At AWAI’s live photography workshops, professional photographer Rich Wagner and I are always telling the attendees to get closer to whatever subject they’re photographing. “Fill the frame with your subject,” we say and what we mean is: If your viewfinder is a frame, you should fill it with more of your subject and with less empty space or distracting background. Often, this tip improves an attendee’s photographs.  But sometimes, if they’re not careful, it ruins them because they get too close to their subject.  Here’s what I mean… A few weeks ago, I sent you a tip on photographing people and I cautioned against cropping a photo at a person’s joints.  Crops on joints are distracting. And just like cropping on joints is distracting, so is clipping off just a small piece of something.  And that sometimes happens when you get in TOO close to your subject. Take, for instance, these two photographs from this month’s challenge… Badly Cropped PhotoBadly Cropped Photo Both of these photos are basically well composed, except for one factor — the back end of the man’s hat and the tip of the kitten’s ear have both been clipped off. And the truth is, this happens all the time (for instance, I saw a bunch of cropped photos in last month’s photo challenge; clipped bike tires ruined some otherwise impressive shots representing the theme). My point is: Getting in close to your subject is a good idea.  Most often, it’ll improve your photograph tremendously.  But when you do, be sure to look edge to edge, corner to corner, and all around your frame. Make sure you keep in everything you want and everything that is important to your subject and eliminate everything that is not. And when you do clip, make sure it’s intentional.  A cropped photo where a kitten’s ear has purposely been chopped off is far less distracting than an unintentional clip… Successful Cropped Photo   ENTER TO WIN! Log on to our website at: www.thephotographerslife.com and register to win. Submit your photos by 8:00 a.m. EST, Monday, July 30th. If you’re a first-time user, you’ll need to register first on the “register” link on the right side bar. Once you have a username and password, click “Enter to Win” to upload your photo. Only one photo per applicant will be considered. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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