Photo Selection Guidelines

Memory Portraits strives to produce breathtaking portraits from practically any scanned photograph. However, some guidelines must be followed to ensure proper processing.

Photo Selection Guidelines

Memory Portraits strives to produce breathtaking portraits from practically any scanned photograph. However, some guidelines must be followed to ensure proper processing.

What Are We Looking For?

In order to produce a good portrait, we need a photo of the person which shows the complete head, and full width of the body, down to the waist or slightly above.

Most photos should be scanned at 100% size, but if you have a very small photo after cropping, you should enlarge it to 150% or 200%. When scanning a TIF (.tif) file, set the resolution to whatever is needed in order to have a 2 – 2.5 MB (megabyte) file or slightly less. JPEG files transmit more quickly and we can produce a good portrait from them if they are scanned and saved at a HIGH RESOLUTION. Average-sized photos generally require a resolution of 300 dpi, while a very small photo would need to be scanned at as much as 1200 dpi.

If you choose to use a professional photo, be sure to review our Copyright section so you secure and send us the required copyright release.

What Are We Looking For?

In order to produce a good portrait, we need a photo of the person which shows the complete head, and full width of the body, down to the waist or slightly above.

Most photos should be scanned at 100% size, but if you have a very small photo after cropping, you should enlarge it to 150% or 200%. When scanning a TIF (.tif) file, set the resolution to whatever is needed in order to have a 2 – 2.5 MB (megabyte) file or slightly less. JPEG files transmit more quickly and we can produce a good portrait from them if they are scanned and saved at a HIGH RESOLUTION. Average-sized photos generally require a resolution of 300 dpi, while a very small photo would need to be scanned at as much as 1200 dpi.

If you choose to use a professional photo, be sure to review our Copyright section so you secure and send us the required copyright release.

A Clear, High-Resolution Photo is Key

This composite image at the left shows a low resolution JPEG. Notice the blocky distortion; this is unacceptable for portrait production. Rescanning this 1″x1.5″ photo at 600 dpi will clear up the distortion.  Saving it as a TIFF will also result in better quality photo.

For best results, follow these scanning instructions:

1. Place item on clean scanner bed
2. Use Preview to highlight area to scan
3. Choose DPI setting (300 dpi or higher)
4. Choose image and color format
5. Scan and save

A Clear, High-Resolution Photo is Key

This composite image at the left shows a low resolution JPEG. Notice the blocky distortion; this is unacceptable for portrait production. Rescanning this 1″x1.5″ photo at 600 dpi will clear up the distortion.  Saving it as a TIFF will also result in better quality photo.

For best results, follow these scanning instructions:

1. Place item on clean scanner bed
2. Use Preview to highlight area to scan
3. Choose DPI setting (300 dpi or higher)
4. Choose image and color format
5. Scan and save

Photo Resolution vs. Print Quality


This guide shows you the kind of quality you can expect when we’re printing your photos.

Photo Resolution

Print Size

8×10″ 11×14″ 16×20″
1 800×600 Poor Poor Poor
2 1024×768 OK Poor Poor
3 1280×960 OK Good Poor
4 1536×1180 Very Good Good Poor
5 1600×1200 Very Good Good OK
6 2048×1536 Excellent Very Good OK
7 2240×1680 Photo Quality Excellent Good
8 2560×1920 Photo Quality Excellent Very Good
9 3032×2008 Photo Quality Photo Quality Excellent
10 3072×2304 Photo Quality Photo Quality Excellent
11 3264×2448 Photo Quality Photo Quality Photo Quality

 

  • Poor: Badly pixelated, blocky image
  • OK: Looks reasonable enough, but nowhere near photo quality
  • Good: Pretty good all round, with a fair bit of detail
  • Very Good: This will be fine for most uses, unless you get up really close
  • Excellent: As good as a photo for most purposes
  • Photo Quality: Great quality print, full of detail