We spend a lot of time talking about how to get technically perfect photo, but there is more to a great image than technicalities. A technically flawless photo doesn’t matter as much to a client if the photo isn’t INTERESTING, so let’s chat a little today about how you can enhance your photos with great composition!
If you look around your environment, you’ll see that lines are everywhere. It may be a fence line, the line of your countertop, the lines formed by the railing on a bridge, anything. In photography, leading lines are lines that naturally appear in your setting that you use to lead and draw the viewer’s eyes to your subject. While an untrained eye may not notice the lines at all, utilizing lines in this way creates the sense of intended focus to your image. The viewers eye will naturally follow the lines in your images to find the subject, creating a powerful impact and giving that image a bit of extra “oomph.” In this image, the lines of the bookshelves draw your eye right to the subjects in the library.
Framing is a term used to describe the method of surrounding your subjects with the elements or setting around them. Observe the natural elements around them, like trees or structures, and position your subjects so that they are framed by them. Utilizing existing architecture, like in the image above is a simple and effective way to frame your subjects!
Rule of Thirds
Most basic snapshots place the subject directly in the center of the frame. By moving your subject to one side of the photo, you begin to create interest and add a unique look to your images. The rule of thirds divides an image into a 3×3 grid, and proposes that a photo increases in creative value by placing the subject on one of the intersections of that grid, as in this example.
There is something artistically powerful about leaving a large, blank space in an image. Utilizing negative space in a photograph is a perfect example of the phrase “less is more,” and allows the viewers eye to be drawn immediately to your subject, while having a dynamic creative impact.
Anyone can stand in a room, grab their camera or their smartphone, and take an average snapshot of that they see in front of them. This is the way most people approach photographs. What really changed my photography game was thinking creatively about the perspective I shoot with. Approach the way you photograph your subjects with a fresh perspective! Don’t be afraid to think out of the box and shoot from different angles. This could have easily been a simple snapshot of my son playing with his cars, but by laying on the floor and shooting with my camera on the ground, I was able to produce an image that provided a unique, personal perspective of one of his favorite daily activities.
Break the Rules
Finally, don’t get locked into these methods as hard and fast rules. Just like we talked about at the beginning of this article, technicalities aren’t everything, so don’t feel like these are the ONLY ways to add interest to your photos. You can take a great image that doesn’t really follow any of these suggestions! These are just tried and true methods that photographers have used to add interested to their images, but it’s not a formula! The goal is simply to be intentional to create interest in your images, instead of shooting haphazardly.
If you found these tips helpful, be sure to check out more of Cole’s tips on creating interest to transform your photos right here! Our challenge for you this week is to put some of these suggestions into action! And then comment here or head over to our Facebook Group, Coles Classmates, to share your results!