with Courtney Slazinik
Photo Composition

One of the easiest ways to make your photos look more professional is by not chopping off limbs in the wrong places. You don’t want to chop off part of the head, hands or feet.

This is probably the hardest thing for me to do when it comes to composition. When shooting children, they move so fast that sometimes fingers or toes get cut off. Just keep in mind that when you are able to, take a step back to prevent chopping off something in the wrong place.

Bad example


Bad example


Download this FREE manual mode cheat sheet!

Head – if you are going to crop a head make sure it is intentional :O)
Bad example


Random hands– Another thing you don’t want are random hands in your photo and not being able to see who they are attached to.
Bad example


Keep in mind that if you love a picture and it is not technically correct then who cares about the technical aspect. Here is an example of one of my favorite photos of my girls. Just a random moment I caught between the two of them, unfortunately, there are many limb chops here. I don’t care! I still like it :O)

You also don’t want to chop off arms and legs at the joints.

Bad example


Wrists and ankle:
Bad example


Bad example:


This compositional rule is one that is so easy to do, your children can do it! Read more about involving your child in your love for photography: Photography for Kids

Check back tomorrow to see photos from our trip to Tokyo and take part in our first GIVEAWAY!!!

  • October 4, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    Give away!! Are you giving away a trip to Tokyo!! :)

    • October 4, 2010 at 8:11 PM

      Keep dreaming, girlfriend! :O)

  • October 4, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    Thanks for all the tips. I find myself doing this a lot.

    • October 4, 2010 at 8:16 PM

      Me too!!! It is a constant struggle for me :O)

  • October 4, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    Yeah, I’ve decided that the number one hardest thing about photographing a one-year-old is actually getting her (or even part of her) in the picture!

    • October 4, 2010 at 10:29 PM

      Amen!! They are so hard because they NEVER stop moving :O)

  • March 27, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    I’m so guilty of this. It’s difficult when you have a moving toddler. I have to work on this. Thanks for the tips!

    • Courtney
      March 29, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Don’t worry! We are all guilty of this! Sometimes it just happens but it is good to be aware of it and try to avoid it :O)

  • Lindsay
    October 28, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    I am new to your website. The last 2 days I have sat and feasted on your tips. All of your posts have been a pleasure to read. You are an incredible teacher. Thank you so much for being willing to share your gift.

    • October 29, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      Hey Lindsay!

      Welcome! Thank you for your sweet words :) Enjoy reading it all and don’t forget to get out and practice it.

  • Cherie @ FoodRecipesEasy
    September 12, 2015 at 1:13 AM

    Thank U. I deleted many photos without knowing this composition crop technique.

Leave a Comment