Photography Composition


What makes a photo a good photo? Sure, there's lighting, color balance, white balance and all the other things your camera manual tells you about. But what makes a photographer an artist is understanding the rules of composition. So here are 8 composition rules that can transform your photography.



Promotional photo for Royal Carriages


Follow the Rule of Thirds

This is probably the most well-known rule in photography composition. Basically the rule says that if you divide the photo into thirds, the focal point of your photo should land on one of the dividing lines.



Promotional photo for Atlas Handmade Beads


Pay Attention to the Background

Look at what's going on behind your subject. The background should either support the concept of the photo or be simple enough to go unnoticed. Don't let the background highjack the attention of the viewer.



Performance photo for Sarah Gris Gris


Shoot From Different Angles

Remember to explore different perspectives when shooting. Don't just hold the camera at eye level. Crouch down, climb on top of things, and move to the not-so-obvious spots to shoot from. This makes for a much more interesting photo.



Promotional photography for Morris Jeff Community School


Add Movement

Nothing spices up a photo like some action. Motion creates tension and gives the images more of a story. And it doesn't have to be extreme movement. A slight hand gesture can be very effective.



Promotional photo for Justine Marie


Watch the Edges

Make sure you're not cutting off anything essential to the photo. Sometimes cutting off a person's limbs or the top of a building can ruin a composition. So watch the edges of the frame and make sure you have everything essential inside.



Performance photo for Tulane Department of Theatre and Dance


Use Depth of Field

If you really want to tell your audience what to focus on, literally focus on it. Allow the depth of a photo to force the attention on what's closest to the eye with a blurred background.



Promotional photo for The Bar Association of The Fifth Federal Circuit


Use Diagonals

Find diagonal lines or patterns to create a sense of energy and to give the composition some depth. Diagonal lines crossing other lines can make for a very dynamic photo.



Event photo for Frenchmen Street Productions


Fill the Frame

Whether you're filling the frame with your subject or with negative space around the subject, be intentional with how you use the space.


The best thing about all of these rules is that any of them can be broken under the right circumstances. It's important to know what rules to apply and when. This comes with experience. 2nd Story has been photographing for businesses and organizations in the New Orleans area for years and we'd love to shoot for you! Contact us for a free consultation and let's take your photos to the next level!

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