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Choosing the Right Photo Orientation for Your Photo Cards

Usually, people shoot photos horizontally. It's the way the camera fits naturally into your hands and how the eye generally sees the world, which makes it the most natural choice for photo cards. And to take a picture vertically, the camera has to be turned sideways, which isn't the most natural of movements. Horizontal pictures look very different than vertical shots, but both options can be stunning when used correctly.

Take a horizontal picture...

  • When the subject of the photo is wider rather than it is high

    Two kids side-by-side, for instance, are wider than they are tall.
  • When the subject is moving horizontally

    Use the horizontal orientation to accentuate the feeling of movement. It's a good idea to leave some space in the snapshot where the subject is heading to enhance that feeling as well.
  • When the subject is looking off to the side

    Create a little space in the photo to give the subject something to look at.
  • To convey a sense of great space

    Horizontal shots can give the viewer a feeling of great space. At the same time, stepping back from the subject and leaving more open space can create interesting perspective and feelings. Both of these options can be fun in photo cards.

Take a vertical picture...

  • When the subject is taller rather it is wide

    Christmas tree? Snowman? Child on another child's shoulders? All good reasons to turn your camera sideways.
  • When the subject is moving vertically

    Taking a vertical shot of someone jumping up accentuates the upward movement. Once again, leave some open space in the direction of the movement to emphasize this feeling.
  • When the subject is looking up or down

    Once again, it's a good idea to leave some space in the direction of the subject's gaze.
  • To focus attention

    Taking a vertical picture makes the viewer focus on just one subject by getting rid of anything distracting on either side.

Photo card designs come with both vertical and horizontal photo options, and both can create stunning and memorable photo cards as long as you pick the perfect photo. Explore taking pictures both horizontally and vertically, and you might be surprised by which photos you like best.

Want to learn more about photo cards? Check out our other photo card articles in this series:Photo Card Evolution

Photo Card vs. Non-Photo Card | Photo Card Occasions | Photo Card Staging | Great Photo Card Tips