Cropping can make or break a picture

2:13 PM
I've said this before, as I surf the web or visit someone's blog I can't help but to analyze the pictures and figure out, in my opinion, what makes it great or not so stellar. One of the things that I feel some people need improvement on is their cropping technique. So many times I see a cute expression or beautiful colors only to be over shadowed by a poor crop. I discuss cropping in depth in my book but for today I want to touch on one thing: cutting out important aspects of the photo.

When I take a picture I am (usually subconsciously) trying to tell a story with that photo. So when I see limbs cuts off or part of the subject missing, my story doesn't feel complete. The picture doesn't flow.

Example #1:
The picture of this adorable dog feels off to me. I know he has some paws (or does he?) but they're lost...

So what I did was tun the camera on it's side so I wouldn't cut off the dogs poor paws thus making the picture look complete:
Do you see what I'm talking about?

Example #2: 
Another picture of this cute little guy. This time his paws and the tip of his tail are chopped off causing the photo to look off.  

To fix this photo I waited for him to look up allowing more room to surround his face and I cropped out the extra room above and to the side of him...

Example #3:
In this picture the toy that Lyndon is playing on has the bottom chopped off so the viewer can't see how it is anchored to the ground. It may seem trivial to some but I feel like it leaves the story and the photo unfinished.

To fix the problem simply bring in the bottom of the toy allowing the viewer to take in the entire picture. Now we don't have to wonder how in the world the toy in anchored! (I know you were dying to know!) It gives a sense of completeness.

I hope these little tips have helped. Now you will be the one examine each picture you look at to determine how to make it better! Just wait, you will...


SaigeWisdom said...

oooh thanks for the free tips! I would have never thought about showing how the playground structure was anchored, but it makes all the difference. I want your book fo sho! ;)

Hyla said...

Great tips! I think I do these things automatically, but I am going to try and start paying attention to see if I do!

Margaret said...

question: When you crop the photo do you re-size you image? or doesn't it matter?

Just curious what you do.

Katie Evans Photography said...

Hi Margaret! I do all my editing in Adobe Lightroom so to crop an image I simply click on the crop tool and drag the corners to where I want the crop to be. I almost always leave the "lock" on so as I crop in one side of the picture the perpendicular side will automatically crop in as well to keep my ratio (4x6) proportionate. Does that answer your question?

You can also send me an email at

Margaret said...

Thank you, it does. And You're book has been completely helpful!

Bradles said...

I'm a bit lost, aren't you describing FRAMING here rather than CROPPING?

Katie Evans Photography said...

Hi Bradles!

Cropping means to remove some of the outer edges to improve framing and focus on the subject.

So in my post I'm describing how to frame the photo better by cropping. I hope this makes more sense.

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