Common Portrait Photography Composition Mistakes

Creating a successful portrait photograph takes knowledge of lighting, posing, proper camera settings, and a lot more. A good composition brings it all together, though with a person as the main focus, you have to make some special considerations. This helpful video tutorial discusses seven common mistakes photographers make when composing portrait images and how to fix them or avoid them entirely in the first place. 

Coming to you from John Gress, this great video tutorial discusses seven common portrait composition mistakes and how to fix them or avoid them. One common mistake I see is a line intersecting with the subject's head. For example, if you are photographing a subject against a cityscape, the top of a building in the background might cut behind their head. The problem with this is that it creates a distraction by breaking the isolation of the most important area in the frame, the subject's face, and it interrupts the continuity of their outline. Luckily, it does not take much to correct this; usually, you just need to slightly change your height relative to the subject. The trick is to keep an eye out for it so you don't have to correct it in post. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Gress.

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Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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