A person lived and lived calmly, then how he photographed the portrait, how he put it on public display, and how he learned from the comments that his horizon was littered, it was absolutely impossible to cut the elbow like that, the eyes were not according to the golden ratio and how could you even cut off the edge of the model priests. And that’s it, a person no longer lives in peace. Now he only reads how to do it right so that they don’t throw tomatoes on the Internet.
In this article, we figure out how to frame people correctly and whether there really is any “correct” in this matter.
Classic portrait framing rules in the studio
When we shoot a shot, the purpose of which is to show the beauty of the model, and only shoot in a warm, cozy studio, it doesn’t rain on us, the sun doesn’t blind, and the model doesn’t leave you on a bicycle to another galaxy, arbitrary cutting of body parts may look out of place.
In such a portrait, careful composition is important. Also, do not touch the boundaries of the frame if the idea of \u200b\u200bthe plot does not include the ideas of “going beyond”, “crowding”, “boundaries” and “rebellion”, or if you do not show clearly that the model herself is not the main point of the frame.
For example, if we cut off the toes of the models in this shot, it will look like an accidental negligence in the work of the photographer and cause annoyance to the viewer.
Cropping a portrait in a reportage
If, apart from the beauty of the model, the frame has some other meaning or we are shooting in not the most pleasant conditions, the rules of the game change.
Two factors are already at play here: in a reportage portrait, genre portrait or when shooting in bad weather, the viewer will forgive you free framing, because it can enhance the impression. So through a flat picture you can convey what kind of rain was falling, and what you were shooting, getting wet to the skin in three minutes.
Modern portrait cropping in studio
Or the viewer will not even have to forgive anything, trimming the limbs can emphasize the plot and convey meanings.
Let’s continue the theme of the appropriateness of this or that framing using the example of photos for jewelry brands.
When decorations become the main characters of the shots, we are no longer surprised that the beauty of the model is presented to us only piecewise and “like a background”. When the essence of the frame is to convey the beauty of jewelry or the work of a makeup artist, the model literally becomes a canvas. Since, in the usual sense, the photographer’s canvas is the frame of the frame, quite often the frame of the canvas is almost completely filled with a canvas model so that there is no void.
In these frames, we do not worry, suddenly the girl on the right is missing half of her face and whose hands are hugging the face on the left. However, if you get carried away with framing without the goal of achieving a specific result, being an inattentive or inexperienced cat-photographer (the one with paws), you can get frames that look like an unfortunate accident, and frames in which it is not clear whether all the body parts of the model are on actually in stock, or vice versa, if there are more of them than you need.
Portrait framing hacks
How to deal with inattention? The more you shoot, the more details you can keep in mind at the same time. It’s like driving a car. At the very beginning of learning, most of us cannot change gear by looking in the mirror and continuing straight ahead. Skill comes with practice.
How to deal with incomprehensible anatomy? Often framing errors are errors in posing the model in the frame, its poses. In part, you can also save yourself by practice: the better you understand that you see a voluminous living person on the set, and show the audience only a flat picture, the more critically you notice unsuccessful poses.
But also in many cases, a framing error made on set can be solved with a larger framing in post-processing.
On the one hand, the photo above is good enough to be the cover of a magazine, selected from many shots by professionals with a lot of eyeballs. The hand here focuses on the earring in the ear of the model — the so-called compositional technique of leading lines. But where does this hand come from? If you think about it, we can easily understand the pose of the model, but it is quite difficult to get rid of the idea that it is growing out of the head. But what is possible for Vogue will never be forgiven by commentators on the Internet to a novice photographer.
Why it is not recommended to crop a portrait by joints
The main reason for the incomprehensible anatomy in the frame is posing errors, not framing.
Our brain is very afraid of injury. Try to disregard the fact that you filmed it and know that the model is doing well with the limbs. Look strictly: if it seems to you that the hero of the frame does not have a hand, it will also seem to the viewer. This rule applies not only to cropping — it works in the same way with parts of the body “hidden” due to a pose or objects in the foreground.
For example, I will get my first experience of shooting with studio light from an ancient archive. Understanding how lighting equipment works was a difficult task for me then, so the pose of a model friend was the tenth thing for me. And here we have a picture of a “girl without a left leg”, but this has nothing to do with framing.
On the right is an example of how, due to cropping, I remove this terrible association from the picture. The photo from it did not become good. What remains is flat lighting, questionable layout and styling, and a lack of story. But we no longer think that the girl has no legs.
Our imagination is ready to complete everything that is framed to the whole. Just don’t interfere with him. I really like to experiment with reflections in the frame. Look how small the model is in these photos. From both girls in the frame only legs. The rest is partial reflections in different mirrors. But these images do not seem to us dismembered, we understand what is on them. Such photos are interesting to look at.
How best to frame a portrait
In the early days of photography, each person had few photographs. And if you only get one or two formal portraits, it shouldn’t be creative fashion photography. It should be a beautiful, simple, cropped photograph that grandma will love and that grandchildren will carefully frame.
The rules have changed, because now there are a lot of photos, and besides a business photo and a formal portrait, we are free to shoot and shoot as we please.
The rules for neat trimming are dictated to us by the layout — an even display of the object as it is. Composition is always about meanings, when the meaning is more important than the model, for the good of the plot, we can cut it as we want.
Strange framing is the result of strange posing and unusual angles. Or inexperience and inattention of the author. Strange poses and unusual angles can be the result of an unusual idea or inconvenient shooting circumstances.
Often, the presence or absence of creative framing dictates the theme of the shoot.
If you are shooting a front, business portrait, refrain from experimenting. Frame to the waist or hips, let both hands of the person be in the frame entirely. In principle, give up strange poses and strange framing. In a business portrait, a lawyer, top manager or realtor should not be creative rebels, but should be credible competent professionals.
If you’re shooting portraits for tinder, there’s also basically no need for creative framing.
If you’re filming a rock band, a surrealist magician, a creative or commercial project where oddity, challenge, and mixed audience reactions are the plan, here’s the high point for ambiguous bold framing.
Practical tips for framing a portrait
- Be your own harshest critic. Learn how the masters of photography crop in the genre in which you develop.
- Use the frame boundaries as part of the story you’re telling, instead of “ouch, it didn’t fit” excuses.
- It is possible to cut at the joints if you return the severed limbs to the frame back through the fold.
- I do not know situations in which it would make sense to cut in the middle of the eye.
- Cut a person at the “widest” or vice versa, the “narrowest” places of the figure if you want him to appear more massive. Cut into tapering or flared ones to make it look sleeker.
- Decide what exactly you want to say in a particular frame. The subject determines the composition and framing.
- Avoid situations where “neither two nor one and a half.” If the body part is in the frame, make sure that it takes up more than three pixels. One pad of one finger looks like unnecessary garbage and a mistake. Three fingers, two phalanxes — like your cunning plan. In the same way, cutting off the very edge of one leg will look careless, but if the model touches the frame borders in several places, this is already your insidious author’s plan.