Top 3 Digital File Sizes for Photos

Say hello to Full Size, Large Web and Print.

Choosing the right file size of your digital photos can make all the difference when it comes to printing business cards or your website SEO.

Learn why it is important to know your digital file format sizes.

Studio Headshot for Erica

Welcome to the world of digital photo files.

A lot has changed since we went from traditional film photography using sensitive light paper to make our photographic prints to digital pixels.

As business owners in the digital age we are lucky enough to have the speed and convenience of digital photography. We can make photographs, see them instantly and print them faster than ever before.

But do we know what digital file sizes we need and how to use them? 

Let’s explore the most commonly used digital files sizes for platforms: full size, large web and print.

We will cover why it is important to know your file sizes, the differences and how to use them.

File Formats

1. Full Size

What is a Full Size file size?
Full Size files are the largest file size of the three file formats in terms of how much space they need. They take a heavy load on web website platforms and create lag time as an email attachment.

When would I need to use Full Size file sizes?
Having multiple file formats can be really helpful especially if you are hiring a social media promotional agency, graphic designers or website designers to manage your presentation.

Why do I need a Full Size file size?
The Full Size file allows you or your digital media team to fully customize the file format you need.

2. Large Web

What is a Large Web file size?
Large Web files are the smallest file formats of the three most commonly used by professionals.

When would I need to use Large Web file sizes?
The most used file format file size is Large Web for its versatility. It can be uploaded to most social media platforms, email profile icons and websites. The Large Web file size is also great for improving your search engine optimization, also known as SEO. Too large of file sizes can bog down your visitors load time and steer Google away from reading your website.

Why do I need a Large Web file size?
Having specific file sizes for quick and easy use will help you successfully upload your content with confidence. Large Web will be one of the most used file sizes you will work with and rely on for your visibility.

3. Print

What is a Print file size?
Print files are considered larger file sizes due to how many pixels per inch it contains. Pixels per inch, known commonly as PPI, measures the resolution of digital display and Print file sizes rely on as many pixels per inch to have the best printing quality. Low quality printing will look fuzzy or hazing. Printing a Large Web file for example can have that blurred look because it does not have the amount of pixels needed for a high quality print image.

When would I need to use Print file sizes?
The best time to use Print file sizes is when you are making printed materials such as business cards, posters, brochures, booklets, books or postcards.

Why do I need a Print file size?
You may never need to print your headshot or branding material but in case you do, having the Print file size is great. You can easily upload the correct formatted file and know that your printed material will be high quality.

Have more questions?

Contact us if you have any questions about file formats or sizing of your photographs. We’d be happy to provide more information about how to use your digital photos! For other questions visit our FAQ.

Interested in Working Together?

What Are On Location Photography Sessions?

“Over the last several years, we have developed a reputation for helping our clients fall in love with their homes through an intimate and intuitive design process. Put simply, our clients are our muses. We skirt traditional style distinctions to create spaces that are genre-bending, sophisticated, and tailored.” – Charla Ray

You’ll find us talking about outdoor, on location and studio as the three types of locations we book headshot sessions in.

We’ve covered outdoor photography in our Top 3 Challenges and Benefits for Photographing Outdoors our page Outdoor and On Location sessions, and you can find more information and photos about the studio by visiting The Natural Light Studio.

Ok. So what are on location photography sessions?


Sessions labeled “On Location” are chosen space that are usually a client’s office space, work space, creative space or another type of indoor space that utilities window light as the main light source.

In some cases due to low light conditions, strobe lights with modifiers are brought in to mimic natural light.

Headshots for Interior Designers

On Location photography Session for Charla Ray.

About Charla Ray’s Home Office Shoot

For Charla’s session we photographed her home office in SW Portland. Charla is an interior designer and BFA graduate from the Art Institute of Portland.

Charla was looking for a new headshot for her website and social media (Instagram) as well as an image she could sent to a magazine editor.

We used two B1 strobes with a medium box modifier in her office and kitchen spaces to provide the same type of light we use in our studio headshots.

Headshots for Interior Designers
Headshots for Interior Designers

To learn about locations for headshot sessions view our two types of sessions spaces Outdoor and On Location Sessions or The Natural Light Studio for more.

