How To Crop a Square Photo

Even in the digital age, photographers never really know how the image will turn out until they first see the picture in traditional or digital form.  The square photo looks almost great.  Perhaps, in your final portrait of Grandma, Uncle Larry managed to sneak into the side of the frame and do an obscene gesture right before the shutter snapped.  Cropping a square photo, in this case, means that you will keep in Grandma and cut out Uncle Larry.

You could physically cut Uncle Larry out of Grandma's portrait, but you never know when this photo could be used to blackmail Uncle Larry in the future.  So, your goal in cropping this particular square photo is to get rid of Uncle Larry without physically destroying the photograph.

  • Creative Framing - Unless you have a photographic darkroom, it's going to incredibly difficult to crop a square photo in the traditional manner.  But if Uncle Larry only takes up a small part of the picture along the edge, then a selection of a thick frame can block him from view.  If Grandma is in the direct center of the photo, then you have it easy.

    But even if Grandma is more to one side of the photo, you can still work with it. Get a sheet of black paper or black felt and cut a hole into it that will show Grandma but cover up Uncle Larry.  Then place the ensemble inside of a frame that is much larger than the original picture.

  • Scan It - It's much easier to crop a square photo if you transfer the image to a computer.  If you do not have a digital scanner, see if you can borrow a friend's.  If that doesn’t work, contact your local office supply store.  They usually are able to transfer any image digitally and then crop the photo.

    But if you want to do crop the square photo yourself, you need a scanner and an image program.  Many programs are free or come with your computer platform. (Examples of computer platforms would be Windows or Linux).  The best way to learn how both the scanner and the program work are to play around with them.

  • Playing Around with Them - Once the photo has been translated into pixels, then the fun begins.  You can manipulate the photo in order to crop it.  In programs like Paint, click on a square or circle from your toolbar and use that to do your cropping.  Place the curser on the image and a large equal armed cross will appear.  Press and hold the right side of your mouse in order to activate the cropping field.  Move the mouse slowly in order to create the image you want the world to see.

Be sure to save your new cropped image and give it a title you can easily remember.


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