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Photo A Day: What ‘cropped’ means

Fat Mum Slim /

Each month in the Photo A Day list there has been a photography-type prompt. We’ve had lighting, negative space, macro and lots of other prompts that have stretched us and made us think outside the box. This month I included the prompt ‘cropped’.

There’s really not too much to the cropped prompt. Not much at all. But let me explain why I included it:

When we’re taking a photo it’s easy to focus on the subject matter {a person, a tree, whatever it is you’re taking a photo of} and not think about the rest of the photo. When I started taking an interest in photography my friend explained something to me that I’ve never forgotten, you have to consider the rest of the frame too. We were taking photos of kids and they were near trees. I wasn’t thinking about the tree at all, and was just focusing on their little faces and hoping they’d smile. But Rowe was thinking of the whole picture, and explained that if we kept them in the position we were in they’d look like they had branches coming out of their ears. Not a great photo at all.

BUT I’m not a planner, and I just like to take photos as I see them. With little kids being a big distraction in my life I don’t have time to plan, so I just quickly snap away and then edit later. That’s my kind of photography. It means I take a lot of dud photos, but it also means I capture life. I like that.

Let me share an example below:

croppedThis is a photo I took of Luella. It’s just a basic example. My dress and the edge of the bed are just a distraction from the subject matter {Little Luella} so if I crop those out, I let her be the star of the photo.


I crop a lot when I’m taking photos at the beach. Perhaps Bronte {my dog} has run into the shot and just her tail is appearing in a corner, or I might want to take photos of my family and a walker-by has popped into shot. I just crop them out where possible.

To crop you can use your Camera App in your iPhone {not sure about other smart phones}. I always use Afterlight. Or if you’re using your PC then you can use the free online program

Annnnd, if you take perfect photos that don’t need any cropping – then take the word more literally and crop something {preferably not someone’s hair without their permission. Eek!}.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 7.52.26 amThere you go. Happy photo-taking.

Is there a photography technique you’d like to see in the monthly lists? Or is there one we’ve done before that you’d like to see again?

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  • Anne Bachmeyer

    So excited about this prompt!!

  • Lovely example of Luella in this post 🙂
    I used to discount the power of a crop in post-editing, but no more! Whether you’re shooting on holidays, a wedding, your little little one, your crazy dog…I would say don’t be too quick to delete photos on-the-go if you feel the framing isn’t good.
    It always amazes me when I get to my computer and look through them just how much some creative cropping can transform what you thought was a “dud” into something amazing.

  • Kimberley Harry

    Cropped photos are never used enough IMO. Sometimes you can have a great full shot but often the subjects are drowned out by the other elements. Crop, edit, THEN post!

  • Amanda Heywood

    Lue is fricken’ gorgeous!

  • I very rarely take a photo that doesn’t need to be cropped … maybe that means I’m not a very good photographer????

  • So happy to find out im not the only one, i always just take a bunch of photos and hope that one of them will turn out good enough to edit haha.