What is Cropping in Photography & Why do You Need to Crop a Photo?

In the eCommerce marketplace, the most challenging thing is to provide quality and user-centric product photos to give a realistic feel. But to achieve the goal, you need to balance photos composition, focus, lighting, aspect ratio, etc.

Consumers always look for time-efficient methods and options where images work as windows into their eCommerce store. As a consumer, will you ever prefer to buy a product full of unwanted objects? Or has image quality issues?  

Well, we all know the answer. Right? 

Do you want to overcome these issues? Go through the article: What is Cropping in Photography & Why do You Need to Crop a photo. 

Without further ado, let’s get started with the crop photography definition.

What is Cropping in Photography?

In the photography industry, cropping removes an image’s edges to improve framing, highlight the subject, increase the composition, and many more.

That means cropping is a simple and most effective photo manipulation process to fix poorly composed images, tonal balance, color correction, and sharpening. And you can

  • make a picture fit in a specific dimension of the photographic frame,
  • reframe your subject to grab the viewer’s attention to a specific part of your photo.

In telephoto photography, an image is cropped, 

  • To magnify the subject,
  • for reducing the angle of view to achieve the desired goal.

For example, you shot the most appealing view of a sea otter that snoozes on its back during swimming. Here, cropping is essential to represent the subject with its environment and include all interesting details. 

However, you can digitally crop your photos using different photo processing software like Adobe Photoshop or online apps. 

Why Do You Need Cropping in Photography? 

The two most common tweaks in photo editing are cropping and resizing your image.

You already get the idea about What cropping is. Now, it’s time to know the importance and when you need to do it. 

Cropping is an important photo editing tool when you want to,

Enhance Overall Composition: The art form of an image is composing. You can add more dynamism when you crop images using the rule of thirds and placing the subject off-center. Also, the images become more stylish and get artistic quality. 

Concentrate on a Subject: Cropping is essential for enhancing the composition and magnifying the subject. Sometimes, you need to crop a photo to improve its magnification of a photograph. And it results in yielding a strong image. 

Remove too Much Visual Information: Sometimes, an image with too much visual information and unwanted background can distract viewers from the main subject. Using cropping, you can eliminate any distractions like removing unwanted objects, improper alignment, etc., to grab audiences’ attention. 

Focus on Reframing the Subject: Are you looking for ways to portray your subject using a more compelling and interesting light? Some may put their subject in the center of the frame. But to create an eloquent image, you can reframe your subject by utilizing empty spaces around any side.

Note: Beware of using too many empty spaces because it may divert your audience from its main meaning.

Change the Orientation: It can give a lovely and meaningful story when you want to transform a horizontal image into a vertical one. So, you can change the photo orientation and simplifies your photo perception. Also, this reorientation can lead the viewers to the image highlighting point. 

Change the Aspect Ratio: Do you want to fit an image on different devices or platforms? Here, the aspect ratio is vital because it refers to the image dimensional ratio. Different cameras shoot in different aspect ratios. So, cropping is essential to change the aspect ratio and get a preferable print size.

Create Dramatic Effect: With creative cropping like extreme close-up or portraying an emotional state, you can create interest in your viewers. Also, you can focus your subject’s faces on capturing their emotions or cropping the part of your subject out of the frame.

Note: Beware of cropping portraits to avoid awkward-looking shots. 

Do you want to know when you should crop an image? Let’s look at some cropping photography examples below:

  • Printing Images: Cropping is the best solution if you want to print a photo and put it in a frame. It helps to achieve the most popular frame sizes are 4:3 and 5:4 aspect ratios.
  • Social Media Posts: Different social media – Instagram and Facebook use square images, YouTube Thumbnails use a landscape, and Pinterest uses a portrait format. With cropping, you can publish to each site. 
  • Product Photos: In eCommerce marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, Amazon, etc., you need to showcase clear and quality product images. So, to achieve the required dimensions, you need to crop photos.
  • Blog Images: These images help viewers focus on specific areas to get the exact message. Cropping is essential to make more harmonic compositions and fulfill the goal. 

