Photo Guide

The Right Resolution For The Job:
Photos For Commercial Printing

The photo requirements for high-quality commercial printing, such as that used on glossy magazines like Business People-Vermont, are different than for photos used on your website.

  • Film cameras:
    Send a high-resolution scan
    send the original print,
    a printed scan.

  • Digital cameras:
    Send high-resolution JPEGS or the original JPEG photo files from your digital camera (or scan at 300ppi).

  • Label your photos or files with the correctly spelled first and last name of the person in the press release. (Richard Smith label should be "Richard Smith," not "Chip Smith."

  • Send press release and photo together.

  • AVOID prints of digital photos.

  • AVOID website pictures.

What difference does resolution make?

Web Resolution images have detail removed
so that Web pages will load faster.

Below: A photo this size looks crisp and detailed when viewed on your monitor.

Below: Upsample the same photo for magazine pringing, and it would appear blurry and mushy.

Why Magazine Printing Uses
More Resolution Than Your Web Site

The enlargement on the left: Your computer screen uses pixels to reproduce a black and white photo.

Each pixel can be any of 256 shades of gray. (Color images use millions of colors.)

The enlargement on the right: To print a photo on a commercial press, your photo is converted to black dots called halftones. Printed on white paper, halftones give the illusion of shades gray. Four times as much detail is needed to display the printed image with as much fidelity as the same image on your computer monitor.