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Tips to Maximize Your Prints from Low Resolution Files

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

One thing a professional photographer might never want to admit? Sometimes the only image file we have access to is low resolution (😱)... Be it from a poor quality scan, an old digital camera or phone, or passed down through a chain of family members and file compressions. Since the subject matter could possibly be the most important, cherishable memory you have photographed, here are some tips on making the most out of your low res file in print.


Increase Quality with NEW Resolution Optimization

Our Award-Winning Resolution Optimization is a new service that combines multiple techniques and utilizes a variety of software in order to achieve the best possible image quality for a file. The service includes: Noise Reduction, Pixelation and Compression Artifact Reduction, Traditional Upscaling, Artificial Intelligence Upscaling, and Sharpening. In some cases with our upscaling techniques, we can boost your low resolution image (within reason) up to a sufficient level for your preferred print size. That said, if there’s just not enough information in your file for us to use this method, we will contact you.

Resolution Optimization is currently available in Bay ROES. To order, check the "Resolution Optimization" box under "Digital Artwork" in the Retouching Options pane.


Small Images Don’t Have to Mean Small Displays

There are creative ways to expand your print display without having to enlarge or stretch your image. Choose to add a border, mat, or edge effect! With these options, you can lend a substantial look to your display by increasing the overall dimensions and adding negative space - all to uphold your image at its closer-to-original size.

If you have a group of small files that would complement each other well, opt for a multi-photo Wall Display like CollageWall or Stick-n-Switch MetalPrints in order to tell the full story. Both displays are available with individual print sizes as small as 5x5”.


Choose Little Sizes with Big Appeal

Keeping your print size true to the optimal file size may mean sticking with the mini products, but there are still plenty of options to choose from for a none-the-less unique and eye-catching presentation.

  • We can’t continue without recommending Photographic Prints first off, since they are available as small as 2x2” and Wallet size on your choice of 8 professional quality papers.

  • Acrylic Blocks start at size 2x8” (pano) or 4x4”, and make the perfect keepsakes and give your image an additional 3D impact.

  • MetalPrints also go as small as 4x4” (if not a set of 20-2x3.5” “business cards”), which is available with a Float Mount Hanger for the wall, Metal Easel Back for tabletop display, or even a Magnet Mount - great for the fridge or locker!

  • Ceramic Tiles are often overlooked as a go-to print medium, but the fact that they start at size 2x2” with a plastic hanger or magnet backing makes them great contenders for small files.

Browse our Photo Gifts catalog for many more trinket sized ways to preserve your images!


All this to say, choosing to print low resolution files can be tricky and should always be approached on a case-by-case basis since the print quality will ultimately depend on your file quality. Browse our File Preparation Guidelines as you check your files, and contact us if you have any questions. We’re here for you!


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