Top 13 Tips of Cropping in Photography 

Cropping art has no hard-and-fast rule that gives ensures perfection every time. But you can follow some guidelines to improve your images, including important scenarios, aspects of your photo, etc.

For this reason, we enlisted top cropping photography tips below:

1. Take Out Any of The Unnecessary Details 

Take Out Any of The Unnecessary Details

Distractions or unwanted details can destroy your photo’s actual goal. So, pay close attention to the edges of the photo that won’t draw your viewer’s focus away from your subject. 

Our eyes are drawn to the text and faces easily, so keep your composition as concise as possible. If you explore extra people in your portrait photo, you can eliminate those people to highlight the main subject. With this cropped photography, you can also grab the attention of viewers.  

2. Enhance Storytelling by Removing Distractions 

Enhance Storytelling by Removing Distractions 

In the photography crop, you can enhance storytelling by removing distractions. For this reason, you can look for bright or dark spots, watch for unfortunate alignments like a tree or lamp post, or avoid random objects like elbows. 

With cropping, you can work on these distractions to eliminate them.

3. Don’t Crop Too Close to The Subject’s Hairline 

Don't Crop Too Close to The Subject's Hairline

Do you ever like a dull portrait that misses important details? Of course, No. So, pay attention to your subject’s outfit, like a haircut. To avoid these errors, don’t crop too close to the subject’s hairline; leave enough hair that the audience can fill in the rest as per their imagination. 

Also, you can focus on the subject’s face instead.

4. Make Sure to Crop at Eye Level 

Crop at Eye Level 

In portrait photography cropping, the most beautiful thing is to crop at eye level to demonstrate the feeling of eye contact. Here, it would be best if you centered your subject on achieving the goal. Also, it is an effective method to take advantage of the rule of thirds. 

For this, ensure the placement of the eye line along the top horizontal line to compel the audience. 

5. Making Crops for Cosmetic Purposes 

Don’t be afraid to crop for cosmetic purposes to ensure your subject’s best and most pleasing look. When you use the crop tool, you may not be able to perform a photo restoration process to hide or eliminate cosmetic errors. 

That means cropping is not the best solution if you want to create a clipping path to remove stains or a blemish from someone’s face. But you can partially do your job using cropping on certain scenarios like removing a mustard stain from a shirt or tucking away an unsightly belly roll, etc.

6. Crop Tool for Creating Close-Up Photographs 

Crop Tool for Creating Close-Up Photographs 

You can focus on your subject’s faces if you want to showcase emotional impact. Using cropping, you can create an extreme close-up of a person’s face, a couple, to capture their emotions.

However, in close-up photography, you can implement cropping to show a new perspective of your subject. Also, to show important details, you can crop your image tightly.

7. Look Out for Vertical and Horizontal Lines 

Look Out for Vertical and Horizontal Lines

Do you want to lead your audience to the picture highlighting point? You can experiment with the photo orientation technique using cropping. Here, you can transform a horizontal image into a vertical one. But beware of the main storyline when reorientating.

This cropping worked fine on pictures when you grouped the main subjects in one place. So, to add more impact to the shot and viewers’ minds, you can change the photo orientation. 

8. Don’t Always Put Your Subject In The Middle Of The Frame

Don't Always Put Your Subject In The Middle Of The Frame

It is the most common and tempting process to center the subject. If you crop a portrait or a mugshot, you can place your subject completely centered. Otherwise, use the rule of thirds to create a beautiful composition. 

Also, this cropping technique ensures a creative approach with a unique view than a centered shot. You can experiment with different angles by moving the subject to achieve your goal. 

9. Keep Cropping Consistent for a Series Photo 

Keep Cropping Consistent for a Series Photo 

Want to experience the beauty of cropping art? When creating a series of images, first, you must portray the actual perspective, considering which story or mood you want to build. 

This technique helps you to eliminate any distractions to highlight the content of your photos. But stick to one photo to ensure the consistency of your photo series. 

10. Cropping Unused Space from the Image 

What is Cropping in Photography & Why do You Need to Crop a Photo?

Which story do you want to highlight? If you want to highlight the subject, you can eliminate the unused space on the left and right. This type of cropping can represent remarkable details. Also, you can grab the audience’s attention to your focus point.