Natural Light Photography
Session Environments

Interior On Location Indoor

On Location

Outdoor Headshot


Natural Light Indoor for Headshot


How to Prepare for a Headshot Session


You’ve booked your new headshots session. Now it’s time to think about how to prepare.

First, I recommend getting a good night sleep before your shoot. Drink water and allow for plenty of time to get readyIf you are not used to a makeup and hair routine, consider giving yourself a few minutes to apply foundation and a quick style. You’ll also want to pick out an outfit or two! Think comfort, and think layers.

Once we are on set I’ll take it from there, I’ll guide you through some simple poses, postures and techniques that can get us ready for your new headshot.

Natural Light Indoor Headshot

Portrait of a client at The Natural Light Studio.


  • When selecting outfits, focus on your clothes that you love to wear, that you feel comfortable in, and that align with your professional style or brand colors.
  • When picking outfits, think layers! Feel free to bring an additional jacket, scarf or cardigan, and/or bring another top. I personally prefer black long sleeve tops layered with a denim short sleeve button up. For outdoor sessions, it’s suggested if needed to wear a tank top for easy changing.
  • What colors should I wear? Solid neutral colors translate the strongest in photography. Bright colors can work great, however, I suggest avoiding tops are red and green. These colors will reflect up onto the face creating an unpleasant color mixing effect. Pale reds and greens are ok.
  • Textures such as linen, silk, sweaters, or knits work great. When working with patterns , choose a design that is smaller in print. Large dots or stripes can distract from your headshot.
  • When choosing tops, focus on complimentary neck lines. For example, I prefer a black V-neck line with a washed out denim jacket. I like the contrast between the top and jacket and the texture of the denim. Other clients will have a round neckline blouse in auburn with a black blazer.
  • Make sure to give yourself plenty of time if you are using a professional hair and makeup stylist or if you are doing it on your own. For minimal makeup a few things to think about: I’ve found that foundation and mascara are the most important when being photographed. For outdoor sessions when styling hair consider a setting spray or style for possible windy conditions.
A client getting ready for a headshot session.

One of my amazing assistants and clients on location for a headshot session.


  • We will use a posing stool for easy sitting shots and standing poses for natural movement.
  • Most shots are portraits only, above the waist unless requested.
  • I may have an assistant with me to use modifiers to control light.
  • For outdoor sessions, it is highly recommended to wear walking shoes.
  • Be ready to relax and have some fun 🙂


Let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help provide any additional support for you to prepare! If you haven’t booked your session yet, hop over to Book Now to submit your form.

It’s raining. Now what? Use the Natural Light Studio for Business Headshots

Solutions for Outdoor Photography Headshot Sessions

So what do you do when it’s raining or even worse snowing the day of your headshot photography session?

When it rains, it pours right? Well, in Portland, Oregon it does. And this year even snow. This presents challenges in booking an outdoor on location headshot.

Our solution is the light and bright natural light studio located in NW Portland. With a few light modifiers, a couple poses and you are all set with a new headshot.

The photographs below were made using the studio with large windows to allow the south facing light to illuminate the space.

Natural Light Studio Examples

Interested in an outdoor or on location photography session?


What Images Do I Need For My Business?

Portraits of Practioner Liisa photographed on location at the Lan Su Chinese Garden and Tanner Springs Park in downtown Portland Oregon. View Portraits

How Does It Work?

Photography is a tool to tell a story without words that adds depth to your marketing message. Businesses use photography specifically to build a brand and to use as a way to reach their customers.

My goal is to create photography to show the viewer your product or service. Your images show them where you are and what you are doing, they then resonate and become familiar with the work. Ultimately, we want our images to sell our work when we aren’t showcasing it in person.

There is a way to photographically tell your story to grab the attention of your ideal clients. Let us look at how.

Rhythm on the Rails Johnnie Mazzacco by Erica J Mitchell Photographer

Published editorial images of Rhythm on the Rails writing retreat with Johnnie Mazzacco. A Rhythm on the Rails participant enjoying the expansive river views via Business Class. View full post

First, what images do I need for my business?

Photography can be a creative new way to grow your business, attract and stay competitive in the marketplace. Let’s take a look at your story and answer these photographically to be able to share your business with your target audience.

Who are you?
What do you do?
What do you offer?
How do you do it?
Why is it important?
What does it look like?

