Social Media Files?

What's a Social Media Sized Digital File?


Such a great question!

  • When a photo is taken, the original file is usually set to 300dpi (dots per inch).  This is a large file and can take up a lot of room on a computer or other host.
  •  A print made with a 300dpi file will contain the maximum amount of digital information for clarity of detail, contrast, colour, etc.  This is especially important when larger pieces are crafted.
  • Computer screens, though, don't see much, if any,  difference between 72dpi and 300dpi. The only real issue that would affect how a 72dpi file would look on your screen is the width and height of the file and the calibration of your screen.
  • A file that is 600px x 600px (pixels are the smallest bits of digital info) will look blurry and "pixelated" when zoomed in on as you will start to see the distance between the pixels.

Unless you are planning to make prints, a 72dpi file that is 1000 to 1200px on the longest side will be fine for online sharing. Knowing that most people want a digital file to share, all prints that you purchase from me are accompanied by a file that is 72dpi and 1200px on the long side. I do sell these files separately for folks who don't want prints, but for a few dollars more, you can have both! (I LOVE prints and want everyone to have them!) These files will make an "acceptable" 2x3 or 4x6 print, but a full resolution file will always give more detail in print.

If you wish to make multiple copies of a small to medium print of up to 8x10 and wish to save a bit, you might wish to consider a file of 2800px on the longest edge/72 dpi which I also make available to you in the Portrait Shop. That said, I cannot guarantee any prints that I don't have made for you!



Here are some comparisons regarding how different file sizes look on screen:



This 1200x800 file is what someone would receive if they purchased this as a print of Ella. It looks great!



MMJH9880 1200x800 300dpiMMJH9880 1200x800 300dpi

This file would make a nice small print and looks the same as the 72dpi online. When I make prints, I use the original size file. This file was 4743px x 3162px before I reduced it for comparison.



MMJH9880-800x600 thumbnail sizedMMJH9880-800x600 thumbnail sized

If you enlarged this last example (800px x 600px) you would see a noticeable difference in quality as there are a lot fewer pixels. It's looks fine, though, as a small file on a screen, but  I would not print this at any size!



Why don't I sell or give all the full size, 300 dpi files?

  • Another great question and with a simple answer: I like to control what happens to a file that I have put time (sometimes hours) and talent into taking, editing and processing to protect my reputation and your investment.
  • Print labs are not all the same, trust me on this one. To have a one of my files displayed in a way that "messed up" my work would make me both upset (I don't want people who see that print to think that is the kind of work I do) and sad (you've spent a lot of money on a file and ended with a really awful looking product that doesn't look like you thought it would.)


Any questions? Let me know!  Contact me!


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