Sometimes we Need a Little Space

The other day I was at the park with a friend taking our little people on a hike. We got to chatting about photography and eventually about printing. My friend mentioned how frustrating it was that when she had a digital photo printed as an 8×10” that her printed image came back cropped. I then explained to her what I will now share with you, as it inevitably will affect the way that you shoot.Aspect Ratio, Printing and Cropping

Playing it Safe Take this first photo of a portrait of a family. You can see the original image, the image if it were to be printed as a 5×7” print as well as if it were printed as an 8×10”. You can see that I left enough space around the family so that I did not crop into their faces or bodies. The grayed out area shows what would be cropped from the image.

Consequences of Tight Framing However, if you look at these three photos that I took during the beginning of my photography career you will see that although the original images look well spaced, that when I went to print them, that I would lose a significant portion of the photo– thus cropping into the subject.Aspect Ratio, Printing and Cropping Aspect Ratio, Printing and Cropping Aspect Ratio, Printing and Cropping

Aspect Ratios The reason that you lose your a portion of your image when you print it comes down to ratios. Most DSLR have a sensor with an aspect ratio of 3:2 which is great if you wish to print say, 4×6” which are also at a ratio of 3:2. On the contrary, an 8×10” print will be at a 4:5 ratio, which is why some of your image will be cropped.

Choose Custom Cropping When you go to print your photo most kiosks or online printers will allow you to crop your image to the size you want, and if they are good at what they do, they will inform you if your resolution is adequate for the size you wish to print. Always choose to custom crop your image. Otherwise the default will be to center crop your image automatically cropping the same amount from each side of your image and taking the control away from you.

Native Print Sizes Some sizes that will be native to your Dslr are 4×6”, 8×12” and 12×18”. Some print sizes that are not native are 5×7”, 8×10”, 12×16”.

Work Arounds But what if you have already composed your subject in a tight shot?

1) Add a Digital Border to Your Image. Although the border will not be even, it will allow you to keep the space around your image and could create an artistic look. One time I took an image into Photoshop, created a new layer, added a gaussian blur to the bottom layer and thus had all of the colors from the image in the background layer to create a nice border. If you find this is too busy, solid white or solid black are great options as well.

2) Clone Your Image. Although tedious, cloning your image can add that extra space that you may need. In Photoshop use the Clone Stamp Tool and click “alt” to select the area you wish to clone. For faces you will want to set your opacity to around 11. For a wall or grass you could use an opacity of around 60. I almost always use a soft brush. It will take some finessing but with some practice you’ll get the hang of it.

3) Change Your Print Size. Say you want to frame your image in a 12×16” frame. Take your image and print it as an 8×12” instead of an 8×10”. Although you will have to order a custom matte for your frame you will not lose any of your image.

4) Allow Three Inches. If you are planning to print your image on canvas, try to wrap the sides of the canvas in black or white. If you would like to wrap the image around the canvas then allow yourself up to 3” around to ensure you do not lose any of you image. Assuming you wish to print a 12×18” canvas, be sure to crop your image from its RAW state into a 15×21”. The convert your file to a high resolution JPEG at 300 dpi.

Lasting Tip Give yourself more space around your subject when you take your photos. Then, when you go to print you will not have to worry about aspect ratios.

I am Meghan Stewart, a photographer and small business owner of Shot In The Dark Photography.

You may reach me at:

(202) 681-9848

[email protected]

http://www.shotinthedarkphoto.com/

 

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Get to Know Your Banker

Jack Parker is the Business Analyst for the Alexandria Small Business Development Center.  He is a retired banker, and is familiar with all of the services offered by banks and the qualities that a small business owner should look for in choosing a banker.  Jack assists SBDC clients in refining their business plans to seek… Read more »

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Jack Parker is the Business Analyst for the Alexandria Small Business Development Center.  He is a retired banker, and is familiar with all of the services offered by banks and the qualities that a small business owner should look for in choosing a banker.  Jack assists SBDC clients in refining their business plans to seek financing from banks and other financial institutions.  In this video, Jack explains the importance of developing a relationship with your banker even before you seek financing.  He also outlines the kinds of services that most banks offer to their small business customers.

Small businesses located in the City of Alexandria can Request a Counseling Session with Jack to discuss the financial aspects of their business.

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How to Get the Most from a Small Business Workshop

Alexandria SBDC staff and speakers do our best to provide meaningful educational programs for small business owners. We hope that you are able to take advantage of these free learning opportunities to strengthen your business. Whether you’re attending one of our workshops or any kind of educational programming, here are a few tips to get the… Read more »

The post How to Get the Most from a Small Business Workshop appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.

