Photography Tips for DM

I wanted to give a few quick tips on how to shoot for DM, so that I didn’t have to send it back each time for every person


Cropping in the lens

It’s best to crop in the lens, since you will get a better quality shot.

Leave some space

Take care not to crop too closely. There should be good amount of space below the bottom item (foot,wheel), make sure not to cut anything off and not to leave too little space below or above. at the same time we don’t need a load of empty space with the subject in the corner. Artistically that is great, but we are showing a product, so the product should be the focus of the photo.

Crop tightly

That seems like it’s the opposite of what I said but it really isn’t. Crop tightly to show off the product while leaving a few inches above and below ( or more on the sides if it’s a horizontal shot). Make sure the whole subject gets in the frame, without fingers cut off, tops of the heads, etc.



Cropping out distractions ( done in PP)

Look at the photo and try to figure out what is distracting in it. Then see if you can crop it out. Sometimes it’s a blob of dark color in the bokeh, or a branch, or a part of the tree. See tutorial below that have some nice tips.–photo-15607





Look at the angle.

Does it look good? Don’t shoot crazy angles. Straight on and profile while your model can turn diagonally if needed. You have to make sure you’re shooting parallel to the lines in the photo. Sometimes just moving around can create a much better photo.

Examples: This was shot without me moving an inch. First Andrew shot the shot below. What we see is a fence. I told him to always follow the lines in the picture and shooting along walls and instructed to position himself exactly paralel to the fence and the second shot is the result. Same location- drastically different shot.

IMG_4075-2 IMG_4078

If there is a building behind, stand parallel to it, so that the roof line looked straight. Otherwise you will have an illusion of a crooked horizon. A person leaning on the wall. Come from the side so you’re shooting down the sidewall with the wall going away from you and stand where the lines look parallel. Lines are crazy important in photography. This kind of angle can’t be fixed in PP. It will just look crooked when it’s not.

Examples: Before doesn’t follow the natural lines. The 2nd shot is much more pleasant to the eye from the angle standpoint.



Drop the F down!

ALWAYS ALWAYS shoot from the height of the subject. This isn’t creative art, it’s fashion/product photography. I can always see when the photo was shot from the height of the shooter and it’s unprofessional looking. There are times where you CAN shoot from the top, but it has to be purposeful and usually the subject shoot look up at you (though I wouldn’t mess with it)

P1450758 P1450759

Always straighten

If you shot with you camera slightly crooked, just use the LR straighter tool to get the horizon perfect. This won’t work if you were not shooting parallel to the lines of the photo.


See some tips here



Shoot wide open ( aperture as low as it will go). (unless you have issues with focus, then shoot at 2.0 or so) for maximum blur ( to blur out the background and keep the subject as the main focus)

Use back button focusing with active kids and set it to AI SERVO

Focus and recompose or select focus points when shooting for best focus.



If you have to cut something off ( a limb or whatever), cut in strategical positions. Above the knee, at forehead above brows, etc… ( see illustration in asana). Make things look clean and symmetrical. 

For fashion photography I would encourage to crop very tightly to the point of cropping above the knees in camera to show off the garment best.


Remove dead space. That means if it doesn’t have to be there, crop it out. Roads, ground, sky, etc.

Keep background as far away from the subject as possible for best blur.

Don’t have things growing out of your subjects heads like below


Here is how cropping in PP can help a shot.

  1. Messy background distracting from the subject, crooked


  1. Straightened


  1. cropped out the bit of the road curve on the left.


  1. Cropped out the bit of the road curve on the right ( it had a darkish color where it met the grass and was distracting.


You would think these are tiny changes no one would notice, but the before and final after make a big difference even in such a subtle photo.

Finally, and this is specifically for DM. Our width is limited to 560px, that is why we cannot keep any empty unessential spaces. Crop it so that the subject was the biggest it can be without losing the look of the photo. Remember you’re showing off the outfit not pretty pictures. While the top picture is nicer looking (with some further cropping), the bottom focuses on the outfit.