Portland, Maine Wedding Photographer :: Eight ways to compose your photos

A while back, I asked for some input from the followers on my page about what I should blog about, and one of the responses was photo composition tips! Now, I’m not an expert, but these are eight (I originally started with four, but kept adding more!)  ways that I really like to use when it comes to composing photos that have people in them! 🙂

Something to keep in mind, though, when you’re taking photos is to figure out what you want your photo to look like. Once you’ve visualized the end product in your head, make it happen!

#1. Use lines to draw the eye to your focal point.

In this image, the lines are the edges of the dirt road. They lead your eye right to the main part of the photo – the gorgeous bride and groom! Using lines can really add some awesome effects to the photo, as well as drawing your eye right where you want it!

#2. Get up close and personal.

Filling your frame (or most of it) with your subject can really evoke some emotion, as well as provide a different aspect to what you’re shooting! It can be super fun, especially if you’re trying to focus on specific details! 🙂

#3. Use negative space.

Negative space refers to an image that has mostly “space” around your subject. Basically, the way I see it is that your subject takes up a small portion of the image. I am still working on this aspect of my photography. I ADORE the look it gives a photo, but I often forget to do it! My second shooter, Rebecca, does an amazing job with negative space photos. The more I shoot with her, I think the better I get at it!

#4. Put your subject right in the center!

This is one of my all time favorite photos! I put the subjects right in the center, and then shot at an angle to get that flare from the sun being reflected off of the windows behind them. I love to shoot at an angle! I guess that could be a bonus tip. Shooting at an angle can really provide a super appealing photo. If that makes sense.

#5. Shoot from above.

Shooting from above is super flattering to just about anyone, and I find that it helps me really bring out the eyes in a photo 🙂

#6. Shoot through something.

This could otherwise be known as framing your subject with something else in the foreground. In the example above, I shot through a bookshelf to get this photo. Shooting through something is awesome, and can get super fun and creative! You can frame with trees, or tall grass – just about anything you can think of!

#7. Shoot off-center.

I definitely tend to favor shooting off-center. I don’t know why exactly, but I really like to do it. The way you’d do this is just by placing your subjects to the left or right of the frame, or in the corners. I guess this would fall under the “rule of thirds” but I don’t exactly pay attention to the “rules” 😀

#8. Have fun with it!

I really like getting photos of details, and just taking photos that don’t necessarily include 100% of your subjects. I think that these are the ones where I get to use funky angles, or focus on something very specific.

Well, those are eight ways that I use regularly to shoot photos! If you haven’t tried these before, give them a shot and let me know how it goes! 🙂


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You can usually find me adding books to my never-ending “to read” list; challenging myself to do things like not shop for a year; sneaking crispy m+ms from my secret hiding spot so I don’t have to share them with my daughter; and melting over seeing my children smiling at each other.

Oh and I guess I should mention - I’m a seasoned Portland wedding photographer who provides not only kick-ass wedding photos, but also a meaningful and laid-back experience from the time you book to the delivery of your final images. 

I share all things personal, business, tips, and life as a mom and business owner here on the blog!

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i'm a mama of two, a razzleberry peace tea hoarder, and a photographer

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