2 Simple Photo Composition Tips for Primo Portraits

Have you ever looked at a simple, well-done portrait and been instantly wowed by how visually compelling it is? Better yet, have you ever tried to create a portrait with that same wow factor?

Composition is an important part of making any photo interesting. This is especially true with portraits, where you want the subject to have the biggest impact. Let’s explore two photo composition tips that you can use to improve your portraits on the quick.

1. Get it right while shooting

It’s important to think about how you’re framing your subject while you’re shooting. It may be tempting to put your subject in the middle of the image, but you’ll get a better portrait if you experiment with putting them off to the side a bit in some of your shots.

This is where the rule of thirds comes in. Essentially, the rule of thirds involves breaking your image into a grid with nine parts. When viewing an image, people’s eyes tend to gravitate toward the four places where the lines intersect. This means that your photo will be more interesting if you place your subject within any of the intersecting lines.

This is one example of applying the rule of thirds to a portrait:

Once you get the hang of this rule, have fun breaking it. This composition quest is all about experimenting and nailing down your own style.

2. Crop it in the editing stage

After the shoot, you may sit down to review your work and find that your images are still lacking that coveted wow factor. Fortunately, you can alter the composition of your images by cropping them.

It’s super easy to crop your photos in PicMonkey. Open your photo in the Editor and find the Basic Edits tab. Click Crop.

The crop tool features a handy grid that shows you the rule of thirds while you work. You can see exactly where your subject falls on the grid, so you can decide to adhere to the rule or break it.

Once you’re done, click Apply.

If you crop too much, use the Undo arrow in the top toolbar. It will conveniently reverse your last action.

Mastering composition will make your portraits interesting and engaging. If your photo is cropped in a distracting way, it can take away some of the impact that your image would have otherwise. Keep composition in mind as you frame your subject while shooting, and also during the editing phase.

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Chamira is an art nerd and photographer. She loves helping fellow creative minds become more successful by empowering them with knowledge and inspiration. Check out more of her work at chamirastudios.com and her podcast at prophotographerjourney.com.