Cropping photos that aren’t primarily about the people in them can be awkward. You might end up with weirdly sliced off hands, feet, heads…and because our eye naturally seeks faces and expects to see complete limbs, a poorly cropped photo can easily look jarring.
On loft.com, you’ll see photos that, upon mouse hover, show the clothing item in greater detail. Loft has done a fantastic job of cropping their photos to showcase the details of the clothing. (And three cheers for the racial diversity amongst their models!) Note that in the body portraits for tops, the heads are kept to the upper quarter of the frame.
Here’s how they showed details on pants (hover-over view on right). The front view of the model shows us the length and cut of the pants, and the close-up side view shows up the pockets and fabric detailing. The positioning of the arms add some movement and interest while keeping them from blocking our view of the pants.
Here’s how they handled a lacy shirt. Again, the head of the model takes up the upper quarter of the frame, allowing the shirt to take center stage in the initial view (left). In the hover-over view (right), the details are shown with a dramatic pose by the model that highlights the shirt’s shoulder features. The model’s gaze draws additional attention to the area.
And here’s how they showed details of a dress. In the close-up shot, the arms held akimbo help fill out the frame with energy; they effectively create triangles. Lopping off the forehead of the model immediately above the eyebrow (like with the shirt model above) is better than slicing in half any other facial feature…
They get close to doing so here, where they’ve grazed off this model’s top lip. But even so, the mouth is not cut in half. The result is kind of edgy (pun definitely intended).