Resume - Ready, Set, Go!
IMAGE FILE NAMES can be your code for managing photographs.

Best sizes for images and what format?

Black and White Identity Bead Necklace by Harriete Estel Berman  is constructed from recycled materials.

You can approach your art career as "ready for action" or as a wishful thinker. 
Being prepared enables you to take advantage of every opportunity. Last Tuesday's post offered a couple of examples of how being prepared with quality photographic images can mean extra visibility in lectures, online or print publications.

So what image sizes and formats should be "ready to go?"

In my experience of thirty years, standards come and go, but for the last few years, the following is my standard for being prepared with my photographic images:

Black and White Identity Bead Necklace is a close-up view constructed from recycled tin cans.
 - a full-size TIFF
 - a large JPG
 - a website JPG.

Let's go into more detail on each.

Full-size TIFF
Your full-size Tiff is your master image.  It should be 300 dpi  (dots per inch) and 15-32MB file size.  This master image is your largest, highest resolution image ready for print media.

I rarely keep the full-size TIFF on my computer. It takes up too much room.  So most of my TIFF images are stored on CDs or external drives.

If you need to create a specially sized image for uploading to an online application, start with your original TIFF and convert it to the required size and format.


Black and White Identity Earrings. by Harriete ESTel Berman
Black and White Identity Earrings
Post-consumer, recycled Tin Cans,
s.silver posts, jump rings, and rivets.
© 2009 Harriete Estel Berman

Large JPG
JPG's are compressed images.  The fact that JPGs are compressed (reduced file size) means that you can email and store large images. The downside is that the compressed image is reduced in resolution quality. Every time you edit a JPG, you lose some of the original information, reducing the quality of the image.


Use your master TIFF images to create new JPGs.  I usually keep one large JPG in my computer ready at a moment's notice for an opportunity. (This large JPG may be 2 - 5 MB.)


Earrings by Harriete Estel Berman and Necklace by emiko oye.
  Black and White Identity Earrings
© 2009 Harriete Estel Berman
Silver Hubs Trio Necklace
 © emiko oye

  Photo Credit: emiko oye

Website JPG
For the past two years, I've  made all my social networking images for the Internet 72dpi resolution and 1000 pixels (for the largest dimension.)


This size works well for Etsy, Flickr, Facebook, and Crafthaus. It is also a reasonable size for PowerPoint and Keynote presentations.  An image this size is also easy to email.

If I get a request for an image, I am ready to email an image in about five minutes.  Being prepared in advance is all part of the big picture.

emiko oye and I worked together to create this smashing image (above.)  Planning six months ahead for publicity is not too soon.

Sometimes planning ahead can get you and your work into great opportunities. 
Are you ready for action and prepared for every opportunity?

If you need extra guidance with your images, use the Professional Guidelines topics:

GUIDE TO Professional Quality Images

Working with Digital Images Effectively


4 TIPS to Improve Search for Your Images

Know your digital image file extensions and how to use them?

How to "name" your digital image files for distribution

This post was updated on January 22, 2022.