When is cropping in photographs appropriate?

Yesterday, I had an enquiry from a Mum about a studio photo I had taken of her son, in Ruddington, which the grandparents had ordered from the session, but which she had not, due to the cropping! The gist of it being that if the whole of the little boy’s s head had been included, she would probably have ordered it too! It got me to thinking about why we as photographers, choose to crop the way we do, and its’ effectiveness. Just so that we can all see the issue, here is the image, as it was taken, and without any adjustments in post editing……

Ruddington on-location photographer

Ruddington on-location photographer

For me, everything is about expression and capturing the moment and getting a natural and relaxed photograph at the end, which represents the personality of the child on that day. In this respect, the photo was a big hit..I love it too. The joy on the little boy’s face is just wonderful, and what Mum wouldn’t want to keep a photo like this to treasure?  And I think there is the answer! I believe that by cropping the image even harder, to remove all the unnecessary information and focussing totally on the eyes and mouth, it would make a much better image.

 

IMG_0866.blog. v3

 

Its often hard to keep up with children this small when they are bombing around and so full of energy, so I tend to keep the lens at a wider angle, to allow for them making sudden movements to either side. Obviously in this case, I was either too close or not quick enough to move back to include all of the body, but in the event, it was the best laughing image, and therefore not to be lost, and so crop afterwards! I personally believe the second image is the better of the two, because it focuses all the attention on the expression, despite not showing the top of his head.

There is a time and place for all cropping. In my experience, Mum’s regularly love images but ask if the child’s head can be included too!! Its perhaps worth thinking about this, when taking photos to include more information than perhaps you ideally want in the finished photo, to allow for just this scenario.

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