7 Tips to Make Photography Composition Easy
If you missed part 1 of this series be sure to hop over to: Creating Memorable Childhood Photos part 1
With my background in print and commercial modeling, I believe that composition and posing have been a ‘center’ of my craft. So, What is Composition you ask? Well, in photography, composition applies to the “placement” of your subject in a specific type of art work. For Mom-togs, I would simply call it “framing”. Framing is just that – looking through your viewfinder, placing your subject where you envision them to be, and then letting the environment create your story.
Framing needs to have just enough detail. Too much detail or ‘clutter’ can be too distracting and can confuse your observer. Detailed clutter can ruin the balance of a picture, while too little, can leave the picture bland or incomplete. How can I explain this? Good framing is merely placing your subject in a way that draws the surroundings inward. It will then slowly evolve and create your unique allegory.
To do this, find an area or backdrop eg: a park, playroom, a particular room inside the house, the backyard, the beach or somewhere close to water – locations are endless. When you have found your particular area/backdrop, scan for elements around them that can help you narrate the activity or the feeling you want to invoke. Do you want certain emotions, actions, individuality, contemplation, etc? Below are several ways I incorporate composition and posing in my work.
1. Use the Rule of Thirds
Simply said, using the “Rule of thirds” means don’t place your subject smack dab in the center of your picture! Push the envelope and keep them off your center; play with having your focal point on the left or right of your frame.
A great article that goes more in depth with the Rule of Thirds.
2. Shoot at a different angle
Get down to their level and shoot at their eye level. Kids will warm up to you and will often respond by making funny faces or engaging you in their activity. Also, don’t be afraid of getting down and dirty. This means shoot high above them or get on your back and shoot upward while they are climbing and such. Tilt your camera diagonally, it makes for interesting and interactive photographs!
3. Take close-ups, and wide angle shots. Spot focus on your child’s face. Do this by looking through your viewfinder, depressing the shutter half way with your subject in focus. The auto focus points and red dots that light up will lock on the subject before you press completely to take the shot. If you want details of the subject and your background, then it would be best to learn and shoot manually, or shoot on Landscape mode.
The beauty of full framed DSLRS is you get the entire photograph without losing details. You can crop to your heart’s desire. Cropping can focus only on your subject and remove distracting elements that can ruin your image. Using the Rule of Thirds, stray away from the middle. Off centered portraits create interesting scenes.
5. Find different patterns, textures, and colors
Place your subjects under doors, beside or leaning on windows. Look for diagonals, tunnels, and circular or cubic architectures. Colorful backgrounds, brick or wooden walls can give more drama or 3D effects. I love discovering paths and shooting in busy or empty streets. The lines or curves of a windy path can draw your eyes to a subject at any angle.
6. Be careful of distractions
Don’t get stuck finding tree branches, poles, or things sticking out of your kid’s head or limbs. These are unhappy accidents and can cause more headaches post processing!
7. Practice does not make perfect. Only Perfect practice does!
Hi, I am Janet Brock of Purely Captivating Photography, based in San Diego, CA! I am truly excited about this honorable invitation of being a Guest blogger for Sixth Bloom, by Erin Rachel Photography.
I will confess quickly, that I am a workaholic Mom with two adolescent children. I am an ER/ICU Respiratory Therapist by trade, but a very passionate wedding and portrait photographer by heart! I not only juggle my business, work, baseball, karate and volunteer for Operation Love and The Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep foundation; but I am also a proud U.S. Marine Corps Spouse, who also helps care for my amazing Mom who just suffered a stroke 4 months ago. Needless to say, I simply adore my family and my big fluffy Persian cat, Sebastian. There is certainly not enough hours in a day for this Mommy! Although I struggle to find balance in everything in my life, I take it in stride and believe in God to guide me; give me courage and strength to accomplish all that I need to do. I embrace all things that life has to offer and hope that I can somehow make a difference, this includes my photography! As a professional photographer and Mommy, it is understood that my camera is constantly attached to my hip! With these aspects in my repertoire, it is my goal to document the lives of my kids and my family as much as I can. What better way to explore the world than to capture my own!