If you browse the frames aisle of your local craft store, you’ll find a whole lot of 5”x7”, 8”x10”, and even 11”x14” varieties. But if I were to exactly fit the same photo into all of those sizes we’d find that each one looks a bit different. They all have to be cropped differently. For example, the image that comes out of my Canon DLSR has a ⅔ aspect ratio. This perfectly fits a 4”x6” frame but would have to be adjusted for the ⅘ aspect ratio of an 8”x10” frame.
This might seem trivial, but from the artistic/technical side of the camera, I like to maximize the space that I have available to use. I paid for each of those megapixels and I want to use them! On the other hand, when I make my prints available for sale for those other sizes I have to manually crop them all in post-processing. Which, in turn, takes a bit of extra time and mental energy – and not exactly the creative kind. In some cases, the crop detracts from the image and makes it less pleasing. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
Obviously, if this is what is commonly available and what the consumer wants then it’s definitely what I’m going to do. However, there is a great alternative and that is to get your prints matted. Matting is that stock board that fits snugly between the photo and the frame and it can really bring a photo out.
So, get a custom matte made! Typically your local craft photo place should do it but you can also order them online. Make the matte the frame’s size and the matte’s opening the size of the photo. Be sure to make the opening a little bit smaller than the photo. This way there is some overlap and the photo won’t fall out. Boom, you’re good to go!