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5 tips to nail compositions in portrait photography

Looking to compose photos like a pro? These 5 tips will get you started!

Mon 15 Apr 2024
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Nailing your photographs is so much easier when you have compositions in mind! These loose rules can make your images look more professional, appealing to the eye, and help your subject stand out when doing portrait photography! Let’s talk about a few things to keep in mind to help you feel confident at composition!

Horizon Line

Keeping your horizon line in mind while shooting is one of the most important rules of composition. Having the horizon line go through certain body parts such as the neck is unappealing to the eye and can seem like you’re chopping your subject’s head off! Try composing so the horizon line is above your subjects head, or lower like their chest.

Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is such a buzz phrase, but let’s unpack what it means! When looking at the back of your camera, or when you crop an image in lightroom, you’ll see nine boxes. Generally, it’s great to have your subject on one of the intersecting lines. Check out this article with Fire and Ice, a company that nails this rule often!

Leading Lines

Leading lines is when a subject, trail, architecture, or anything else in your photo points to the main subject! It gives a way to make the viewer’s eye say “look here!” when analyzing a photo! Using leading lines is a great way to draw attention to your subject.


Foreground Framing

Using what you have around you to frame your subject is a great way to draw attention to them! Try shooting through foliage, your hair, or using prisms to make a frame with the foreground! Compositionally, it blends well with your environment and frames your subject in an eye-catching way!

Getting Creative

At the end of the day, there are no hard rules when it comes to composition! Getting creative is honestly such a great way to create eye catching work that stands out to potential clients! Try crazy angles, tilting your horizon line, or ditching the rule of thirds! Photography is an art, and it’s okay not to follow rules always! Sometimes our best photos come from when we hop outside of the box!


What is the rule of thirds?

The rule of thirds is when you place your subject on an intersecting line to draw the eye to the subject. It’s naturally where humans like to look!

How do I find the horizon line?

Your horizon line is easy to find on a beach, where the ocean meets the sky. In other locations, it could be where the base of the mountain meets the forest line.

How do I make my photos more visually pleasing?

Focusing on composition and rules of composition is a great place to start when wanting to take more eye-catching photos!