Skip to main content

Critique: Cropping

Lesson 31 from: Family Photography: Photojournalism in the Home

Kirsten Lewis

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

31. Critique: Cropping

Lesson Info

Critique: Cropping

So, I love this, but we've cut off the bottom, and we have all this space on top. We don't need the space on top. We need this on the bottom. Because I love this chunk right here. But, unfortunately, we can't keep it because it looks accidental that we've cut all this off. So, Jen and I, when we're looking at it, we're like, you just have to be like super close. And you've gotta do it right there. And the alternative being super wide, where we can't see the context of where-- It looks like the cat's on the stool. I'd like to see what they're sitting on. Yeah, what's the baby on? Like, maybe the baby's on the top of a table. We don't know. And you know, if that doesn't contribute to the story, then you go close. But, if it does, maybe there's some interest in showing that. What Jen and I talked about is we have this really good opportunity with the separation of the light. So I think that color in this situation works. Like I like the color but we feel so distants here, it's like this...

weird like medium. We're not super close, we're not super far. So it's not graphic like it's not so far that we're making a graphic-- An emphasis on it being about the graphics. But we're having a hard time really reading the moment 'cause I feel like we're kind of too far away. So I thought that maybe this would really be one of this 8200 would come in handy. Because it's gonna compress and bring this moment much closer to us and separate them from the background. And Jenna used the 85. The 85 would work. Yep, or the 135. Yeah, the 135. We have all the elements, I just think it's the wrong lens and I like that it's squared up. So this is just a lens choice thing. And lens choice should also be consideration in your story telling, about what lens is going to tell the story best. And if you are, like potentially this photographer was trying to go for a design heavy ... Yeah. Photo and there's just too many intersecting elements that isn't working. It's not quite obvious, like you said. Right. If you want it to be design-- more about design and the elements, then I would be shooting, like we talked about, squared up but then tilted and just make it about this ... I can't show it all 'cause ... But I would make it like just the kids on the white snow. I would try and get as high as I can and then hope that, like get close enough so that he's not-- They're heads aren't intersecting with the background there. The grass, yeah. This is a big moment. What's happening here? He's reaching for the bubbles. We are too far away. So you either you need to move your booty. Yeah. And get closer with the 35 or you need to use your long lens and compress it and fill the frame with only stuff that matters. This is what's most interesting. This is what's most important. And we don't need the trees contacts. We know that they're outside, we know that he's on a swing so we don't need anymore than that. What I love is the beautiful light on his face and the bubbles. Like this is a magic moment and just too far away. Oh, I love the baby. Yeah. She's obsessed with the baby. And the light is great. I think color's way to go. We just think that in this case, the layer of arm is not necessary. And that you should just get really close and low and kinda shoot up. We don't even need this right here. All we need is mom's face and the baby's face. So you're gonna be under his arm, basically, cuddling up there with dad. I was at the end of the counter, so it's stretched out so I have to either I guess use a different lens to be able to get that close or just top. Yeah, or you can run in the side and you lean over. Touch him a little bit, it's okay. They're used to you in the house by then. 'Cause this is such a great moment for us and it's well lit and it's a great expression on him. We just think there's more in there that needs to be in there. Yeah. And this is like example of a blobby layers. Like that arms started to-- Yeah, it's blobby. Yeah, there's no real story to the shape of the foreground. Yeah.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


Kirsten is an incredible teacher. When deciding whether to purchase this class, you should first take a look at her first CL class--Modern Storytelling. It's the best way to dive into this material and is a good starting point. If you're interested in this genre, buy BOTH classes. Both are so packed with helpful information about the family photojournalism genre. The first class was a solid, well rounded introduction to family photojournalism, and this class is more in-depth, specific, direct, intense, full of composition technique, and really just takes it to a new level. She doesn't waste time in this class repeating all of what she taught the first time. Kirsten is very candid and personable which I find really helps us viewers learn from her authentically and enjoy the class. I feel like I know her from watching so much of her class and I know that helped me to connect with the class and understand the material better. I feel like I finally have the tools to really tackle this genre and a better idea of what I'll face. I HIGHLY recommend this class--BUT only if you have an interest in this type of photography. THIS ISN'T A CLASS ABOUT MAKING PRETTY PICTURES, IT'S A CLASS ABOUT CAPTURING REAL MOMENTS IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY AND STORYTELLING THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY.

Image by Marcy

I'm adding my review in hopes of giving some perspective to the few negative comments. I've been a fan since Kirsten's first course, and have been hankering for more ever since. I wish the viewers who decided to jump ship before watching the whole course had reconsidered, and hung in there. Here's why. Kirsten describes this class as more of an "advanced" class. To my way of thinking, it's an excellent adjunct to the first. I took notice of a good bit of the questions in the chat room on CL while the class was live. It was clear to me that there seemed to be plenty of viewers who had not watched the first based on their questions. To get the most benefit, you really need both courses. There is overlapping content, of course. But there is specific and pointed information that was really only generalized in the first course. Invaluable is the segments that were taped live at a family's home, where Kirsten shot a DiTL. That filming was shown and dissected in this new course. VERY informative. To put it succinctly, yes, there is some repetitive info, but necessary to bring it all together, and yes, new content. YES, the front end is a bit heavy on the personal. If I remember correctly, that viewer choose NOT to stick with the program, which is fine. BUT, had they stuck with it, that person might have had a change of heart. You see, I think you have to take all the information in it's entirety. Because, the openness, the vulnerability, the honestly to me is *endearing*, for one thing. But also, she definitely USES that personal information in the context of her teaching. Listening to her personal experiences (KLB's) gives US an opportunity to look deep within OURSELVES and CONFRONT our own past. OUR PAST is what shapes our future, good, bad or indifferent. We can allow our past to propel us to success, or sink us in despair. Either way, our past helps form our POV which is very important for our photography (as well as how we approach or avoid life in general, and affects us in business too...) I appreciate her honesty. I appreciate how she shares her struggles, both past and present. Both personally and professionally. For me, the whole package is more important that the individual "pieces". Who knows about that viewer.... maybe this genre is just not their thing. Maybe that person wants or needs to shield themselves from their own personal issues. IDK. Also, it's just a fact of life that *not everyone will LIKE .... ___ (you, me, her, etc). Whooo knows. That's their right, their choice. And it's true that this genre is not for everyone. But if you love it, then get the course. If you missed the first one, then get them both. You'll be happy you did, and you'll have saved yourself time and frustration trying to figure this out on your own.

Meredith Zinner Photography

She is outstanding. I love her candor, honestly, openness and extraordinary eye for talent. I love how true she is to herself and how fiercely yet seamlessly she works to show the truth and people's real stories. I love how she is a real person and shares true stories about herself that keeps her human. I'm so tired of this culture being so damn 'precious' about a baby's bottom fer crimmeny's sake... she's extraordinary, refreshing and unlike anything else youve shown. She's got an incredible eye, sense of humour, talent and so much to share with her very thankful audience. Thank you so very much! Thank you Kirsten!

Student Work