Experiment with Creative Cropping
Just because a photographer hands you a photograph or you pay good money for a stock photo doesn’t mean you have to use it exactly as is. Many photos benefit from judicious or creative cropping. Even a fabulous photograph might need cropping to make the advertisement or poster more exciting, create a focal point, or emphasize a concept.
Here we have a nice, predictable happy-couple photograph (above). It’s nice, but we’ve seen its clone at least a hundred times. Since the ad focuses on the emotional experience of a new home, we cropped in to focus on the couple yet retain the moving boxes and takeout (and really lost nothing in the process). The ad copy reads right down into the couple, reinforcing the message that this is about a human experience.The busy stuff on the left of the photo helps balance the ad copy in the upper-right.
For this recruiting poster, we liked the rowing image, a symbol of teamwork and striving for excellence. But we’ve all seen the “teamwork” type of poster—we needed something unique. So we severely cropped the image and added an unexpected element, the badly off-course wake. We posterized the photograph for a more dramatic effect and added a headline in youth-culture jargon to further emphasize the point.