The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Printing images of your kids.

oh i have much to say on this topic! that is for another time. i wanted to write today about something i feel is quite important when you go out and print those precious images of your little ones. clients are always asking me why is it when they print an image at 8×10 it cuts off a portion of their photo. have you ever dealt with this frustrating issue? well, i am going to do my best to explain it. i put together this little storyboard of sorts for clients recently and thought i would share it with you, in hopes that a visual something-or-other might help.


aspect ratio

your average camera is going to take pictures at a 3:2 ratio, this is the equivalent to a 4×6 image. if you are intending to print your images at 4×6, you need to do absolutely nothing to them. they will print as you see in your viewfinder/on the screen. however, you will run into problems when you decide to enlarge to say a 5×7 or 8×10. the automatic aspect ratio of 3:2 is not going to match any enlargement without cropping (with the exception of a 12×18). for example, if you decide to print an image as an 8×10, you will be cutting off a significant portion of the side of your image. this is because you would be taking a 3:2 ratio and printing to a 4:5 ratio. choosing to print at a 5×7 crop isn’t going to be as severe as 8×10, but there is no way around it. you simply can’t fit a 3:2 into a 5:7 or a 4:5.

how to solve this dilema?

you can solve it at the source by doing your own cropping. open up picasa, gimp, or photoshop if you have it. many programs allow you to choose what ratio you will be cropping to. take note however, always keep your originals. save your original, make your 8×10 crop for example, then save as a copy.

if you would rather skip the added step, simply be sure to preview your images either online or at the kiosk before printing. costco online allows you to preview your image before accepting, and gives you the ability to move the little box around to best suit that image.

no more unsightly cut up images hanging on your walls! 🙂 be in control of that print! i hope this article was helpful as you continue on this amazing journey of photographing your precious family. do let me know if you have further questions, i’d be glad to help.

About Bree

Bree is the founder and writer of, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband and 3 children.

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