You can create new shapes with a unique story by doing this style.

11. Crop Images to Correct Aspect Ratio 

Crop Images to Correct Aspect Ratio 

The aspect ratio defines the relationship between your image’s width and height. When you use a DSLR and mirrorless camera, you can shoot with a 3:2 aspect ratio. But using a Micro Four Thirds camera and smartphones, you can shoot with a 4:3 aspect ratio. 

That means every device has its limitation in getting the perfect aspect ratios. But with cropping, you discover different aspect ratios in one place that is helpful to fulfill different social platforms and printing needs. 

12. Use the Rule of Thirds for Better Photos 

Use the Rule of Thirds for Better Photos

The most effective cropping rule in photography is the rule of thirds. It is also a compositional technique because it helps create balanced images with clear focal points. 

Also, it divides your image into nine rectangles (a 3×3 grid) that allow you to overlay this grid while editing. Using this technique, you can add dynamism and energy to your composition. 

13. Break the Rules to Make a Bold Statement 

 Break the Rules to Make a Bold Statement 

Don’t be afraid to break the rules and experiment with different techniques to portray a unique storyline. You can try different edges cropping, rotating angles, or creating a dynamic composition effect to get the best works. 

For example, crop faces in half can create a sense of mystery. On the other hand, a mysterious eye can lead you to an imaginary world. 

Note: Always keep a backup of your original photo to experiment with different cropping techniques.

Want to Get Perfectly Cropped Photos?

Everyone from eCommerce sales to business owners demands quality product images to boost online businesses. For this reason, many eCommerce sites and industries are turning to photo editing services to remove unwanted objects. With quality photo cropping, you can achieve your business goal. 

We all know that cropping is a basic photography post production process that you can do all by yourself. But when you deal with bulk images for social media sites and other eCommerce platforms, it consumes much time to edit. Also, you need to ensure high-resolution product images. 

So, a much easier, hassle-free, and quick solution is to reach out to image cropping service experts. In the online marketplace, you’ll find many professionals. But a creative and experienced team gives you all post-processing solutions in one place.

With Clipping Path Studio, you get unbeatable and skilled photo editors who ensure eCommerce-friendly photos with edge-by-edge cropping. Our years of experience in the latest editing technology and thousands of customers’ appreciation achieve this fame.

However, you can experience our free trial to know our working style. So, why waste your time and money searching for the best clipping path service provider

Let us be a part of your success by taking responsibility for your product images.

FAQs on Cropping in Photography

1. What is Frame Cropping? 

Frame cropping is a way to position within the confines or edges of a particular photograph. 

That means how much of the subject and background you want to highlight and cut off is known as frame cropping. 

2. What are the Principles of the Cropping System?

Before applying the cropping technique, it is ideal to understand the core principles of the cropping system. To know more, check out below:

  • Converting horizontals to verticals. 
  • Showing a different perspective.
  • Emphasizing the center of interest.
  • Cropping for a close-up and applying the rule of thirds.
  • Eliciting distractions.
  • Removing unused space.
  • Changing aspect ratios.

3. Does Cropping Count as Editing?

Yes, cropping is counted as editing because it is one of the most basic photo manipulation processes in photo editing. With cropping, you can

  • remove irrelevant noise to focus on the message,
  • change images aspect ratio,
  • improve the overall composition,
  • reduce file size, etc.


Are you planning to sell your images? Then understanding how and when to crop your photos is an essential thing. Proper cropping can transform dull photos into pleasing ones by emphasizing details. 

However, with these simple editing techniques, you can achieve more eye-catching and eCommerce-friendly images that increase your revenue. But beware of overcropping photos because it destroys your product’s storyline. 

So, to get pixel-perfect and high-end editing solutions, you can hire professionals. Also, perfection can leave a lasting expression on your customer’s mind.

Outsource Photo Editing, Easily.


About the Author

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Amy Grace


Commercial Photographer, Writer

Amy Grace has been engaged in commercial photography for a long time. She has enough proficiency and skill set in photography and has nailed the task up to the mark and has helped a lot of entrepreneurs create a brand. Aside from photography, Amy has passion for travelling.

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