Photography composition can be what makes or breaks a great photo. Some say there are rules to follow when it comes to photography composition, but I hate rules so I will call them guidelines or tips. I have 5 quick and easy photography composition tips to help make your photos better right now.
Photography Composition Tip 1: Rule of Thirds
Okay I know I said I hate rules, but some genius (I don’t know who), came up with the title “Rule of Thirds”. Again, I say it is a guideline that can create interest in your photo. So here is what the guideline of thirds means:
The photo frame is overlaid with a tic tac toe board. The subject of interest in your photo should be placed at one of the intersections of the lines. Here is another example without the grid.
Again this is just a guideline, and one I don’t often follow. I like my subjects front and center, but there are a bunch of photography pros that swear it is a “rule” that must be followed. I will let you decide.
Photography Composition Tip 2: Use Lines
I love using lines in photos as it creates a kind of map that the eye will follow. Using lines to take your viewers eye where you want them, creates great visual interest in your photos. Here are a few examples of using lines to create visual interest.
Photography Composition Tip 3: Check Your Background
There is nothing worse than taking a bunch of photos on location, getting home, downloading, and realizing there are items in the background of your photo that completely ruined the photo. Of course, you could use photoshop or other editing software to edit or crop stuff out, but don’t you just want to have some great photos right out of your camera? It’s a good idea to take a test photo, then look at it in playback mode. Zoom into the photo so you can see everything to make sure there isn’t an awkward branch or unwanted guests in your photos. Here are some examples, of photos with unwanted items.
Awkward branch growing out of head:
This photo was easily corrected by zooming in a tad and changing perspective.
Photography Composition Tip 4: Use depth to add interest
Using depth to add interest to your photography can go along way to making average photos great photos. You can create depth by choosing where you focus. For example, instead of focusing on the person as the subject, you focus on what they are doing. As you can see in the photo below, I choose to focus on the easter eggs that had been dyed, and not on my daughter. This essentially tells a story with the photo.
In the next photo, I am focusing on the hands cutting lavender, making the lavender in the forefront blurry. This gives the photo depth and visual interest.
Photography Composition Tip 5: Know your focus
This tip will add great impact to your photos when you use it. Knowing your focus means that as soon as you look at the photo, you know exactly what you are supposed to look at.
The first example in the image below uses a plain no distraction background to make you focus on the face in the photo. This was accomplished by getting lower than my daughter and zooming in on her face. It is clear that she is the focus of the photo.
The next example uses the opposite strategy to make the viewer focus on the object of the photo. If you completely fill the frame with the object, it is obvious the focus of the photo.
I hope these tips help you get awesome photos. Trying one or more of these photography composition tips will help you get interesting photos of everyday occurrences. I encourage you to practice with all of them. Here is an article about taking outdoor portraits like a pro that can be paired with these photography composition tips.
If you need more help with your photography, you can check out my beginner’s course that will take you from Auto to Manual shooting in no time, with easy to follow steps, cheat sheets, and videos.