FAQs - Help & How To / My prints had a weird crop when I got them?

From time to time, we do get a call about someones prints being cropped “weird” or having borders they didn’t want.  There are two main categories for these issues:

  1. Aspect Ratio Issues
  2. Cropping Choice/Instructions When Ordering

Aspect Ratios

Aspect ratio refers to the difference or relationship between the length and the width of your image.  You will commonly hear this expressed in terms of 3:2, or 4:3 or 16:9 in the case of a widescreen TV.  Printing photos is no different.  If the size of the image you have is different than the size of the print you want, one of three things can happen:

  1. You image will be cropped or cut off.  This results in a print that fills the frame, but may have information you would like printed cut off.
  2. All of your image will be squeezed to fit in without leaving borders. – we call this skewing.  It results in some weird looking warped photos and is not recommended.  This will never be done unless you specifically request it.
  3. You image will be fit in by shrinking it while maintaining the aspect ratio.  The longest side of your photo will determine how much shrinking must be done.  IN this method, there is no warping of your image, but you will see white edges on two sides of your print.

Cropping Choice

After choosing your photos, if any of your images do not meet the aspect ratio requirements as described above, you will be shown the following screen:

cropping options screen

  1. You chose “Quick Crop” when ordering prints online, and we cropped them for you here.  This usually means we have to guess what part of a photo is important to you.  By default, we will fill the frame and keep heads.
    • The main exception to this would be with square framed photos.  We shrink these in to keep all of them as cropping them results in significant loss and usually ruins the image.  In this case, you would see white edges on the sides / top & bottom of the print.
  2. You chose the “No Crop”.  This will keep all of your image and (if your image is formatted in a different ratio than the print) will result in white borders on the areas where the image is shrunk in.
  3. Your best option if you care about cropping is to manually crop the images  – middle option.  If you are bothered by the speed of doing this in the browser, we recommend cropping your images in your image management/processing software prior to uploading them for ordering.

Hope this helps sort things out – happy printing!

Posted in: General Information, Tech Questions