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Composition Tips for Portable Event Photographers

Amateur and new photographers are often plagued by an inability to find great composition. Even experienced photographers sometimes struggle to enhance the impact of a photograph. And while there are no set composition rules in photography, there are generally accepted guidelines most photographers follow.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of a few of the most widely followed composition tips to serve as a quick reference for portable event photographers.

rule of thirds diagram

The Rule of Thirds: One of the most basic photography concepts (and one of the first composition tips taught in photography classes) is the Rule of Thirds. When establishing your shot, imagine your scene is divided into nine equal segments by two vertical and two horizontal lines. Position your main subject (the scene’s most important element) along the lines where points intersect, see diagram below. For example, if you’re photographing a child holding a small animal at the zoo, position the child’s body along a vertical line with his eyes at the vertical line and top horizontal line’s intersection.

fill your frame exampleFill Your Frame: It can be appropriate to take shots that put a person in context with his environment, especially for portable event photographers. But you don’t want potential buyers to squint when trying to make out distant subjects in your photographs. Filling your frame means getting up close and personal with your subject. It shows facial features and other intricacies that would be lost if the photograph was taken from a distance. The easiest way to fill your frame is to physically move closer to the subject. You can also use your camera’s zoom or crop your shots in post-production.

Keep Your Frame Simple: While it’s important for portable event photographers to add context to their photographs, unrelated people or objects can take away from the main subject. In photography, simplicity is king. If there are objects in your field of view that are not relevant to the subject or are not needed to tell the story, get rid of them.

Eliminate Photo Bombers: Have you ever heard of a photo bomb? If not, you’ve probably seen one. A photo bomb is when other people pop into your shot unnoticed, ruining your photograph and allowing the moment you were trying to capture pass. People aren’t the only photo bombers, either. Tree branches, power lines, telephone poles and other objects are the original photo bombers. They creep into your shot and steal attention from your subject. Pay close attention to photo bombers in the photos you’re taking. Is there an intruding tree branch in your shot? Take a moment to adjust your location to remove it.

Viewpoint: Viewpoint has a massive impact on the composition of your photograph. It can greatly affect the message your shot conveys. Again, while it’s important to add context to your photographs, varying your viewpoint will likely add a certain “wow” factor. Rather than shooting from the eye level only, experiment with different viewpoints. Shoot up on your subject to make her look powerful, even domineering. Shoot down on your subject to make him look less imposing and child-like.

leading lines exampleLeading Lines: Looking at a photo, our eyes are naturally drawn along lines. By taking a few moments to study your scene’s lines, you can affect the way people view your image. When photographing people, use leading lines to draw particular attention to your subject.

Remember, these composition tips are not set rules. Some of the greatest photographs come from ignoring generally accepted guidelines. Advances in photography allow portable event photographers to take thousands of photos without worrying about film process costs or running out of shots. See what you can create by experimenting with your composition!

To learn more about portable event photography solutions, like the bizziBOX, contact Fujifilm today.

(Photos supplied in this blog copyright Warewyk Williams)

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