The Wave in Vermillion Cliff

What Sells: Vertical or Horizontal

The Wave in Vermillion Cliff
Take a look at these shots from The Wave in Arizona. When we are in the field, we sometimes find that a composition works best in either horizontal or vertical orientation. But in most cases, after capturing the most visually appealing image, we try to find another shot that works with the camera turned 90 degrees. Why? Because you never know the actual purpose of the image. What if a buyer is looking for a collection of images for a video production? He is probably going to need horizontal images. If a buyer is looking for photos for a magazine or cell phone background, she will likely need a vertical shot.

The Wave, Vermillion Cliffs, Arizona (AZ), USA
Jay’s image titled Heaven’s Gate is one of the most popular fine art images in his collection. It has sold more times as a large print then any of his other images. But just recently, he sold a vertical image from the same location to the Montana Department of Tourism. The department was looking for a image with vertical orientation to go on the cover page of their 2015 Tourism Guide.

  • Heaven's Gate
  • Path of Light

In today’s age of mobile devices, there are plenty of uses for both orientations. Horizontal images are used as background displays on desktop and laptop monitors, while vertical images are used for background displays on cell phones.

Since you never know who may want to purchase your images or for what purpose, you can’t know which orientation will work best for their needs. Shoot in both orientations and you’ll be ready no matter what.

About Author Jay Patel

I could startoff like this – “Seeds of Jay Patel’s appreciation for beautiful places were planted early in his childhood….” but it would get boring really fast. I will just sum it up and say that I am a Landscape and Wilderness Photographer who loves to capture dramatic light. My photographs have been published in various magazines, calendars and advertising materials throughout the world.

Patience is a virtue...unless you are chasing your dreams


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2 replies
  1. Michael P.A
    Michael P.A says:

    Congrats on the sale dude!
    For me it’s changed over the last few years. Initially, full crop shots were the ones that really sold more than anything else.

    LAST year however everything changed. My narrow vertical and horizontal panoramic prints, sell better than anything else.
    I’ve started really concentrating on location shoots now, so I make sure that half my compositions are geared towards that market preference as far as my work is concerned. Makes for interesting shoots actually, as I find myself getting challenged in some locations and scenarios on getting that shot that I’m after.


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