Why do photographers crop my head off in photos?

Occasionally, a client will ask me why the top part of their head is missing from their photos!  It's a good question! There are 5 main reasons why pro photographers crop heads in photos:

1.  Lets be honest, the people viewing your photos know that your head is there!  They don't assume that your head ends at the top of the image.

2.  Check out the images below in the top fashion magazines... Notice how all the models have their heads cropped to some degree?  It's the same with both professional headshots and fashion & beauty portraits.  Cropping off the hair or the top of the forehead creates a stronger image and connects you to the viewer more.

why crop top of head

3.  It allows the viewer to see more of your gorgeous body and outfit without breaking the rules of photography that together with your photographer, create an interesting and stunning image.

4.  Yes photographers have rules!  Okay, so we like to deliberately break them sometimes too, but this one usually sticks.  The more professional your photographer is, the more they will understand that it's all about connection.  Remember when I say to you, "give me that little twinkle in your eye.."  That's because connection is the most important thing in photography.

5.  So what is the rule with heads?  Actually, it's nothing to do with your head and everything to do with your eyes!

why crop top of head

A classic Rule of Thirds crop is above left.  The Fashion Crop is on the right.  The viewers eyes are always drawn to the top third of an image first, which is why placing the subjects eyes in that portion will make the image stronger.  I also added a slight tilt to the fashion & beauty crop to create a little extra interest with some asymmetry.

I hope that answers your question!  Next time your taking a selfie for your Facebook page, trying moving your camera to ensure your eyes are in the top third of your image and don't worry too much about the top of your head!

In the words of top headshot photographer, Peter Hurley "They know it's there!"  ;-)

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