Deidre Sorensen is a London UK based photographer. She specialises in maternity, newborn, and baby photography in her Kensington & Chelsea portrait studio.

Photographic print sizing: part 2 – wall print size guide

August 8, 2014

This is part 2 of a 2-part blog about print sizing.

I find myself more and more making large wall prints for my clients, and this guide is really great for helping them think through what the sizes will really mean when they hang a portrait on the wall.

Part 1: standard image sizes and ratios  (click to see previous post)
Part 2: wall print size guide (i.e. how large will something look on a wall?) (today’s blog)

What size prints are ideal for hanging on walls?

A room with a sofa and a range of photographs of different sizes hung above it with labels from 20x30

A comparison of print sizes from 20×30 down to 8×10.

We consider 11×14” and larger to be wall prints.  These are appropriately large to be visible from a distance and to be able to “fill” the space.  In general, images 8×10” or smaller are framed and displayed on tables and desks rather than walls.  On walls, they can often be overwhelmed by the space, since 8×10” is quite tiny when viewed from a distance.  There are a few exceptions to this, which we will describe in our next blog, but first, here is a comparison of the key sizes on a wall above an average sized sofa.

A picture of a room with a standard sofa and a 30x40

30×40″: These are stand-alone prints that can fill a significant display space in a medium to large room, or a less significant space in a very large room. A room that has a large double-height wall will potentially need two prints of these sizes in order to look balanced and full, whereas a medium to large room will only need one (e.g. above a sofa or fireplace).

A picture of a room with a standard sofa and a 20x30

The 20×30” print, viewed from a distance, isn’t all that big and does not dominate the space, despite it sounding like a very large size!

A picture of a room with a standard sofa and three 16x20

Here again is the same room and sofa with some 16×20” prints grouped together. These are reasonably large prints but will still likely need to be displayed at least in pairs, depending on the space in your room.

A picture of a room with a standard sofa and three 12x16

12×16″: These again are reasonably large prints but will still likely need to be displayed at least in pairs, depending on the space in your room. Here again is the same room and sofa with some 12×16” prints grouped together. They appear significantly smaller than 16×20”.

A picture of a room with a standard sofa and four 11x14

11×14″ are medium sized images and about the smallest you would go for a wall print. These need to be hung in groups, as you can see here, if displayed in a medium sized room, although they can be hung in pairs or alone if only filling a small column of space or if in a small room.

A picture of a room with a standard sofa and three 11x14

11×14″ are medium sized images and about the smallest you would go for a wall print. These need to be hung in groups, as you can see here, if displayed in a medium sized room, although they can be hung in pairs or alone if only filling a small column of space or if in a small room.

Hope that’s helpful!

Text and images © Studio Deidre / Deidre Sorensen Photography

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