Light trails and pillars under the New York State Thruway in Nyack, New York

Why I Don’t Crop My Photographs

Every photographer has his or her unique shooting and post-processing style. With my pictures, one of the things I never do is crop my images. I feel as though my photos should be well-composed in my camera’s viewfinder and that cropping them later on the computer is kind of like cheating.

I want my imagery to be totally authentic, and strive to capture as close to the perfect shot as I can in-camera. Shooting digital in this day and age, I see no need for cropping. I can take countless photos and instantly review them (albeit on a small LCD screen), ensuring I have at least one great shot without distracting or unwanted elements.

Even though I don’t crop my photographs, I realize that in some cases it is needed. Cropping is a necessity with editorial images, as publications have different formats. Available space for imagery varies from one magazine or newspaper to the next, making it impossible for all images to have the same size/proportions. Commercial photographs used in advertising are also cropped to fit a variety of needs, both digital and printed.

What are your thoughts? To crop or not to crop? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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2 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Crop My Photographs”

  1. I do the same thing. What I see in the viewfinder is the exact composition needed for that shot.

    My problem is printing. I just want my photos printed without being cropped. Do you know any other way besides adjusting a photo to have blank edges for a printers set proportions? Or do you know of a printing company that won’t crop the image? I have an ever increasing stock of photos (thousands at this point), and the thought of adjusting each one is depressing.

    1. Hi Patricia, thanks for your comment. As far as sizing them for printing, the only way to make sure they’re not cropped is to add white space to the edges. You can easily set up an action Photoshop to make this process pretty easy. If you’d like more information please let me know and I’ll shoot you an email.

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