When selling a portrait, there are two schools of thought. The first, what many photographers do is to help the client choose a portrait for a predetermined site in their home and size the portrait accordingly. The second school of thought takes little regard to a preset location. Instead, suggests that you should help the client choose the portrait for the portrait, not for the current open location within the home. I adhere to the latter.
I focus on one of the most important elements a portrait can have: proper face size. I take great care to educate clients that faces should be 60-100% life-size to create an element of "presence" that is so important in a proper portrait. The element of presence is needed to convey the proper impact and allow us to connect with the subjects we are viewing. As we descend below 60% life-size, the portrait begins to lose significant impact.
I further reinforce this concept on our own studio walls. The smallest size displayed in my studio is 24” x 30"
In my studio, we don’t do weddings, engagements or babies; we do senior portraits, wall portraits and head-shots, usually no smaller than 16” x 20”, but go all the way up to 48” x 72”.
One thing people are rarely heard saying after a year of purchasing a Diamond, LED TV or a beautiful portrait is “ I wish I’d gotten the smaller size”
I emphasize to my clients that decorations come and go. Homes many times change. But, a portrait is forever, and so I strongly suggest choosing the portrait size for the portrait long-term and not the current decor. Thus a properly educated client will pick the portrait size based on the proper rules of art rather than to fit a particular location.