We are asked this question often, we usually explain to our customers when we met with them, but others who may be browsing our Galleries or our Facebook page will often ask why we mat our images.
It is really a simple answer! It gives our customers more choices for printing.
We shoot in RAW. RAW is a file format which photographers use to keep the most amount of data in the images we take. It is also not a standard printing size. A typical RAW image that I load into my editing software is about 11.65 x 17.5 and can often be even larger.
This size is difficult to print. The most common or “standard” printing sizes are 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, as well as a few other enlargement sizes like 11x14 or 16x20 although they are not as commonly used. These standard sizes are not the same ratios at different sizes they are completely different.
You can see from the sample image above that some shapes are more rectangular and some more squared.
When we do not mat our images and you would like to print the same image in different sizes you risk cutting off part of your image. You will notice from the examples above depending on the size you would like to print, it can cut a substantial portion of your image as marked by the green arrows.
By adding the mat you can decide how much of the image you want cropped or you can decide to leave a small boarder around your image. The boarder is usually not visible when your images are framed.
You can see from the example above that there is a small black area of the mat left in the image, but the image itself is not going to be cut off.
We usually mat our images on black mats but we are able to create custom colours too!
Thank you to a beautiful bride Jenna for this awesome image! You are stunning!