What Size Stock Photo Do I Need?

Would you like to supersize that? No, not the friesthe photo! When you purchase a stock photo, you will typically have 4-5 options for the size. For example, here at Lightstock, our photos are available in x-small, small, medium, and maximum. If you aren’t well versed in the language of graphic design (pixels, photo resolution, etc.), it can be difficult to know what size photo you need. Is a maximum-sized photo only suitable for big banners and posters? What size stock photo do I need for a blog post? What about a brochure? A postcard? If you’re struggling to settle on a size, scroll down for help.

What Size Stock Photo Do I Need?

What Size Stock Photo Do I Need?

MAX (longest side approximately 3600 pixels)

Maximum-sized photos aren’t just made for super-sized projects like banners and posters. Most print projects also require large photos, especially if you want complete coverage. So if you’re creating a newspaper ad, product packaging, a CD or DVD cover, a postcard, a brochure, or the aforementioned banner or poster, spring for the largest available size. Max is also preferred for a lot of web projects, including full-screen web graphics, video production, motion graphics, blog posts, e-newsletters, keynote presentations, e-mail templates, and e-book art.

MEDIUM (longest side approximately 2800 pixels)

Many of the projects that can use max-sized photos could also make do with a medium-sized photo, depending on how large the photo needs to be within the project. For example, if you have a small postcard insert, bulletin, brochure, or newspaper ad, medium photos will be satisfactory. They’re also useful for small product packaging and a variety of web projects, such as full-screen web graphics, video production, motion graphics, blog posts, e-newsletters, keynote presentations, e-mail templates, and e-book art.

SMALL (longest side approximately 1200 pixels)

Small photos should rarely be used in print projects. They might work in a very small image insert within a postcard, bulletin, or brochure, but be wary of them if you want a sizable image. Small photos are still useful, however, in a number of different web projects. Like max and medium photos, they can be used in video production, motion graphics, blog posts, e-newsletters, keynote presentations, and e-mail templates. Although they’re not large enough for full-screen web graphics, they can used as image inserts on a website.

X-SMALL (longest side approximately 500 pixels)

Extra small photos are quite tiny indeed, so don’t even think about using them for a print project. They can be used in a limited number of web projects, however, such as blog posts, e-newsletters, keynote presentations, e-mail templates, and image inserts for websites.

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If you’re still not sure what size photo to purchase, size up! It will only cost you 5 credits more and you won’t risk ending up with a blurry, pixelated, unusable photo. You could also find a photo online that has the same dimensions as the photo you wish to download. Then, use the photo to estimate sizing. Does it fit in your project? Is it too small? Way too large? Using the mock photo as a guideline, you can decide which photo to download.

Good luck!

To learn more about the stock photo purchasing process, click here. We’ll guide you through buying credits, downloading photos, browsing collections, and creating organizational boards. While you’re there, take a look at Lightstock‘s enormous assortment of faith-focused photos and videos. Our photos are beautiful, never cheesy, and each one is personally curated. Click here to start exploring Lightstock.