6 Composition Tips to Instantly Improve Your Photography

Having a photo that has great composition is something that isn’t always easy.

If you have a great subject but the composition of the photo is off, then the photo will look like it’s lacking something.

The best pictures that you see have good composition to them. They are well thought out and are pleasing to the eye in every aspect. This is why composition tips are so helpful.

You can have the settings of your camera perfect, but if the composition of the photo you’re taking is off then the photo isn’t going to be good.

Composition is very important. You don’t want to have to struggle significantly during the editing process to try and save a photo because of a lack of good composition.

Taking a picture with good composition makes the rest of your process easier. You’ll have less things to worry about in the end.

Composition Tips to Improve Photos

Composition tips

It never hurts to have more tips that you can follow for your photography.

Composition is something that a lot of people sometimes struggle with.

I’ll admit, composition isn’t something that’s necessarily easy so it’s understandable when people struggle with it.

Composition relates to how every element in the photo works together to form the image you see in front of you. You want everything to be cohesive.

If you have a photo where all the elements not only go together, but flow together well in the photo, then you have a nicely composed photo.

You can very easily have a photo that has elements that work well together, but if they aren’t set up right or a few things are off then you won’t have a very good photo.

The tips you’ll see below will help make sure that you always have a nicely composed photo.

See Into the Future

By this I mean you need to have a vision of what you want your photo to look like. If you have an idea about this, setting up your photo will be much easier.

Trying to set the photo up while you’re taking it is only going to cause problems. Certain things might not look the way you were hoping they would.

Tried to make a cool setup with the lions but it didn’t come out nearly as awesome as I would have liked. This wasn’t a planned photo at all.

However, if you are able to have an idea about what you want your photo to look like then the photo taking process will be much easier for you and save you some time.

Having a plan going into your photos is going to help during the editing process as well. You’ll know exactly what you want to change or alter to make your vision come to fruition.

I know all the photos you see in this article are outside, but you’re not always going to be outside. Composition matters just as much when you’re inside.

Composition is probably easier to manage when you’re inside because more than likely you’ll be able to manipulate the composition to your liking.

An easy way to help you even more with the composition of your photos when you’re inside is to have a nice backdrop. With a solid backdrop you’re not going to have to change anything about it which means that you have one less thing to worry about when you’re setting up your shot.

This lion photo was setup much better and the plan I had in my head was executed much better. It is setup way better than the one above.

Don’t Complicate Things

Although this photo has a lot of colors, the subject matter is clear. This photo could have easily been made too difficult if the focal length was different or the focus was elsewhere.

Sometimes where people go wrong is by making things way too complicated. They might try to add too much to a photo to make it come out a certain way.

The best thing to do, sometimes, is to keep things simple.

A great photo is going to help the viewer feel some type of emotion. If you have too much going on in your photo, getting your point across and creating an emotion can be difficult.

However, if you have things simplified, then conveying an emotion can be easier. Some of the most powerful photos will have one main subject with very little around it.

That’s because the emotions the photo conveys is very strong.

You may not always have the option of keeping things very simple in your photo, but if you can make things minimal so that your viewers aren’t going crazy looking all over your photo then you’ll be good.

Making things complicated can make editing your photos much more difficult as well. You don’t want to make your job any harder when it comes to the editing process.

Have a Sense of Balance

Not all of your photos have to be balanced equally on both sides. However, you need to make the decision beforehand.

If you want your photo to be balanced, then you’re going to be able to adjust accordingly. The same goes for if you want your photo to be imbalanced.

You want your photo to look like it flows well with all of the elements that are in it. If you’re struggling to create any type of balance or imbalance then your photos are going to look way off.

For example, if you’re taking a landscape, you probably want that to have an equal balance on both sides. If you’re taking a photo of a person and a building and you want to show the distinction between the two then you’re going to want an imbalance.

Balance depends on the message you’re trying to convey with your photo. This is going to be similar to the emotions that you’re trying to convey as well.

If you know you have a sold composition, you want to make sure that things are level. You don’t want to ruin your nicely composed photo because you weren’t able to hold your camera flat.

This is where a tripod will come in handy.

This is why I use the Manfrotto 755CX3 tripod whenever I can. The ZOMEi M5 Tripod is another one that you can use if you want a tripod that is versatile and can be used in a number of different ways.

Look for Patterns

As humans, we love to see things that just flow naturally. This is why we love patterns so much.

So, if you can spot a pattern occurring in your photo, try to include it. It’s going to look intentional which is going to cause your photo to look that much better.

I think the reason we love to see patterns in images is because there is much less chaos. Some photos might have so much chaos in them already and you can’t escape that.

However, if you’re able to capture a pattern, the eyes of the viewer will be less restless. They aren’t going to be bouncing all over trying to consume all the elements in the photo.

They will notice a pattern and have less panic.

Separate Your Subjects

Subjects are too close together
Subjects are spaced nicely compared to the photo above

You don’t want your subjects to be too close together. If you do this, they can get muddied together and you may actually lose them in the photo.

Separating your subjects will allow you to actually see the different subjects that are in your photo.

You’re going to have your main subject, make sure that it’s separated from the other subjects. If you have them too close, the main subject gets lost and the photo can end up becoming confusing.

Having that separation gives you a clear distinction between subjects and elements in your photo. This distinction leads to much less confusion in the end.

Draw the Viewer’s Eyes

Your eyes are going to be instantly drawn to the subject with this photo. There is other subject matter in this photo but you know exactly where you should be looking.

If you know how to draw the viewer’s eyes in your photo then you’ll be on your way to having a really good composition.

This means that all of the elements in your photo are essentially pointing the eyes to a specific area.

Doing this isn’t always easy but it can be done.

A good example of this is a small forest. Placing a subject between two clear rows of trees is going to draw the eyes to that subject.

Your eyes aren’t going to wander anywhere else. They will be immediately drawn to the subject.

This will also help with the editing process because you’ll be able to put even more emphasis on your subject without having to actually take away from the other elements of the photo.

Something else drawing the viewer’s eyes can do is give you a different perspective in your photo. Perspective in photography can completely change the way you see a certain subject matter.

Add different perspectives to your photos by using different lenses as well. My lenses of choice are the Canon RF 50mm and the Canon 16-35mm.

Have the Right Composition

Having the right composition in your photos isn’t always an easy task. Sometimes the photo sets itself up but that is on rare occasion.

You need to keep these tips in mind so that more often than not you’ll have a well composed photo.

If you can cause the viewer to feel something with your photo then you know you’re doing something right.

All of the above tips can be related to each other in some way. If you’re using one tip, then you need to make sure another tip is followed. It’s all about creating a balance with your camera and the image you want to see.

Doing this will help your photos come out the way you want them to almost every single time.