Portraits are provided in a number of different mediums including digital, prints (hardcopy), stretched canvases, as well as other “wall” type media and business cards, etc.
I get a lot of questions about “resolution” when it comes to digital images so will provide some detail here about digital image format and what I typically provide. Many of the product references pertain to my cat clients, since they are the majority of my clientele.
Digital image resolution: There are a number of ways that digital images are formatted. There are 3 primary specifications that I’ll describe here.
1) Resolution in “pixels per inch” (ppi) or “dots per inch” (dpi) – Pixels per inch refers to how an image is viewed on your computer monitor, dots per inch is a printing term. They are obviously closely related, if you’re really interested in more specific details you can see the Wiki information or google it. An image that is 72 ppi will have, per square inch, 72 pixels vertically and 72 pixels horizontally for a total of 5,184 pixels (referred to as size “5 K”). There are many other influencing factors that determine how the images are displayed on your particular computer monitor, again, see the Wiki page or Google it if you want to know more.
2) Dimensions – dimensions of the image, such as 4 x 6 inches, 8 x 10 inches, 9 x 12 inches, etc. Digital images are typically formatted with the dimensions best for how they will be used, for example for 4 x 6 inch prints. An image that is formatted as 8 x 10 inches will not be the correct dimensions to print a 4 x 6 inch print without having to be cropped.
3) Compression – jpg images are created using a method of compression, usually ranging from 1-100, with 1 being the least amount of compression (better quality, larger size) to 100 being the highest amount of compression (lesser quality, smaller size).
The digital images that I provide *usually* follow these guidelines:
Web/email images – 8 x 12 inches, 72 ppi, compression of 3-4. These images are of a size and resolution that is best for using on a webpage, facebook, and sending by email to friends and family for general viewing on their computer.
“High” resolution – 4 x 6 or 5 x 7 inches, 300 ppi, compression of 1. These images are formatted at a size that is best for the client to make their own 4 x 6 inch or 5 x 7 inch hardcopy prints and are suitable for most ads, including those that would be 1/4 to 1/2 page in a publication. These also are the best size to use for award banquet powerpoint presentations. Every “pose” edited for a purchased portrait package results in images created in both the 4 x 6 inch at 300 ppi and the 8 x 12 inch at 72 ppi formats. Since the high resolution images are automatically created as part of the standard editing process, those are available at a lower cost than the full size resolution images.
“Full” size resolution – 8 x 10 inches to 11 x 17 inches, 300 ppi, compression of 1. These images are formatted at a size that is best when the client needs the largest image and best resolution possible, usually to be used for making large prints or canvases 8 x 10 inches or larger, or for full page ads in publications, awards plaques, etc. These images generally require custom editing and formatting to fit the correct dimensions needed by the client, and to provide the best possible quality portrait so are priced slightly higher than the “high” resolution images.