The aspect ratio shows exactly, the proportions of the width and the height of any picture. It deals with the size of the picture, that is being taken, in this case, a portrait photograph.
An aspect ratio serves as a guide on composing a picture and telling you how big it will be!
Anyways, is there a perfect aspect ratio for portrait photography? How many aspect ratios are used when shooting portrait photography and photography in general?
To answer these questions stick until the end of this article because it is fully dedicated to the aspect ratio of a portrait photo!
What is the Aspect Ratio of a Portrait Photo?
Portrait photography is the most famous type of photography and portraits are taken every two seconds by different people all around the world!
If you are taking portrait photography, with the camera of your smartphone, the aspect ratio of it is 2:3; meaning the picture is shown with 500 × 750, or 1500 × 2250, in pixels.
Meanwhile when you take a portrait picture with any DSLR or mirrorless camera, or if you are a professional, the aspect ratio will be 3:2, it is shown in 600 x 900 pixels, and it brings a maximum viewing potential.
The 2:3 aspect ratio (the first picture) is taken with a smartphone camera because it shows what that camera brings, while the 3:2 aspect ratio (the second picture) is taken with a professional camera.
How to Adjust the Aspect Ratio on a Camera?
Go to Camera Settings
The first thing, that comes to mind when needing to adjust anything on a camera is the settings! Go to your settings, choose shooting settings, and then you will find the Aspect Ratio.
Choose Based on What You Need
In most cameras, there are four types of aspect ratios in settings. Those include: 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, and 1:1.
- 3:2 – for portrait photography
- 4:3 – for landscape photography
- 16:9 – for video recordings
- 1:1 – a square frame for general use
Take the Picture
Once you have set the aspect ratio that is needed, in this case for portrait photography at 3:2, you are more than ready to take the best picture ever!
In the picture down below you can find a better example of the aspect ratios mentioned and the most commonly used in different professional cameras.
Printed Versions of Aspect Ratio
Everybody loves to print their pictures and have them in their hands, it is the most satisfying thing. But, does the aspect ratio has a thing to do with it? Well, of course, it does!
In this section, I will mention some of the sizes, that you will have your pictures printed, according to the aspect ratios that I mentioned.
When taking a picture in a 3:2 aspect ratio, you will have a printed photo that measures 3 x 2 inches, and it can also be 6 x 4 inches, so there are two types. When using the 4:3 aspect ratio, the size is 8 × 6 inches, and when taking a picture with a 1:1 aspect ratio, the picture will measure 8 x 8 inches (basically a square with equal sides).
Is there anyone who hasn’t heard of Instagram? I think that most people worldwide would say that Instagram is their favorite social media platform, right? Well, it is my favorite too!
You probably remember when Instagram firstly started! It was the most annoying thing when we had to crop our pictures, especially full-body portraits because it wouldn’t accept it as a full one. That’s where and when the aspect ratio of a picture is seen as an important thing!
At that time, we could only use the 1:1 aspect ratio, which is basically the square form of the picture. I remember everybody saying that they hated that feature. However, not having to crop the picture that we wanted to post on Instagram is a dream which has become realized.
Nowadays, with different upgrades and updates, Instagram finally brought us different aspect ratios of the platform. We are more than free to post whatever we want, in whatever aspect ratio!
On a different note, for great headshots, you should get the correct lens. We wrote an article about the best lenses for headshots that you can take a look at.
Even though for some people it may be like something not understandable, in this article I tried to tell you what the aspect ratio is and how it should be in portrait photography. That way the photograph will be taken in the best way possible!
Always remember that the aspect ratio should be configured before you take the picture!
I tried to explain the aspect ratio clearly and in the simplest way possible. I hope it will help you understand and realize what is the aspect ratio of a portrait photo.
Camera Tester & Reviewer
I spend most of my time taking photos & videos of everything in sight. Yes, I am a stock photographer and I’ve probably taken more than 700,000 photos so far.