I’ve had a number of clients ask me what portrait size would you recommended we get. Now obviously this will vary from person to person, and is ultimately your choice, but by following these general guidelines you will be able to get the most enjoyment from your favourite portrait. I’m sure at one time or another we’ve all made the decision to invest in something for the house, only to get it home and realize that it won’t fit into the spot we wanted. Choosing the proper portrait size is not that difficult, so let’s get started.
As a guideline, consider the head sizes of the subjects in the portrait. A spacious portrait showing the individuals and lots of environmental surroundings will have relatively small head sizes and will dictate a larger portrait size for effective viewing. A tight head shot, on the other hand, might look out of place in a 60 inch portrait because the image will actually be larger than life. Another important issue to consider in sizing your portrait is the relationship of the portrait to other furnishings. For example, if you hang a 20 inch portrait above a full size sofa or above a fireplace, it will look insignificant.
As architecture trends are focusing on larger “great” rooms, higher ceilings, and over-sized furniture, the need for wall portrait sizes that balance the space becomes apparent. Larger portraits are necessary for a spacious wall or a spacious room or when the portrait contains multiple people.
If you have a situation where you have a smaller wall space, one method I frequently use is the measure twice, hang once method. Here, you will measure the width of the wall space, say 40 inches, and then divide that number in half, so 20 inches. This will give you a rough estimate of the size of print, or frame that you will need to fill this space nicely. By doing this you will have a good, even balance on both sides of the print, making it not too big, and not too small for that area.
If you have any questions on this please don’t hesitate to ask. I’d be more than happy to work with help you decide. Just ask! The last thing I want is for you to not have your favourite portrait in a place where you can’t enjoy it for years to come.
Use the following table as a guideline in choosing your portrait sizes:
•Life Size – 60 Inches
•Wall (Decor Size) – 40 Inches
•Mantel Size – 24 x 30
•Wall Size – 20 x 24
•Easel Size – 16 x 20
•Hallway Size – 11 x 14
•Desk Size – 8 x 10
•Album Size – 5 x 7
•Original Size – 4 x 6
•Wallet Size – 2.5 x 3.5