Photography is powered by Vocal creators. You support C.C. Curtis by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Photography is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Photography Composition Tips to Help You Take Better Photos

Looking to shoot professional photos as an aspiring photographer? Follow these helpful photography composition tips to make every shot your best one.

In photography, you can be as creative as you want. There aren't any limits or regulations to stop you from expressing yourself and how you view the world through photos. Be the photographer who loves taking pictures of strangers. Be the photographer who can never get enough shots of nature because of how vast it is. When it comes to photography, there is always something out there that a photographer wants to capture with a camera. Those things out there can be taken from so many angles and even lighting to get multiple photos from different perspectives.

It's true that there aren't any rules in photography, but there are tips and ways to achieve the best-looking photos ever. Almost all photographers have used these tips to successfully capture their most amazing shots. They're tips any beginning photographer should take, because I guarantee all of your shots will look fantastic. If you're looking to take breathtaking photos, follow these photography composition tips to succeed in it.

Focus

Knowing whether or not to have your model in focus is super important when it comes to the best photography composition tips. If you're looking to take a portrait photo, it's important to keep the figure fully focused on the frame. This way, all of the attention is on the figure and not its surroundings. The background will actually be blurred out when the figure is focused.

For taking any nature shots like landscape, there can only be a section of it in focus, while the rest is blurred out. If there's a beautiful flower or two in a meadow, you can properly put those two flowers in focus and blur out the rest. In other words, whatever subject you want the most attention on, put it in focus.

Framing

Similar to the idea of focusing, framing also guides where you want the most attention in a photo. Among the best photography composition tips you can learn, framing is all about aligning the model anywhere you believe is fit to gain the most attention. From centering the model to bringing attention to the bottom right corner, or upper left corner, it's all based on how you perceive the photo.

A great example on framing is getting a great shot of a skyscraper. You view the skyscraper and bring it right in the center of your camera's frame. The skyscraper will occupy the majority of the middle of the photo while its surroundings crowd the sides of the photo. This form of framing is getting most of the attention on the skyscraper than on anything else in the photo.

Lighting

Lighting is very, very, very important in any shot you take. Any shot! Among the photography composition tips, it gives the mood in a photo like dark and mysterious or bright and cheerful. From using simple natural lighting to artificial lighting like flashes or already installed lights, there's a mood that comes with how bright or dark the light is when taking photos.

When using natural lighting outside, it can also depend on the weather, such as if it's cloudy or there isn't a single cloud in the sky. When you're taking photos on a cloudy day, it can give off a gloomy feel. But if you're taking photos on the sunniest day of the year, all of your photos will have that warm feeling, because of how bright they came out to be. Lighting can also be used to cast shadows, create highlighting, and much more if you're creative enough! This advice is always a great way to take the best street photography portraits.

Color

Yes, colors in a photo can truly make a photo. But how can colors possibly change the way a photo looks? If you aren't aware by now, there are certain colors that compliment each other so well, and when in a photo, it can make the photo appear more striking. It doesn't even matter what objects or models are in the photo. If there aren't any colors, most of the time, they won't appear as impactful.

Sure, black and white photos are stunning, but compared to a photo filled with colors, there's no comparison. However, if you do create a black and white photo with a few hints of bright colors like yellows, reds, blues, etc. it can definitely change the way the photo looks. Haven't you seen an image of a meadow of colorful flowers and be in awe? It's the colors that are grabbing your attention!

Leading Lines

This is an interesting one among the photography composition tips you can try out. Leading lines is known to draw the viewer's eyes into the scene. Sometimes, you can't even catch the photo doing this to you, because of how mesmerizing and natural it is. It's also really cool if you manage to get it right, but it's so easy to pull off. 

Easy objects to create leading line photos are railroad tracks, roads, and other settings or objects with continuous lines moving straight ahead. Simply line your camera on top of the lines and focus on the center. This will put the lines in the center of the frame and still get a shot of where the lines are leading to. However, this tip doesn't work for lines that curve, zig-zag, or any other type of lines that aren't vertical lines.

Negative Space

Leaving negative space in your shots doesn't make all of your shots boring and tasteless. In fact, many of these types of photos are stunning in so many ways, and it certainly depends on what your model is and where you're taking it. Having negative space is like having a simple backdrop. You can use the sky as negative space, the grass, a brick wall, anywhere that has a consistent texture and patterns. With this, your model will have full attention.

A great way to use negative space is placing an object, person, or even animal on the grass, hover over them and snap the shot! You can place your model in the center of your frame, or even in the corner, and as long as the grassy background is consistent, you've managed to use negative space. It's an awesome tip to make all of your simple shots amazing ones.

Centered Composition and Symmetry

Just how beautiful are shots over a lake, of bridges, or even in tunnels? Centered composition and symmetry is certainly one of the greatest photography composition tips you can use to get amazing shots. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're basically centering a setting or an object where one side almost perfectly reflects the other.

The photo above can certainly show it to you better than how I'm explaining it. Anyways, using symmetry in an image almost always makes the photo into a stunning one, because of how the object looks the same on the opposite side of the photo. An example is snapping a shot of a lake and the setting behind it. When focusing properly, the lake can actually reflect the setting behind it, giving off that mirror affect. See what I'm saying? Trust me, it looks gorgeous in photos.

Patterns and Texture

A photo with tons of patterns and textures certainly makes the photo. This aspect among the photography composition tips is great to test it out. For texture, if you snap a shot up close to an animal's fur, a specific type of cloth material, or anything else with exaggerated texture, it gives the photo actual texture. Those looking at the photo would be able to feel the texture in their minds, soft or rugged.

As for patterns, it gives a decorative appearance to the photo. Patterns such as a stone walkway, a leopard's spotted fur, a meadow of flowers, a bee's hive, they draw attention to the patterns. Humans are naturally attracted to patterns, so this is a considerable tip to use in your photos.

Frame Within Frame

Ever heard of frame within a frame? Snapping a photo of a frame within a frame almost always comes out superb and mesmerizing to the eyes. It's also fairly easy to pull off. What you'd do is capture a form of frame, like an arch, a window, a tunnel, etc. and have that frame fill the sides of the photo while the the scene viewed through this frame is centered in the middle.

A great way to get a frame within a frame shot is getting an image where the camera is looking outside a window. While the window fills the frame of the photo, the view of the outside is focused in the center. Frame within a frame is truly one of the best photography composition tips for capturing stunning photos!

Point of View

Lastly, among the best photography composition tips you can use as an aspiring photographer, is the point of view angles. When it come to point of view, there are endless possibilities. From zooming in real close to having a bird's eye view, there are so many ways to capture an object in a frame.

Since most photos are taken from eye view, try taking photos from different heights! Get real high or real low to create a way more interesting way to capture an image. An example of this is getting real low, almost stomach to the ground, and snapping a photo of an object this way. Or get to the highest floor of a building and snapping a shot of the view this way certainly changes the perspective.

Now Reading
Photography Composition Tips to Help You Take Better Photos
Read Next
Shooting Your First Set of Portraits