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Ann Arbor Shutterbugs (Photography) Message Board Ann Arbor Shutterbugs (Photography) Discussion Forum › shooting for wallet size portraits

shooting for wallet size portraits

A former member
Post #: 20
ok, so i am very confused over the whole sizing for portraits. how can i take a pic and make it in to a wallet size without distorting the pic?? i took a pic with enough room to crop, it was for a yearbook, they wanted head to chin 1 1/2" x 2". it looked ok to me when it was done but when i sent it to others they stated it looked distorted. i need helllppp!! willing to take a class if it focuses on the subject of shooting and processing sizes.
Ryan K.
rkarolak
Brighton, MI
Post #: 12
I don't have any experience with wallet-sized portraits, but can you crop it to the appropriate ratio yourself before sending it to them?
Katie M.
user 9928676
Grand Blanc, MI
Post #: 1
Wallet size is usually 2.5" x 3.5". If you use the crop tool in Photoshop and set those dimensions, it shouldn't look distorted.
Diana D.
user 30838402
Munith, MI
Post #: 2
ok, so i am very confused over the whole sizing for portraits. how can i take a pic and make it in to a wallet size without distorting the pic?? i took a pic with enough room to crop, it was for a yearbook, they wanted head to chin 1 1/2" x 2". it looked ok to me when it was done but when i sent it to others they stated it looked distorted. i need helllppp!! willing to take a class if it focuses on the subject of shooting and processing sizes.

Hi Helen,

It can be challenging to meet a school's requirements for proportions in wallet images, especially keeping the head within the required dimensions. Someone else may have a better formula, or perhaps even an Action to do this, but this is how I accomplish it in Photoshop (If you're using Photoshop Elements, let me know, as some of the commands are found under different sub-menus). The instructions are somewhat complex, but provide an image at the required head dimensions at a high resolution so if the school needs to crop the image further, there are plenty of pixels left. I start with the post-processed full size, high-resolution image before cropping.

So you don't overwrite your original file, go to File> Save As and save it with a new name (I just add _Wallet after the original name). If there are multiple layers, flatten it. If the Background layer has a lock on it, drag the lock to the Trash to unlock it.

From the menu: Image>Image Size – With Resample unchecked (the other two boxes should remain checked), change the width to 5” (this does not change the pixel size of the image, but makes the inches more manageable).
View>Rulers to turn on the rulers.

Add some guides for the head size requirements. Go to View>New Guide – Enter a Vertical guide of about 2” – Select the Move tool and move the guide over to the left edge of the subject’s head.

Again go to View>New Guide – Enter an amount for Vertical which is 1.5” larger than the position of the left guide (view the ruler to determine this). This may not fall at the right side of subject’s head. If not, do the following:
Go to Edit>Free Transform – Hold the Shift Key down & drag one corner of the bounding box inward a little until the head fits between the two vertical guides. It’s important to hold the Shift Key down and drag from the corner to maintain the aspect ratio so the photo doesn't become distorted. (If you should need to drag the image larger (outward) to make the head fit, the image is probably too low-resolution, and may become pixilated if upsized.) To reposition the image so the head sits between the guides, release the Shift Key and drag the center of the image left or right, or use the keyboard's Left/Right Arrow Keys. Press Enter to commit the changes.

Now add Horizontal Guides – View>New Guide, click Horizontal, enter 2” for position. Move this guide to the top of the head.

Add another Horizontal Guide and make the position 2” larger than the position of the previous guide (view the ruler to determine this). If needed, use Free Transform to resize/move the image to fit into the required 1.5” x 2” space. Always remember to depress Shift and drag from the corner when resizing.

At this point, I use the Rectangular Marquee tool to crop the image because I can enter a Fixed Ratio (rather than fixed size). After selecting the RM tool, in the option bar under Style, select Fixed Ratio. Enter the school’s required dimensions for the wallet photo. Generally, this is 2.5 x 3.5, which is the same ratio as 5x7. In the option bar, I enter Width of 5, Height of 7 (do not use inches as this is ratio, not size).

Drag out the Rectangular Marquee selection to cover the area you wish to keep in the photo. Leaving plenty of space around the subject allows the school to further crop the image to maintain uniform head size in the students' photos. To reposition the selection, if needed, go to Select>Transform Selection & then drag from the center of the selection, or use the Arrow Keys on the keyboard to reposition the selection. Press Enter when finished repositioning. To Crop, go to Image>Crop.

Hopefully this link should lead to a screenshot of an example image showing the Guides and the Marquee tool Selection before cropping.

http://i48.tinypic.co...­

Hope this helps.
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