One of the most common questions I get from clients is what is the different between small resolution and high resolution. Put simply, it is the amount of pixels per photo. Every photographer more than likely uses their own system for classifying small resolution and high resolution photos. Today I will explain a little about how I use small and high resolution photos and what I recommend (you may be surprised).
At BJP small resolution photos are sized specifically for printing a traditional "gift print". Gift prints are the most common sizes printed among family members and friends: 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10. These are also the most common picture frames you will find at the store and the most common sizes people use to decorate their homes.
Small resolution photos are also ideal for sharing on social media, websites and email. Due to their smaller size, they enable websites to load faster and send easily.
Warning - if you try to print a small resolution photo larger than 8x10 it will become pixelated and blurry.
High resolution photos are large files that allow for over-sized printing. Most photos printed at high resolution have very few limits, however, it also depends on the camera your photographer uses. Each camera body varies with how many megapixels they are able to capture. Still, as long as you are not planning to wallpaper your house with your photos you should be okay :) High resolution photos do allow you more creative freedom as to how you print the photos: albums, canvas, etc. However because of that they tend to cost more than double what small resolution photos cost. They also take up more space on your hard drive and are slower to upload due to their size.
What I recommend
Personally, I believe small resolution files are wonderful! They enable clients to print what they need to print as many times as they like, share online easily and cost much less than high resolution files.
Now, you might be thinking, "but Joy I want to showcase some wall art in my home, an 8x10 is definitely not large enough". I 110% agree! Wall art is there to make a statement! You are proud of your photos and you want to share them with all who enter your home.
My recommendation is sticking with the small resolution photos and then ordering one or two wall art pieces to display in your home. Believe it or not, it is actually the cheaper route to go! Once you print one or two prints your digital files just sit on your computer untouched (and hopefully backed up). Unless you are the type of person that is a "photo junky" constantly changing and printing large prints I am not going to push you to spend more money on high resolution photos when you could have the small resolution photos and order a larger print or canvas to display in your home with high end, professional materials. Nevertheless, everyone is different and wants different things. I am here to guide, but it is up to you what works best for you!!!