Home Tech Cropping tips and tricks

Cropping tips and tricks


Unless you want all your headshots to look like passport photos, you sometimes need to crop into the head.

Cropping into the forehead can give a more intimate portrait and draws the viewer into the eyes – but don’t crop below the hairline. Also look out for the ears: cropping into the ears can look messy, so either include them or go in even tighter and exclude them completely.

When you create a close-up, you’re essentially trying to fit a round object in a rectangular frame, so you might find an annoying little triangular portion of the background shows in the corner, like the left image here. It’s often best to crop it out.

Cropping Close ups

Go square

Square crops can work brilliantly for portraits with a symmetrical pose or equal space around the subject.

When you use Camera Raw’s Crop tool, right-click for common aspect ratios including a ‘1 to 1’ square crop.

Go square.

Be daring

A daring crop can be as effective as a striking pose or expression. It lets you focus attention on certain features while eliminating others – here the eyes are even more important than usual. Try something different in your next crop!.

Be daring.

Composition guides

The Crop tool options at the top of the screen house lots of useful settings. You can set an aspect ratio and choose a resolution, for example. You can also use handy overlays based on composition rules like the rule of thirds and the golden ratio: position points of interest on lines and intersections for stronger, more visually pleasing compositions.

Composition guides.
Menu Options.
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