Place your subject off-center

Rather than placing your main subject in the middle of the screen, place it to one side and ensure something interesting is in the background that fills the remainder of the image.

This can be especially effective if the background has the same theme. For example, if photographing a child opening a Christmas present, frame them to one side and have the Christmas Tree with unopened presents filling the rest of the image.

There are a few guidelines that can help you place your subject in the frame.

The Rule of Thirds

One of the most popular rules in photography is the “Rule of Thirds”. It is a simple rule that can add dynamism to your photos. Simply, divide the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. When composing your shot, place important elements either along these lines, or where the lines intersect – NOT at the centre of the frame.

For example, place a subject’s eyes where the top line is, or place your subject on the place in the image where two of these lines intersect.

It’s a very simple rule to follow and will result in a nicely balanced, easy on the eye picture. It also helps get rid of the ‘tiny subject and large amount of space’ tendency because you need to position items relative to the edges of the frame.

Having said this, the Rule of Thirds is also one of the rules you’ll want to break often! This is fine – the Rule of Thirds is more of a guideline and sometimes you will find a better image when you break the rule.