Posted on 1 Comment

How to Compose a Photo

But first…

Fact: Did you know that the most popular subjects for photography during the 1800s weren’t even alive.

It’s true. The most popular photographic subjects of the 1800s were deceased men, women, and children.

This was a way to memorialize the physical appearance of the family member.

Thank goodness this trend is in the past!


What is composition anyway?

Photographic composition is the way you arrange the subjects or elements in a scene.

When you take a photo, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I eliminate distractions in the scene?
  • What does it mean to lead the viewer’s eyes into and around the image?
  • How can I draw attention to the main subject?

how to compose a photo

Focal Point

The #1 composition tip is to include a focal point.

A focal point is the main point of interest in your photo. It gives your image meaning. A focal point also gives the viewer a place for their eyes to rest.

Without a focal point, your photo is not likely to hold your viewer’s attention.

The next time you take a photo, ask yourself, “What is the main point of interest in my scene?”

compose a photo of how to arrange a photo

The tiny tree in the image above provides a focal point. Without it, the photo would be a boring landscape and would not hold your attention for more than a few seconds. Believe it or not, the tree actually provides a place for your eye to rest once you’ve looked around at the entire image.

Once you have identified a point of interest, you can then build around it to draw attention to your focal point. Using “The Rule of Thirds” will help you to strike a balance between the open areas and the strongest element in your image.

Look for my next post, How to Compose a Photo – Tip #2, which explains The Rule of Thirds.

In addition, check out my article, “The Exposure Triangle.”

How to

1 thought on “How to Compose a Photo

Leave a Reply