How to > Take great pictures: the basics



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Follow the “Rule of Thirds”

Use leading lines

Shoot the “Golden Hour”

Fill the frame

Make portrait subjects look
toward the frame

Arrange group shots

Arrange portraits around
an object

Shoot at child-level

Don’t use flash at night

Shoot now, delete later


Follow the “Rule of Thirds”

Here’s an example of a traditional portrait picture. It’s not bad, but it’s not very dynamic, either. The subject is at the center of the image, and gets lost in the background. Nothing grabs your eye.



Try incorporating the “rule of thirds” into the composition of your photos. Take your image and separate it into nine equal parts by drawing horizontal and vertical lines—think Tic Tac Toe. Place your subject at one of the intersecting points, like this picture does, to make for a more compelling image by creating more energy in the frame and a creative tension between the edge of the image and the subject. Studies have shown that people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points of the grid rather than the center of the shot. The “rule of thirds” works with this natural way of viewing an image rather than working against it.