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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

DPI in Modeling: What the Heck Is It?

With so many people taking/uploading/editing their own photos, most are up to date on the lingo that comes with digital photography. Terms like DPI are often thrown around and while I would like to assume that everyone knows what that is, I know that's not true, which is the point of this post. :-)

Even if you're not a model that retouches or prints his/her own photos, it's still important to know what DPI is...after all, a good model knows his/her craft and that includes more than just the modeling aspect of things. So here is a basic post that'll give you a crash course into what DPI is and how it is relevant for modeling.

Below is a great definition for DPI, according to the site WiseGeek.com:

DPI (dots per inch) is a measurement of printer resolution, though it is commonly applied, somewhat inappropriately, to monitors, scanners and even digital cameras. The higher the DPI, the more refined the text or image will appear.

Based on this definition, it's easy to see why DPI would matter for models--namely when it comes to their photos. The DPI that your digital modeling images are is crucial for whatever purposes you plan on using them for. If you're going to print a headshot, comp/zed card or regular modeling pictures for your portfolio, 300 DPI is the golden rule. This setting means the image will appear crisp and in focus, especially if the file size is larger than 1 MB. Trying to print an 8" x 10" photo from an image file that's less than 1 MB in size will come out with poor quality, even if the DPI is set to 300 so make sure you're always working with hi res files!

When submitting your pictures to agencies, sometimes they may or may not mention the DPI in addition to the size the image files should be. You'll definitely run into DPI when dealing with printing companies/photo labs for having your pictures professionally printed. Regardless of the occasion, be on the lookout for the DPI requirement anytime you plan on printing modeling pictures and ensure that your images are formatted properly.

In some situations, you might see the DPI requirement for 72. However, this particular setting typically only applies to when you're posting images on the Internet for viewing, not for printing. The reason for this is because the higher a photo's DPI is, when it's posted on the Internet, it takes longer for the page to load. If you've ever had to wait seconds or even longer for a particular page to display all of the images, you'll know how annoying that can be. So when you see a 72 DPI requirement, that's what the deal is.

However, for uploading modeling pictures online, it isn't necessary to set the DPI of your pictures to 72. Unless the site you're trying to upload to says otherwise, you'll be fine with keeping your images' DPI at the standard 300, even though you aren't planning on printing them.

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