Alexandria SBDC staff and speakers do our best to provide meaningful educational programs for small business owners. We hope that you are able to take advantage of these free learning opportunities to strengthen your business. Whether you’re attending one of our workshops or any kind of educational programming, here are a few tips to get the most out of your experience:

  • Most programs require pre-registration (for our events, there is a registration link on our website). Make sure to click the register button just one time, or you may accidentally register yourself for the event multiple times. Registering before the last minute will ensure that the event sponsor has enough time to prepare adequate materials for all participants. Keep in mind that not all programs accept walk-ins, so make sure to register!
  • When you have registered, make sure to attend the event or send the an e-mail letting the host know that your plans have changed. Printed materials are expensive, and organizers want to have enough for everyone without printing unnecessary packets.
  • Arrive on time, or preferably early. This gives you time to get settled in and to network. Most  programs are timed to begin and end right on time, so they may not take the time for attendee introductions once the program has begun. If you’re interested in chatting with other participants, being early is key.
  • Be prepared! You will probably want to take notes, so make sure that you have a pen and something to write on. Not all programs provide copies of the presentation, so it’s good to come prepared with your own notebook.
  • Out of respect for the speaker and fellow attendees, make sure to turn off your phone before the events begins. If you must check on an urgent business matter, please step out of the room to make or take a call. Similarly, please refrain from checking e-mails, playing games on your phone, etc., which is distracting to the speaker and to other attendees. If you find yourself more engaged with your phone than with the workshop, you may want to evaluate the type of workshops you are registering for and how those help you achieve your goals.
  • You will get the most out of any program by paying attention to the speaker and actively participating in the conversation. Questions are generally welcome, but those that are specific to your business should be saved until after the presentation, unless the speaker specifically requests individual scenarios.
  • If there is an evaluation or survey for the class, please complete the form and hand it in. For many organizations, this information is required by funders and enables them to continue to provide programs without charge. Your feedback is also valuable as they plan for new programs and consider topics for upcoming events. Feel free to make specific requests for new or follow-up topics.
  • If the event uses plastic name badges, please return them to the organizer, along with any extra folders or program materials. These items are expensive, and many organizations operate on a limited budget.

We hope you will find these reminders helpful and will continue to gain insight from small business programs across the region.

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HR & Hiring: Finding the Right People

This week’s video blog is presented by Patricia Frame of Strategies for Human Resources. Patricia is one of the counselors at the SBDC and specializes in HR and employment. In this clip, she discusses tips and recommendations for finding enough of the right types of people during the hiring process. If you’re interested in more… Read more »

The post HR & Hiring: Finding the Right People appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.

This week’s video blog is presented by Patricia Frame of Strategies for Human Resources. Patricia is one of the counselors at the SBDC and specializes in HR and employment. In this clip, she discusses tips and recommendations for finding enough of the right types of people during the hiring process. If you’re interested in more information about HR and employment issues, visit our HR & Employer Issues page. The Alexandria SBDC also offers monthly HR Counseling sessions with Patricia for businesses located in the City of Alexandria. If you are interested in attending one of these sessions, please contact Gloria Flanagan.

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Navigating the Start Your Business Checklist

One of the new features of the Alexandria SBDC website is the Startup Checklist.  We developed this checklist because entrepreneurs are sometimes confused as to what steps are necessary to open a business, or do not know where to start. For all small businesses, we recommend that you review the elements of the checklist. Deciding… Read more »

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One of the new features of the Alexandria SBDC website is the Startup Checklist.  We developed this checklist because entrepreneurs are sometimes confused as to what steps are necessary to open a business, or do not know where to start. For all small businesses, we recommend that you review the elements of the checklist.

Deciding on a Business Structure, Obtaining an EIN (Employer Identification Number), Registering an LLC or Corporation with the State, and Obtaining your Local Business License are the legal steps necessary before you open your business.  The checklist also links to topics such as taxes, business planning and insurance.

Home-based businesses, such as many consultants, will find that the Alexandria Business License process is quite simple, with a few restrictions on what business activities can be done from home.  Those opening brick-and-mortar businesses will have some additional steps involving building permits, certificates of occupancy, and signage regulations. All are outlined in the checklist, and additional information is available in the Resource Library part of the website and from the SBDC, as well as City of Alexandria Permit Center staff.

Please note that this checklist should be considered a set of guidelines, and not a substitute for the professionals that some businesses will need to hire to start and run their businesses successfully.  If you are considering a Corporation or similar business structure we encourage you to work with an attorney familiar with small business issues.  Spending funds at the beginning to get your structure set up correctly may save you time, money and headaches in the long-run, particularly in multi-owner situations.

Likewise, you may wish to have your lease reviewed before you sign it, and have an accountant or bookkeeper assist you in setting up your accounting systems.  The Alexandria SBDC can provide you with referrals to local professionals familiar with small business issues.

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An Introduction to the Interactive Resource Library

One of the most important features of our new website is the ability to pass information along to our clients and to give businesses easy access to resources and tools. In order to accomplish this, we developed our Interactive Resource Library. The Library is a collection of documents, ranging from checklists to sample forms to… Read more »

The post An Introduction to the Interactive Resource Library appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.

One of the most important features of our new website is the ability to pass information along to our clients and to give businesses easy access to resources and tools. In order to accomplish this, we developed our Interactive Resource Library.

The Library is a collection of documents, ranging from checklists to sample forms to helpful tips. All of these documents can be filtered in a variety of ways. To begin, you can choose to see all of the resources in the library by selecting the View All button.

View All_Resource Library

You can also choose to filter documents by Stage of Business, Industry, or Area of Need. This allows each user to quickly find the documents that are specifically relevant to his or her unique business needs. To filter, use the categories located along the left side of the Interactive Resource Library.

Filtering_Resource Library

Once you select criteria, the documents related to that Stage of Business, Industry, or Area of Need will be displayed. Filtering resources for Government Contracting, for example, would yield the following results:

Government Contracting_Resource Library

You can always go back to the beginning by clicking on the “View All” button.

We hope you will find the Interactive Resource Library helpful and informative. We will continue to add relevant resources, so check back frequently to discover new information and documents.

 

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