Image Cropping Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Images

croppingImage cropping mistakes can give a bad first impression.  Your profile image on your social media accounts is an important first impression to new clients. How you crop your photo can make you look shorter, aggressive, untrustworthy, or even creepy.

Here’s some examples of photo cropping mistakes and how to fix them:

  1. Space above the head gives the illusion of shortness. That’s because it creates a vantage point as if the viewer is standing across from you and looking at the space above your head. Crop the image to just above the head. Don’t cut off part of the head, just crop directly above it.
  2. If you have a lot of empty background in a photo, either to your left or right or both, this makes you appear less important than when you take up most the frame. Empty space diminishes you by making you appear physically smaller and suggests that you’re not deserving of the whole frame on your own.
  3. Close-up photos, especially photos that show the face/head but do not expand to the shoulder, gives a feeling of closeness and intimacy. The person looking at the image will feel like they are right up close to you. This is ok for people who already know you. However, people who don’t already know you and are viewing your photo on LinkedIn or another social website may subconsciously feel a sensation of being up close and personal with someone they don’t know. This can make people view you as creepy, or even threatening. To avoid this, show a minimum of head and shoulders to create the feeling of a safe distance.
  4. Cropping out part of the face makes you seem sneaky, as though you are hiding something. When a person decides to crop off half their face, chances are they’re just being arty. However, there’s something about that crop that subconsciously makes people feel suspicious.
  5. As a general rule, crop in a way that will elongate and flatter the body. Cropping at the knees, waist, elbows, toes, fingers, ankles, or wrists can make your model look stumpy. Cropping off the arms or legs can make your model look square, or larger than they really are.
  6. Keeping the eyes in the top third of the frame is visually better than cropping into someone’s chin, which to my eye looks like I wasn’t paying attention when I took the shot, and visually this crop (above left) looks awkward.
  7. Spend some time to remove any elements that distract the viewers from experiencing the essence of the image. If there are any distractions around the corner of the image, even the crop tool can help you out. Using the crop tool, you can also straighten any tilted horizons and recompose the image to your taste.

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