Creating Order Out of Photographic Chaos

A pile of photographs

Here’s a typical scenario: you’re putting together a page and you’ve been given a bunch of people photos you have to organize. They’re a mismatched bunch (see above).

Some of them are posed studio portraits. Some are candid shots. People are posing in every direction, and the photos are all different sizes. What can you do to bring order to this chaos?

Step one: Find the tightest crop

To bring order to this photographic chaos, we need to start with the most challenging photo, and bring the others in line with it.

make your brand look consistent by using the same cropping with photos

Find the photo with the tightest cropping. In this group, it’s the one in the upper right corner.

Step two: They must be giants

Imagine you are looking through the windows of a house, and you see this:

creating a brand that looks consistent with similar photo sizes

Eeek! Some of the people in that house are giants! We need to reduce the photos so that they’re the same size. We want the people in the “windows” (the photo frames) to look like they exist in the same reality.

Step three: Crop accordingly

Go through the photos and crop them in the same proportions as the photo you’re using as a model. Line up the photo frame so that it hits the heads in the same spot. In this case, it’s tight along the sides of the faces, and cuts off the image a little at the tops of the heads, and just below the chins.

creating a brand that looks consistent using similar photo cropping

Step four: Reduce to fit and check alignment

Now take your cropped images and size them so that they match your model photo. Check to see that eyes and chins line up.

creating a brand that looks consistent by lining up your photos


It’s still a mixed bag of photos, but the overall effect is much more unified. Nice work!

[FREE EBOOK] Learn more about using images to promote your business

Get How to Create 5 High-Impact Brand Images for free when you sign up for The Image Lab interest list.

The Image Lab is a course that shows you a simple, step-by-step method to create the best:

  • Website images
  • Facebook images
  • Instagram images
  • Pinterest images

Putting your name on the interest list means that when The Image Lab opens back up, you’ll find out first (and get it for a big discount).

I specialize in teaching non-artists, so don’t worry if you have no design training.

In the ebook, I walk you through everything step by step. You may even discover that image creation is fun. (Can you believe it?)

You’ll get instructions for creating five types of images with a PicMonkey account: 5 High-Impact Brand Images ebook cover

The colored overlay style: this is a simple technique that helps you stay “on-brand” and makes it easy to add text to your image.

The unifying filter style: this style shows you how, in just a few clicks, you can make a group of images look visually related and cohesive.

The collage style: display many images in one compact group and tell a big story in a quick glance with this versatile, fun style.

The texture and frame styles: (two in one!). Add interesting textures and frames to make your image pop.

The watermark style: After you’ve created your high-impact image, add a watermarked logo or website URL so you direct people back to your website.

Drop your email address into the form below. I’ll send the ebook direct to your inbox.

By the way, PicMonkey is my favourite image editing tool (that’s my affiliate link).

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson coaches people to build profitable online businesses. She's an online educator, author, and keynote speaker. Read reviews of the tools used to run this site and business. Have you taken the free Focus Finder quiz yet?

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9 thoughts on “Creating Order Out of Photographic Chaos”

  1. Would it seem too staged and contrived to have the photos of the people looking right into the camera in the middle, and then have those looking to the right, on the left of the middle, and those looking to the left, on the right of the middle shot?

  2. Well, I see you’ve been raiding the designer’s secret vault again 🙂 That is a great tip. Thank you for sharing. It’s sure a lot more fun to arrange digital photos than printed photos (like for a collage).

  3. Thanks for this! I have a client with a series of author pictures that are all over the map, just like your example. Now I know how they can be fixed. Next is to get the client to agree — by forwarding them a note along with a link to this post. Thanks again!

    • I’m glad you’ve all found this useful. I can’t tell you how many times I am presented with this situation as a designer, so I thought I’d share what to do about it if it happens to you 🙂

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