photo tips | aspect ratios + cropping

as i learned how to take photographs with my big camera (my nikon d300 dslr), i picked up a few useful tips, tricks and some basic knowledge about photography. and i would like to share what i’ve learned here on my blog. i’m going to start with some basics about aspect ratios + cropping.

the aspect ratio of an image is simply the width and the height of the photo that you camera takes. it is expressed as numbers with a colon in the middle – like the most common 4:3 and 3:2 aspect ratio.

most dslr cameras use an aspect ratio of 3:2. most iphones, smart phones and point + shoot cameras use a 4:3 aspect ratio. a 3:2 aspect ratio is the size of a 4×6 photo. a 4:3 aspect ratio is bigger than a 4×6 photo.

have you ever had a 4×6 photo printed and the top and bottom of the photo were cut off? that is most likely because your camera used a 4:3 aspect ratio.

i print my photos sized at 4×6 because that is the size of the pockets in my project life pages. sometimes i take photos with my iphone 5 which uses a 4:3 aspect ratio and i want to keep the whole photo – which wouldn’t be possible printing as a 4×6. so this is what i do…

this photo template is from the simply white collection – v2

so what can you do to make sure that your photos can be cropped to the exact size you want without losing any important parts of the photo? just step back when shooting. don’t get too close and try to leave a little extra space for cropping.

not sure what aspect ratio your camera uses? just google it.


please let me know if you have any other photography related questions that i might be able to answer in a future blog post.

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Giada - Thank you for these awsome tips! I would like to read some editing tips, since I’m always struggling to find the perfect final image and I really admire your work :) Thank you!

Kristine V. - Very helpful, Tracy, thank you so much! I too would be interested in any photography tips you’d like to share as well as any photo editing tips. I’ve been working with your photo templates and I love them!

Cristina - I always get lazy and just send my Project Life photos off to print. I’ll lay out my 3x4s side by side to print on a 4×6, but that’s about it. I have to stop and remember to use white space around my photos and really think about how they’ll look in my album.

diane - Thanks for all you PL posts…they are a great inspiration. I love your Simply White collection. You and CZ are all the inspiration I need :)

Lea - Thanks for this great post and diagrams. I have been searching for about an hour for what the proper ratio to crop my photos is to get them to print properly. Finally found your post and got the answers!

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