I am constantly asking myself why photo frame manufacturers insist that an 8 x 10 be the standard size frame they sell. If that's the size you usually purchase you are probably asking yourself why in the world I care. The problem is all about ratios! Let me explain.
When I take a photo of you with my wonderful Canon 60D (or any DSLR for that matter) the picture is taken at a 2:3 ratio. WTH? You ask. For the sake of argument, let's imagine those ratios as actual inches. So I take your photo and it's taken as a 2 x 3. (or 3 x 2 depending on the way the camera is turned) If I print it out on a piece of paper that is 2-inches by 3-inches, it will print perfectly! But now you want it larger. Well, to keep it in proportion you are going to double both numbers and print it as a 4 x 6, the standard print size. Now here comes the problem. You still want it larger. So we double it again. If we maintain the ratio it will have to become an 8 x 12. But wait! My frame is 8 x 10! So what happens to your photo? Yep! 2-inches is cut off it! Here's an example of three common sizes and how the photo will have to be cropped to fit each size:
So, what to do about the fact that 2-inches of your photo is going to be chopped off if you order an 8 x 10. Well, there are a few solutions. 1. Take that into consideration when choosing your favorite photos and just be ok with the 2-inches you have to crop. 2. Purchase 8 x 12 frames. I've seen them on occasion at department stores, but they are readily available on Amazon.com.
Occasionally I can enlarge the canvas of your photo. It really depends on the background. Studio shots are fairly easy to enlarge. I just have to basically copy the background into the space that I add. However, something outside, like the photo above, would be complex due to the surroundings in the photo.
I try to leave enough space around the subjects when I take photos so this is not a huge issue, and I'm definitely not telling you not to order an 8 x 10. I just want you to be aware that 'not all sizes are created equal!'