Women with Moxie Networking in Portland Oregon

Marketing photography for the networking business Women with Moxie during their 2018 promo video. View Women with Moxie’s promo images

What’s Your Story?

Business Portrait – Who are you?
You’re a consultant and expert in your field, find a location you love, and outfit your feel amazing in and show off that smile. This image is the most important because it tells your viewers who you are. If there is only one image you need, it’s this one. The traditional headshot can be a portrait that you use in all your advertising and social media needs.

Service or Product Feature – What do you offer?
What you sell needs to be seen. If you sell the most amazing chocolates or the best website customer service, your product and your service can be photographed. For example, if you create websites, details of your brand or working style can be a source of understanding for your clients. We want to know how you work. If you sell chocolates, of course we want to see what we are getting, yum!

Development and Production – How do you do it?
Sometimes how we do our work is the highlight. If we are creating one of a kind hard wood pieces by hand, the tools we use can bring in interested buyers.

Lifestyle and Culture – Why is it important?
Perhaps your mission is the driving force behind your images. You take a stand for women’s health and wellness. Focusing on images that empower women can inspire a connection and bring you opportunities to make a difference.

Storefront, On-location – What does it look like?
The classic brick and mortar. If you have a fantastic spot nestled in the neighborhood or on the corner in the city, we want to know where you are. Your place in the community can be a source of connection and can make it easier to reach you.

Event Coverage – What happened?
One of my favorite types of images for a business are the events the business hosts or participates in. Events are a place for connection to community members, a space for bringing like minded people together or a place to celebrate. Event photography is a way to spread your brand and reach your community.

Kathy Stanley Portrait Photography by Erica J Mitchell

Artist and education Kathy Stanely walks in Laurelhurst Park, a favorite spot of hers, for her portrait and branding session to add to her collection of images to promote her upcoming art projects and classes. View her session images

Time To Share Your Story

Being Published?
Use Your Photography in Printed or Online Articles

Need Photography for Your Website?
Be Visual and Professional Online

Want to hand out that amazing card?
Elevate your Digital or Print Presentations, Business Cards and Brochures

Need to make a post to your channels?
Use Your Photography in Social Media Platforms to Market to your Fans

Meeting new clients or have business networking opportunities?
Have Personalized Photography when you are Networking In person 

Inspiring Women's Conference in Portland, Oregon

Inspiring Woman Leaders was an annual conference held in Portland, Oregon whose goals were to promote women in leadership positions, as well as those who lead women. View their event

Interested in Working Together?

Let’s answer these photographically and then share your story with your audience on your website and social media platforms to generate higher connectivity of your business.

Natural Light Headshots: Outdoor vs. Indoor

Lighting is everything and in photography it’s the source of our (photographer’s) work. So when considering professional photography for your new Headshot, start with the light.

You wouldn’t think that physics plays a role in how a natural light photographer works but it’s essential.

For example when photographing outdoors during high noon the photographer has to consider the following: the yellow colored sunlight and the direction it shines, the sunlight hitting green grass and reflecting up, the cool blue sky color reflecting down and any other surfaces reflecting color.

When indoors photographing can be a lot more simple but so can the background. The warm sunlight hit’s the white transparent curtains and diffuses onto the subject.

Left: On Location in Client’s Workspace
Right: Indoor Natural Light Studio

Location is the next thing to consider. Where you choose to be photographed plays a part in the outcome of your headshot. Do you want a natural environment or background to enhance your surroundings? Do you want a white background? Do you want to journey a city block or park?

Outdoor portraits made in the downtown Pearl District, Portland, Oregon.

One reason to work with an indoor studio is base sometimes solely on weather. Here in Portland, Oregon we can get a lot of cold and rainy weather which makes outdoor locations harder to achieve. You definitely don’t want to be freezing and smiling at the same time.

Indoor studios provide controlled lit lighting, temperature controlled spaces and the ability to change into other outfits.

Indoor studio lit portraits made in Northwest Portland, Oregon.

So now it’s time to think about your next Headshot. Do you want to play in studio or adventure into the great outdoors, city blocks or your own workspace?

Want to work together? Contact Erica by email ( for Indoor and Outdoor Headshot Sessions starting at $249.00. Let’s play with some light!

Outdoor and On Location Headshot Examples

In Studio Natural Light Headshot Examples