Need a photography composition 101?

This article should just what you need!

Edited by Nataly Bogorad

January 15, 2020

10 Creative Photography Composition Techniques for Beginners

Photography is more than a unique blend of light and a quality digital camera. It requires special skills and elements to create a flawless photo of the object or person in front of the lens.

It is important to note, however, that a photo is only as good as the person behind the lens. This is why you see some photographs are very flattering and others are just ‘there.’ The difference between these two categories is the person who captured the scene.

Therefore, photographers (and of course, anyone who loves photographing amazing photos) are charged with the task of discovering how best to employ a set of unique guidelines dubbed photography composition.

That said, let’s see a simple definition of composition and how it relates to the world of photography.

Disclaimer: We use affiliate links to the products mentioned on this page. When you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, we receive commissions. If you want to support our portal, you can use the links. Otherwise, you can find the recommended products using a search engine.

What is Composition?

Photo composition is one of the many industry terms that refer to a set of rules that guide the way elements are arranged within a frame. Simply put, composition in photography is the manner in which special elements within a frame are arranged to create an image.

The quality of the resultant image is dependent on how well these elements are arranged.

Without further ado, let’s take a quick look at some tips for capturing amazing photos.

Photo Composition Ideas for Taking Flawless Images

Rule of Thirds

Let’s go back to the basics. The rule of thirds suggests that images should be captured along one or more of the split lines on your screen or at an intersect. Okay, here is what that means. Most cameras are equipped with this feature that splits the screen into 9 rectangles – 2 vertical lines and 2 horizontal lines. This rule suggests that positioning the image along any of the lines or at an intersect increases the appeal of the photograph.

Fill the Frame

Capturing images in a busy environment can be a piece of work. There are just too many interferences, causing the focus to shift from the major image. A good rule for maximizing this situation is to fill up the frame while snapping or shooting. You can zoom the camera out or crop the photo after snapping. Whatever rocks your boat. However, be sure to capture from the waist up for a better result. This technique works best for portraits.

Symmetrical Scenes Are Best Centered

You may have learned from the first scene that it is best to capture the image away from the center. Well, that is true. Nonetheless, symmetrical scenes are best captured in the center. Square frames and reflecting scenes are also exempted from the rule of thirds.

Boost the Visual Weight

As we learned in the first tip, the rule of thirds suggests images should be captured away from the center. This makes the photo appear rather empty due to the emptiness in every other part of the photograph, except the end you placed the image, of course. For a better result, experts advise you to balance the elements by including an object with little or no importance at the middle of the scene or the towards the other end. This boosts the visual weight of the main image, thus increasing its appeal.

Learn to Use Frames

It may not seem like it but frames play a huge role in the appearance of an image. If done properly, the framing within a frame can enhance the image behind the lens and even hide some unpleasant sights. Fortunately, there are different types of frames. You can employ natural frames such as tree trunk and tree branches or artificial frames like arches or bridges. Even more? You can use human frames such as arms clasped around the face.

Increase the Depth for a 3D Feel

Typically, photographs are taken in 2D. This is way less appealing compared to 3Ds. To give your photo a 3D feel, experts advise you increase the depth of the scene by adding some foreground interest. In plain terms, it is better to take a photo from higher grounds. This gives it a sense of depth and makes it more appealing to the eyes.

Try Leading Lines

Including some leading lines in your photograph helps to draw the attention of your viewers to the main story or lead them on a ride through the scene. There are no hard and fast rules about the lines. You could try a straight line or zigzag line or curvy lines even. Whatever fits the scene!

Patterns Help Too!

Yes, they do! Including a pattern in your photograph gives an exhilarating feel to the photo. Humans are especially drawn to patterns. Having one included in your photo helps to draw their attention to the pattern which ultimately leads to the main image. The pattern automatically increases the interest of your viewers as well as the appeal of the image as it unravels. Even better? You do not have to force it. Yes, pattern types do not matter. It is as simple as standing miles away from the object of concern so you can capture it along with a pattern, most likely, on the floor. Examples of patterns include man-made patterns (like a series of stonework on the floor) and natural patterns such as the petals on a flower.

Choose the Perfect Viewpoint

Most people usually pay little or no attention to the angle from which their photos are taken. This is totally wrong. The angle from which you capture an image has a tremendous effect on the resulting image. For a captivating photo, we advise you to go the extra mile by paying close attention to your viewpoint while shooting. Instead of snapping from the usual eye level, try something more interesting like snapping from below ground level or at a top-level higher than that of the object. You can even spice things further by photographing from the back or side of the image

Respect the Rule of Odd

Although it may not apply to every case, the rule of odds definitely works for some scenes. This unique composition rule suggests that it is more captivating to the eyes to have odd numbers of objects in a photograph. This rule is built on the premise that the eyes find it pretty challenging to choose the object to focus on in a photo with even amount of objects. Having an odd number, on the other hand, allows the human eye to focus on a specific object at a time. It may not apply to every situation, but it sure applies to most situations.

The world of photography is such a magical one, with lots of beauty to unravel. Like every other journey of life, stepping into this incredibly amazing world is lined with both joy and fear. Fear of the unknown mostly and fear of how little you know and how much you have to learn. However, the world of photography is such that big-time photographers are compelled to learn something new from time to time. Well, you do not necessarily need a tutorial. A few tips may be all you need.

As the world of art, photography takes exceptional skills and creativity to master as well as exceptional photographic equipment. If you need a camera or any equipment, we recommend you look for it on Amazon, they offer great options:

Thanks to the Movavi Photo Editor, you now have all it takes to create captivating images. With this photo editor coupled with the tips above, you are sure to break out of the shambles of ordinary, unappealing photographs.


Movavi Photo Editor

The easiest way to turn any snapshot into an eye candy

  • Improve quality and retouch blemishes
  • Add effects and filters
  • Crop, straighten, and flip pictures
  • Change image backgrounds and remove objects