When I first started out as a photographer (too long ago to mention here) I took great inspiration from other professionals, and although trying not to copy, I used elements from each one I studied to help carve out my own style and approach.

Eric Kim is a photographer and educator I would have followed if he had been around when I started! He has an Open Source Photography philosophy about photography, which basically means he wants to share his knowledge with the photographic community.

Eric has put together an extensive list of Top Photography Composition Tips which we think you will find useful if you are starting out as a photographer. Not every tip will be for you but it will give you plenty of food for thought as to how you can implement it into your own work.

1. Tilt your camera

Top Photography Composition Tips

2. Leading lines

Photography Leading Line

3. Start with a black background

black background

4. Add white space around the head of your subject

50 Photography Composition tips

5. Use a flash to add contrast

use flash to add contrast

6. Diagonal lines from the edges of your frame

diagonal lines

7. Subtract from the frame

mymemory photography tips

8. Minus- exposure compensation (-1, -2)

exposure compensation

9. Eye contact/ no eye contact

photography eye contact

10. Crouch down for ‘superman effect’

photography superman effect

11. Shoot looking down

shoot looking down

12. Focus on the edges of your frame

focus on the edge of your frame

13. Clean background

clean background

14. Use an LCD screen for accurate framing

use and lcd for framing

15. See the world in monochrome (high contrast b/w preview)

see the world in monochrome

16. Make at least 10 photos of each scene (study contact sheets)

contact sheets

17. Look for curves

find the curves

18. Put yourself in the photo (self-portrait)

put yourself in the picture

19. Make triangle compositions

make triangle composition

20. To create depth, focus on the background

create depth on background

21. Focus on one detail (hands)

focus on the detail

22. Wide-angle lenses are more dynamic (28mm, 35mm)

wide angle lens

23. Photos without emotion are boring

photos without emotion are boring

24. The simpler your composition, the better

simple composition

25. Draw red lines on your photos after you shoot them

draw red lines

26. Photograph legs in a ‘V’ shape

photograph in a v shape

27. Look for colourful things/scenes

colourful images

28. Photograph textures

photograph textures

29. Strip away the superfluous

strip away the superfluous

30. Photography is poetry without words

photography is poetry

31. Center-eye composition

centre eye photography

32. Practice composition on trees

practice composition on trees

33. Look for the frame in the frame

shoot a frame within a frame

34. Shoot in ‘P’ (program) mode to focus on composition

Use P for Programme to focus on composition

35. Your eyes look at the brightest part of the photo

eyes look at the brightest part of the photo

36. Look down and up

look down and up

37. Practice composition on family members

practice composition on family members

38. Photograph hand-gestures

photograph hands

39. Monochrome is easier for composition

monochrome is easy to compose

40. Look at your photos as small thumbnails

look at your images as thumbnails

41. Follow your gut for composition (not brain)

compose your photo with your gut not your brain

42. Emotion is more important than composition

emotion is more important than composition

43. Shoot how you feel

shoot how you feel

44. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

To see more of Eric Kim’s work you can visit his site using the link below.

Eric Kim Photography

Christian Keenan
When not blogging for MyMemory Christian Keenan is a professional photographer.

MyMemory Top Five UK Street Photographers

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