Take better photos – Part 2

Composition – limb chops and getting in close!

1.    Limb Chops:

A very simple way to make your photos look more professional is to avoid chopping limbs at the wrong place 😉

When photographing kids, it can be especially hard as they tend to move quickly.  You need to remember that if you are trying for a full body shot, then take a step back to avoid cutting anything off.  For me, it is very frustrating to get a great shot, only to realise I have cut off the fingers/hand of the subject.  If you find that you have cut off the fingers or toes, cropping in even closer in post production can often improve the shot.

Hands/Fingers & Feet/Toes





If you are going to chop off some of the head, make sure it looks intentional – a little bit missing off the top looks pretty ordinary 😉



Where to chop?

Unless you want a full body shot, you are going to have to chop limbs.  The best ‘rule’ to follow here is not to chop at a joint – fingers, wrists, elbows, toes, ankles, knees, ears  🙂

Limb chops is something you really want to try and avoid (or get right) ‘in camera’.  Meaning that you should try to get it right when taking the photo, rather than trying to crop to fix it later.  Depending on how your image is composed, your options for cropping may be limited.  As you can see in this first set of images – other than the original, there is really only one other crop I would be happy with.

  1.  Get in close:

Another way to avoid limb chops is to get in so close there are no limbs in the frame :0

I know, I know, last post I told you to leave space and work with the rule of thirds and now I’m telling you to get in close.  Remember, photography is a form of art and everyone creates art differently.  There are always exceptions to the rules, and I am trying to give you different things to think about when taking photos – not every rule or piece of information should be applied to every picture.

I love up close and personal shots – especially with little kids and babies!  Little details like lashes, lips, toes can really be emphasised.

Fill the frame with your subject or what you want the focus of the shot to be.  This also applies to other forms of photography, not just portraits.  Getting up close can often turn a boring/everyday subject into something that says “WOW”!

Get out there and try it!

Comments / questions are welcome below 🙂

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