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How does my photo print format come about?

The size of your photo print relates to several factors. Key elements are standard paper formats within the photographic industry, and the aspect ratio you’re working in.Below we explain how your photo print format comes about.

Standard paper formats

Typically, photo paper dimensions used to be calculated in inches (1 inch = 2.54 cm). We convert these sizes to whole centimetres. The actual paper sizes vary a little therefore from the rounded sizes popularly used. So, a 10×15 photo print in actual fact measures 10.1×15.2 cm.

The aspect ratio you’re photographing in

In the analogue era, a standard aspect ratio of 2:3 was used in photography. Nowadays, in the digital era, we can tweak the aspect ratio on our cameras ourselves. With a digital DSLR camera this is usually 2:3; with compact cameras it’s 3:4. Some compact cameras and digital phones also feature a 9:16 aspect ratio; this is a “protracted” format intended for panoramic shots.

Whatever aspect ratio your image has, we automatically select the photo’s correct print ratio. As a rule, the short side of your print is fixed (photo paper format), and the long side is determined proportionally. This way nothing gets left behind. As such, a photo print in the 3:4 aspect ratio will have a different length to a print in the 2:3 aspect ratio. A 9:16 aspect ratio works slightly differently. This picks up the maximum length of the selected paper format, and the short side is determined proportionally. By far and away with most formats, a section of unexposed (white) photo paper remains at the borders.

So, your submitted image is made to fit proportionally, without indenting or having to semi-print. The table below outlines which print formats you can expect with standard aspect ratios.

Have you got a specific format in mind, one that doesn’t dovetail with standard ones? If so, read our blog about tweaking files to an irregular format. If you don’t have access to photo editing software, we also have a fantastic blog with lots of tips on finding free and reliable photo editing software online. You can, of course, always select ‘irregular photo print’ on our order platform, and you will be sent the requested photo format with white borders. All you then need to do is trim it.

Tip: Do you want to use a photo for framing, or to place in a photo book? If so, you’re best off using the camera’s classic 2:3 aspect ratio.

Exact print sizes in cm
10×15 -11×1510,1×15,211,4×15,28,5×15,2
13×13 – 13×1912,7×19,112,7×16,910,7×19,1*
15×15 – 15×2215,2×22,815,2×20,312,8×22,8*
20×20 – 20×3020,3×30,520,3×27,117,2×30,5*
30×30 – 30×4530,5×45,730,5×40,725,7×45,7*

With formats designated with a *, unexposed (white) photo paper will be discernible at the borders.

Example: You have selected product 13×13 -13×19. With an aspect ratio of 2:3 your print will become 12.7×19.1 cm, with 3:4 it will be 12.7×16.9 cm, and with square (1:1) your print will be 12.7×12.7 cm. With a 9:16 aspect ratio this changes somewhat: you get a print measuring 12.7×19.1 cm with an image on it measuring 10.7×19.1 cm. With this, sections of unexposed (white) photo paper remain discernible at the borders.