File Prep Guidelines

If you have a scheduled appointment with us, or plan to send us files, we have prepared File Prep Guidelines to make sure that we are working from the best files possible. These guidelines are written specifically with our studio’s software, equipment, and best practices in mind, and therefore may vary from your own experience or other studios. Please read them to understand how we work.



For the best results in your final print the optimum resolution is 300 ppi at the final print size. Your files should, ideally, be this resolution at the final print size that you intend to create.

optimal file preparation guidelines

If your file is naturally smaller than that, we can upscale the files with a variety of methods to maximize sharpness and minimize any pixelation or artifacts.

Most DSLRs will only have a maximum long dimension of 6000-9000 pixels which equals a size of 20”- 30” at 300 ppi. However, with a good capture that is properly focused and with minimal noise, the capture can be printed quite sharp at twice the size or larger. If you are submitting a DSLR capture it is best to submit a quality file at the native resolution and we can evaluate and optimize from there.

We can accept files that are low resolution and phone captures. We can upscale your files as requested, and see what is possible to enlarge and optimize. It is important, however, to understand that this is not the most ideal situation and can result in a lower quality print. 

Depending on the extent of adjustments, and continued review of files, additional fees may apply. AI upscaling, sharpening, noise reduction, and edits may improve images, but nothing is guaranteed if the file we start off with is low in resolution. The content makes a difference in terms of quality, and we evaluate files on a case-by-case basis.


File Formats

Our preferred file formats:

  • .TIFF
  • .PSD

We can print from these formats if needed, however these are not our recommended formats:

the compression results in loss of data
this format is not color managed
this format can have color management issues if not tagged properly
make sure it is RGB color managed file
organized files with all assets linked are required or additional charges apply
rasterize first, then color manage

We also work with RAW files, .DNG, .CR2, .RAF and .NEC in order to make optimal file conversions. Charges may apply.


Color Space

Our printers all print from RGB and are capable of a much wider color gamut than CMYK. There is no need to convert to CMYK as this will only limit the printable colors in your image. 

For the best results, we prefer wider gamut RGB working spaces such as Adobe 1998 or ProPhoto RGB (the widest). If your original is sRGB, we can work with that, but converting to a wider color space will not increase the gamut.

Your best bet for getting on the same page with us in terms of color is to view your print files on a calibrated monitor. The average monitor is designed to display cooler and brighter, with high contrast. This is great for video, the web, reading, and writing, but is not designed to match a paper print. Only with a calibrated monitor can you rely on what you are seeing being accurate to the data in your file.

  • A colorimeter to calibrate your monitor can be a good investment. You can learn more about that here

The color that is displayed on an uncalibrated monitor can be quite different from what we see on our studio monitors. This is particularly important to be aware of if you are working with us from outside of New York, or if you are going to put in an order as direct-to-print with no proofing.


Proportions & Borders

When beginning a project, thinking about the final dimensions of your print, and whether or not your image requires borders is important. 

Being clear on both the image size, the final paper size, and how you would like borders handled, will help avoid delays and allow accurate estimates of costs. 

For example, the size and borders of a print should be specified as follows:

  • 16” x 20”  image size centered on a 20” x 24” paper size
diagram of photo printing borders

↑ Upload

It is very helpful and will make your job run smoother if your files are formatted and ready for print. Delivering files that are:

  • Sized to the final print size, at 300 ppi
  • With white borders included, if desired (see section above)
  • RGB Color Space assigned

When uploading files, please do not upload zip files or any file formats other than what is noted on this page. If you need to submit something that is outside of the spec noted on this page, please email us first.

If there is anything you would like us to adjust on your print-ready files, such as borders, please email us with instructions. Additional fees may apply, depending on the extent of adjustments.

If your files are not print-ready and require more extensive adjustments and edits, such as color correction, retouching, or compositing, please contact us prior to sending your files and provide as much information on your needs, and the current status of your files.

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