prints online.

If you are struggling to pick the right size for your photos, or need a little help visualizing what your photos will look like cropped to a specific size, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your favorite local photo store and ask for advice. There’s always help just a quick phone call away.