How to Make Photo Composition Work

What you click matters a lot in photography. The more unique your subjects, the more value you photograph is bound to accumulate. However, choosing the right subject is not the only important thing in the art of photography. How you shoot the subject also plays a major role. If you don;t known how to shoot a subject the right way, then even the most extraordinary subjects can end up looking worthless.


This is where something called ‘Composition’ comes in. ‘Composition’ is basically a set of guidelines to help photographers capture the best of their subjects. Though, depending on them too much can ruin the spontaneity involved n photography, these rules are still essential with regard to shooting great pictures.


Here are some simple composition rules to help you bring out the best in your photos.




When you are shooting a particular subject, there might be some confusion as to how much of the subject you need to cover. Leaving too much space can make the subject look smaller than it is and zooming into the subject can eliminate other important details. This is where, framing comes in handy. Bu framing your subject properly, you can control the surrounding elements. You can decide what stays and what needs to go. The right amount of framing can capture the subject and other necessary elements,without having to include too much or miss out on anything.


El Raval Quarter. El Cangrejo Bar.

© Tino Soriano

Aspect Ratio


Use the right aspect ration when you shoot. For instance, a portrait, generally, tends to look better in a vertical aspect ration, as it emphasizes the person’s face, while a horizontal aspect ration is great for landscape photography.




Layering involves using the subject, foreground, and background together, in order to tell a story with your images. Layering can also help make your image more dynamic by adding certain elements. These elements can arouse curiosity and make the viewer explore the entire frame. Layering also helps in depicting parallel movement between several subjects, which can highlight the drama or humor in an image.


©Tino Soriano

©Tino Soriano


Rule of Thirds


The Rule of Thirds is a composition guideline that helps photographers form a mental version of their image. By drawing up an imagined frame consisting of 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines, photographers can adjust the point of focus along the lines or at the intersection where lines meet.


Amateur photographers always tend to put the subject in the middle. Do not be afraid to position your subject in different ways. Middle positioning, at all times, can make your images look boring and generic. Use the Rule of Thirds to position subjects at different angles to create a more visually appealing image. Keep experimenting with the positioning, and you’ll eventually get to know how things work.


Symmetry and Patterns


Symmetry involves clicking images in such a manner that, when the image is divided into 2 parts, either vertically or horizontally, both sides will look identical. Symmetry brings out the unity and harmony in an image.

Pattern compositions on the other hand involve repeating visual elements in an image. This adds a certain rhythm and structure to the image.


©Tino Soriano

©Tino Soriano


Leading Lines


If your images don’t have a proper point of focus, they can confuse the viewer as to what the subject is. However, using leading lines in your image can help you lead the viewer to the center of focus or the subject. For instance, lines that converge create a sense of depth and perception, while curved lines make the viewer explore the entire frame before reaching the subject.


Frame Within a Frame


Frame within the frame composition involves choosing a subject and then finding a frame like element within the image to support it. This type of composition adds depth to the image and brings the viewer’s attention to the subject.


©Tino Soriano

©Tino Soriano

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