In my previous tip I wrote about choosing one primary star in your picture and making it the center of your attention. To achieve this we need to understand photo composition.

Perhaps the most famous and well-known rule in photo composition today is the Rule of Thirds. Well, its actually more of a guideline than a rule. And even then, a very loose guideline. The basic gist of it is just move the star of your picture off-center. That’s it.

Officially, you’re suppose to split your picture into thirds both horizontally and vertically like this.

Rule of Thirds

Split your picture into thirds with horizontal and vertical lines.

Simple right? Then find natural points of alignment along these lines. Here’s an example.

Natalie and Rule of Thirds

This is a classic usage of Rule of Thirds in portrait shots. Align your star along the right (or left) horizontal line. It doesn’t have to be exact but you get the idea.

Occasionally you’ll get a “power point” – when two lines intersect on your subject.

Natalie and Rule of Thirds

Rule of Thirds can apply to both the subject and background. When two lines intersect we get a power point.

Sometimes you get two parallel lines, which is also very powerful.

By now I think you get the picture. Alignment along the lines create great frames of reference in composing your picture.

By now I think you get the picture. Alignment along the lines create great frames of reference in picture composition.

But don’t go crazy over Rule of Thirds. Remember, its just a guideline. Sometimes its not about the lines, it just about where your focus point is.

We all naturally focus on the face of the subject – in any picture. This is a focus point.

Kaitlyn’s face (focus point) is away from the center of the picture on the upper third section.

Kaitlyn’s face (focus point) is away from the center of the picture.

That’s it. Just move your focus point off-center. And you’re done.

And this moves us right into the topic – the focus point – and how to not screw it up.

>> NEXT TIP: HOW TO GUARANTEE CORRECT FOCUS <<