15 Composition Tips for Photographers

Cameras, lenses, and other equipment are the tools of the trade. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to the skill of the photographer. A basic and very important skill that a photographer must have is composition:

Mark Silber, along with his guest photographers, discuss a few quick and powerful tips on composition:

Get the camera off of your face

Spend some time looking around without having the camera pressed to your face; a camera can limit what you see. Once you find somewhere you can shoot, build a scene in your mind, bring the elements together, visualize how you want the things to look, and then finally take the photo.

Don’t complicate everything

Sometimes simple things can make a beautiful photograph. Look for a meaning and story in your composition instead of only focusing on complex technicalities.

Get close to your subjects

By filling the frame with your subject, the viewer can feel as if they are a part of the scene.

Also before taking the photo, visually scan the entire frame to see if you have included something that should not be there, or if you have missed something that you should have included.

You have to be fully involved with your subject and give them 100 percent of your concentration. Be aware of the things that are happening around you and your subject and also on how the subject is reacting to the surroundings.

Get behind your subject

Sometimes what the subject is seeing can be more important than what you’re seeing as a photographer. It can help if you can sometimes take a step behind them to tell a story.

getting behind a subject

Capture a decisive moment

Photograph the exact moment when something is happening. Things happen in a split second, so anticipation is the key to determine where you place yourself and aim your camera to capture an image.

Fantasize about making the best picture

Spend more time in visualizing what you can add to a picture to make it more amazing. Sometimes it may mean that you will need to simplify the frame, and at other times you may need to add a twist to the photo to make it stand out.

fantasize about the best picture

Use leading lines

Leading lines are one of the most basic and powerful tools in photography composition. Use elements such as shorelines, branches, walking trails, fences to drive the viewer’s eyes through the frame.

Frame your subject

Shoot through tree branches, windows, doorways, and small openings to create a frame within a frame.

Look for symmetry

Human beings have a thing for symmetry. Visual balance makes symmetrical photos more appealing, and we just love it. Keep an eye out for compositions that are symmetrical with elements in your frame distributed equally.

symmetrical portrait

For portraits, always focus on the eyes

Whenever shooting portraits, make sure that the eyes are in sharp focus. Sharp eyes give life to a portrait.

Look for interesting geometry and patterns

While composing your shots, keep an eye out for shapes and repeating patterns. Our eyes are drawn to well arranged geometric shapes. You can draw the viewer’s eyes into the image by using lines of geometrical shapes to create a visually engaging image.

How do you like these tips from the pros? Go ahead and try to implement them in your next photo shoot.

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