Week 1 Taking Better Pictures – Portrait Composition
I have so many gorgeous friends out there who would like to know more about photography and how to take better pics that I thought we could share some of our pics once a week this month in a little ‘smirkshop’ – something to make you smile and work at the same time.
I thought a great place to start was on portrait composition and in the next three weeks I would like to give tips on light, emotion and shooting movement.
Many newbies think that it is best to place your subject in the middle of the photo. I also thought that in the early days but I was quickly rapped over the knuckles by my photography teacher who instilled the 2/3rds rule of art in all of us.
Photographic composition and proportions came directly from the art world at photographys birth in the 1800’s. A nicely balanced image has the same proportions as in art today. It’s called the 2/3rds rule. If you can imagine laying a grid over your images like I have above and breaking it up into 3rds horizontally and vertically. A great place to position your portraiture subject is where the lines meet.
This allows for ‘negative space’ in the image and for an interesting composition.
This principle works for horizontal and vertical images and can also be applied to landscape, fashion, still life composition.
When can we break this rule? All rules are made to be broken this is only a guideline and there are times when this isn’t the best option.
All photos copyright Carla Coulson Chasing a Dream
As in the above photo I have placed the subject smack bang in the middle of the image because I loved him framed by the beautiful architecture. Placing someone in the middle of the shot also works when you have a totally symmetrical image, someone in the middle of a street, row of trees etc. The photo can be stronger placing them in the middle on purpose.