How many were totally freaked out by the “chop your kid’s limbs” bit?? I mean, my kids might drive me batty, but it’s not like that. I’m talking about pictures here, so don’t you worry. Learning where to chop limbs in pictures is one way to take better pictures.
When you take pictures of your kids, regardless of what camera you’re using there are things that will make or break your pictures. One of those things is limb chopping. Can you believe there is a right and a wrong way to do that? And, guess what, it all boils down to one little secret.
How to properly chop limbs in
Are you ready for the BIG secret??!!!
Here it is…
Don’t cut off the limbs at the joints. It’s that simple. If you keep that in mind, you will be so much happier with your portraits of your kids. This goes for all joints- elbows, wrists, finger tips, neck, knees, ankles, toes, and on, and on. Try cropping in between joints. When cropping the head, crop above the hairline or far enough below the hairline to make a statement.
Here are some examples. You will see the “wrong” way first, followed by the “right” way.
The next time you are taking pictures of your kiddos keep this tip in mind. Try stepping back to allow all of your subject’s body into the picture. If you are hoping for a tighter crop, check your joints after the fact. I know when you are chasing kids around, it is difficult to keep all of these “rules” in mind. Sometimes, it is best to assess after the fact and adjust your crop. It’s a relatively easy fix after the fact (although it helps to be keeping this in mind when you are taking the pictures!).
Don’t forget that the point is to take pictures of your kids (here are some tips on taking candid pictures of your kids). Sometimes, you capture a moment that breaks every photography rule you’ve learned, and you love it the way it is. Trust your gut. There is a reason you love it, even if you chopped your kid’s limbs the wrong way. Keep it!! It’s fun to break the rules every now and then! Other times, the pictures can be cropped differently in post processing and it makes the image so much better! I have a thing for creative crops, but I do try not to crop at joints whenever I can make it work.
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