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Breaking the “Rules” of Photography for Stunning Shots

In the post “Composition Tips for Portable Event Photographers,” we outlined the most widely followed composition tips to serve as a quick reference for portable event photographers. We also noted that some of the greatest photographs come from ignoring generally accepted guidelines. In this post, we’ll reveal how to break the “rules” of composition in photography and still get great pictures viewers will want to purchase.

As a portable event photographer, your goal is to capture moments families and friends will want to remember forever, all while turning a profit. Trips to the zoo, a day at the theme park, wedding receptions, and more are perfect opportunities to help create memories with portable solutions and instant photographs. And while photographs that follow the “rules” can wow your viewers, sometimes shockingly different photographs that break the rules can have the same reaction.

So how do you break the “rules” of photography?

breaking the rule of thirdsIgnore the Rule of Thirds: The Rule of Thirds is a photography pillar. It’s ideal in many situations, but sometimes placing your subject dead center in an image can be more powerful and confronting, particularly in photographs where the subject is looking directly down the barrel. Additionally, if you’re in a symmetrical setting, like a country road or when photographing reflections, snapping your photograph with your subject perfectly centered can elicit a feeling of completeness and relaxation in viewers.

Eliminate Active Space for Moving Subjects: The “rule” of active space tells you to leave more empty space in front of a moving object than behind it. This gives the viewer a sense of where the subject is moving, creating anticipation. Eliminating active space can have the opposite effect: It can add tension, convey a sense of speed, or give the viewer a sense of where the subject has been, rather than where it is headed. Eliminating active space could be ideal for a photograph of a rambunctious, running child or a grandparent walking out of the frame.

Take an Unfocused Photo: Portable event photography solutions like FujiFilm’s bizziBOX offer sharp and detailed images sure to please your customers, but leaving your main subject or even the whole picture out of focus can be just as stunning. Try a few shots of a child chasing after bubbles in a backyard, picking flowers in an open field, or dodging raindrops in an early morning mist.

Experiment with Framing: Traditional portraits follow the Rule of Thirds and position the subject with more look space, but framing the shot tighter or allowing the subjects to look out of frame can produce memorable photographs, as well. Experiment with your framing to discover the different stories you can tell with your photographs.

Before breaking the “rules” of photography, ask yourself, “What is the rule I’m breaking, and why do I want to break it?” Advances in photography allow portable event photographers to take thousands of photos without worrying about film process costs or running out of shots, but a few rule breaking shots can turn off potential customers. It may be wise to ask your customers if it’s OK for you to take different, artistic photographs before simply diving in.

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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