One of your jobs as a designer, marketer or any other creative professional that subscribes to a stock photo service as being discussed in StockPhotoSecrets.com with the intention of manipulating the photo in Photoshop is to try and strive for a finished product that is so polished that no one can tell that the photo was manipulated. This applies in two ways: extended photos and cropped photos. We’re going to talk about the latter.
Cropping a photo means take out the part of the photo that you want and discards the rest. Photo cropping is one of the first and primary skills anyone will learn in any Photoshop course. Good cropping skills go hand-in-hand with the type a skill it takes to choose a good photo.
Sometimes cropping is good, sometimes it’s not. One of the easiest ways to check out a poorly cropped photo is when a photo that was taken on a solid background is placed on a gradient background. There tends to be this “rift edge” to the photo as an instant tell for poor Photoshop skills.
Another instance is when you take out a specific element of a picture to use just that. If you want a man in a business suit, then you need to choose a photo of a man in a business suit. If you find a group setting and take a single person out, people can usually tell. It is your job as a designer to ensure that your message gets through to the viewers. Poor Photoshop skills don’t convey the message. Their eyes drawn to your poor Photoshop skills. If you want a man in a business suit in a group meeting setting, then choose a photo of a man in a business suit in a group meeting setting.
Another common mistake of cropping photos is leaving irrelevant elements of the photo in the finished product. If you want a man in a business suit, choose a photo of a man in a business suit. If your photo happens to have two people in it, your best bet is to choose a different photo. If you poorly crop out the other person, it will take away from the message or purpose of the photo. If you leave the unnecessary person in the finished product, it will take away from the message just as strongly as if he was poorly cropped out.
It is your job as a designer to make sure that clients don’t ask you to make mistakes on their behalf. You’re the expert, and they expect feedback from you. Use your judgment to make sure that the finished product is something you’re proud of. Clients don’t hire designers to make mistakes. Their vision does not have mistakes in it.